A bill declaring the federal Environmental Protection Agency null and void in Minnesota will not get a committee hearing this year.
State Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, said the bill, HF 3094, was introduced Monday in frustration over federal action that could negatively impact the Mesabi Nugget iron plant near Hoyt Lakes
Environmental groups immediately began a campaign to defeat the legislation. But Dill, a co-author on the bill, told the News Tribune today that the bill won’t get a hearing in the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee – even though Dill is the committee chairman – because it was introduced too late to meet the House’s self-imposed Friday deadline for bills to clear committees.
State Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, was chief author of the bill. In addition to Dill, state Reps. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township; Jason Metsa, DFL-Virginia; Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls; and Joe McDonald, R-Delano are co-authors of the measure. There is no Senate version as yet.
Dill said members of the Iron Range delegation decided to co-author the bill over frustration with the EPA’s recent decision to revoke a variance for Mesabi Nugget that allows the plant to release pollutants at levels otherwise above state standards.
The bill “is not going anywhere. But it is a little frustrating when the EPA does this stuff and doesn’t tell us,’’ Dill said Tuesday.
Environmental groups sued to disallow the variance, and the EPA last week agreed to an out-of-court settlement to withdraw the variance. Mesabi Nugget has asked for a 30-day delay in the EPA’s action.
The variance was first issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
“I think the action even caught PCA off guard,” Dill said of the EPA’s move to rescind the variance.
If the legislation passed the House and Senate and was signed by the governor, all unlikely, it states:
“The legislature declares that the regulation authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the founders and ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be invalid in the state, shall not be recognized by the state, is specifically rejected by the state, and shall be considered null and void and of no force and effect in the state.”