Critical Area repeal bill passes Minnesota Senate

Senate File 39, a bill to repeal the Department of Natural Resources rulemaking authority for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area has passed the state Senate. A companion bill (House File 95) was introduced in the House early in the session, but is yet to be heard in committee. The Critical Area repeal language was also included in the Omnibus Environmental budget bill that passed in the Senate, but the House version of the Omnibus bill did not include the Critical Area repeal.

In a strongly worded letter to legislators, Governor Dayton said he would not sign a budget bill with extraneous policy language that he does not support. This is good news for the Critical Area and many other environmental protection policies that legislators are attempting to strip from our statutes.

Repeal of the Critical Area rulemaking would be a big step backwards for the Mississippi River — a resource of regional, statewide, national and international significance. The law to update the Critical Area passed in 2009 with bipartisan support, and most of the $500,000 appropriation to complete new river protection rules has been spent. With this wasteful repeal bill now moving ahead on several fronts, we need river supporters to speak up on behalf of protecting the Critical Area with new state rules.

Here's how you can help:

  • Write a letter to the editor in support of updating the 30-year-old rules to protect the Mississippi River Critical Area and submit it to your local neighborhood or community newspaper.
  • Contact your state legislators and ask them to oppose repeal of the Mississippi River Critical Area rulemaking.
  • Contact the Governor and ask him to veto any legislation that will repeal or limit the DNR's ability to write updated rules for the Mississippi River Critical Area.
  • Visit our Action Alert page for suggested talking points and a link to your legislators' contact information.
  • Make a financial contribution to support FMR's advocacy work.

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