Monday, March 11, 2013

Minnesota: Citizen input will be the highlight of March 15 Environmental Congress

The Minnesota state seal.

The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) will hold its Environmental Congress on Friday, March 15, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Ramada Inn, Bloomington. The goal is to shape a vision for the state’s environment and energy future.

The Congress is the culmination of six citizen forums drawing hundreds of citizens held around the state late last year. Input gathered from the forums is the starting point for the Congress, where recognized experts and community leaders will develop recommendations for addressing Minnesota’s environmental and energy challenges and opportunities. These recommendations will help guide the EQB and the Dayton Administration to create short-term action steps and to set goals for the future.

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board Chair Dave Frederickson said the top environmental issues citizens targeted at the forums included silica sand mining, copper-nickel mining, water quality and groundwater depletion, climate change and renewable energy and wolf hunting.

“We heard repeatedly the need for regulation based on sound science, the need for more education about the environment, and the need for jobs and the economy to be balanced with environmental protection,” Frederickson said. “All of the comments were recorded and a summary will be presented at Environmental Congress.”

Gov. Mark Dayton will open the Congress, to be followed by many of Minnesota’s top environment and energy experts. These experts will lead a dialogue on issues of water, land, energy, air, and climate: Will Steger, explorer and educator; Judy Poferl, CEO of Northern States Power; David Minge, former U.S. Congressman; Dr. Mark Seeley of the University of Minnesota. Additionally, young adults from Minnesota high schools and colleges will present the next generation’s perspective.

The public is welcome to register as space allows. For more information, including the agenda and speakers,