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      MPCA Commissioner Paul Aasen ‘Occupies Extreme Center in the Environmental Fight’

      Posted on January 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      Though Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Paul Aasen has taken heat from both sides of the political spectrum, he receives the rare credit of landing the in the “Extreme Center” in today’s Politics in Minnesota’s ‘Capitol Life’ series (Full Article, subscription required).

      The article gives narrates Aasen’s rich background in the environmental movement as well as three gubernatorial administrations – all of different parties.

      Government background is, of course, normal for agency commissioner appointees. What sets Aasen apart from most of his peers, said longtime MCPA division manager Mike Sandusky, is that he also knows the science that underpins his agency.

      “That is sort of a rarity for us,” Sandusky says. “We don’t usually get that in a commissioner appointment. … That is powerful within our culture, as well as somewhat comforting to us.”

      Minnesota benefitted from the Commissioner’s balanced approach in 2011 through common sense reform of Minnesota’s Environmental Review Process.

      “What we’ve shown is that Minnesota can promote job growth and industry development by approving permits in a timely manner, while protecting our natural resources at the same time. Applying the same approach to the environmental review process allows us to continue making common sense reforms that address the concerns of both the business and environmental communities in our state,” Governor Dayton said. Read more about the environmental review process here.

      Agency leaders who take a balanced approach such as Commissioner Aasen will lead the way in government that makes common sense reforms to improve service and reduce costs for Minnesotans.