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Environment panel to consider a budget, policy bill with ‘spice,’ sponsor says

Waste not, want not could be the theme of this year’s environment and natural resources finance and policy bill.

The House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee heard multiple proposals aimed at reducing, reusing and recycling. Most focused on limiting pollution caused by landfill leachate or incinerator emissions.

And many of the provisions are included in HF3911. As amended, it includes the Packaging Waste and Reduction Act proposed by Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL-Mpls), which would require producers to be responsible for packaging waste they create. Its passage would make Minnesota the fifth state in the nation to establish an extended producer responsibility program for packaging waste.

The committee received a walkthrough of the bill Tuesday. Amendments are expected to be offered Wednesday ahead of a committee vote.

It is a supplemental bill aimed at clarifying, modifying and rebalancing some of the policies and spending enacted last year, said Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul), the committee chair and bill sponsor.

Several provisions face pushback, including those that would prohibit growing corn on public land, alter the definition of public waters to account for mapping errors, and allow citizens to sue to enforce air quality standards.

“There is spice in this bill,” Hansen said. “Some may not like it, but that’s the way of the world.” He’ll continue to work on the recipe, however.


The bill calls for $17 million in additional General Fund spending with $8 million going to the Metropolitan Council for community tree grants. There is also money from other funds to plant trees at zoos and in state parks.

Other General Fund appropriations include:  

  • $5.5 million to the Pollution Control Agency and $1.3 million to the Department of Natural Resources to cover agency legal costs;
  • $1.3 million for the Lawn to Legumes program encouraging the growth of pollinator habitat;
  • $400,000 to replace the City of St. Paul Park’s Lions Levee Park pedestrian bridge; and
  • $200,000 to investigate reopening the General C.C. Andrews State Nursery.

[MORE: View the spreadsheet]


The bill includes scores of policy provisions affecting air, land, water and wildlife. Some would:


 What’s in the bill?

The following are selected bills that have been incorporated in part or in whole into the environment and natural resources finance and policy bill:

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