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      Governor Dayton moves to simplify Minnesota's environmental review process

      Posted on November 17, 2011 at 8:18 AM

      Yesterday, Governor Dayton built on his Administration’s success in streamlining the permitting process for businesses while preserving environmental protections, signing Executive Order 11-32 — which ordered the Environmental Quality Board to conduct an assessment and deliver recommendations to improve Minnesota’s complex environmental review process.

      MPR reports:

      Dayton said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued more than 1,300 new permits within his goal of 150 days.

      MPCA Commissioner Paul Aasen said that's a 80 percent success rate for all permit requests and a 96 percent success rate for new permits. He said the findings should end a stigma that environmental permitting takes too long in Minnesota.

      "Environment and business can coexist very nicely," Aasen said. "We've always believed that and we're doing out best to make sure that we are not a piece of that perceived issue."

      Dayton said his order instructs the Environmental Quality Board to look at more ways to speed up the environmental review process.

      "Looking at the whole overlay of environmental protection agencies and state and local organizations and whatever duplication of oversight there is that can be reduced or eliminated and not suffer strong environmental protection," Dayton said.

      To read the entire article, click here.