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Thursday, March 31, 2016

MPCA commissioner announces creation of environmental justice advisory group

Minnesotans Encouraged to Apply To Serve By May 16

 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner John Linc Stine has announced his plan to form an Environmental Justice advisory group to advise the agency on agency matters related to environmental justice. The group will provide input and recommendations about ways to incorporate the principles of environmental justice into the agency's work. It will consist of up to 12 members serving two-year terms. 

"It's far too easy to talk about remedying the disproportionate impacts of past pollution and preventing future harms," said MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine. "We must put our words into action, and this advisory group is one of many steps we're taking to fully integrate environmental justice into our programs." 

MPCA's Environmental Justice Framework, released in December 2015, outlines goals and strategies to ensure that all Minnesotans benefit equally from environmental protection. Forming the Environmental Justice Advisory group is one step intended to increase engagement between the public and the agency. 

The Advisory Group will provide recommendations and advise the MPCA Commissioner in four key areas, including:                                                                                                                             

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the MPCA in implementing its environmental justice framework, including assisting the MPCA in determining ways to measure success;
  • Providing recommendations to the MPCA Commissioner on improvements to policies and procedures to ensure integration of environmental justice principles into the MPCA's work;
  • Providing input to the MPCA on activities and timeframes for framework implementation; and
  • Collaborating with the MPCA to improve civic engagement around environmental justice issues.  

MPCA will be hosting two information sessions in the Twin Cities metro area to provide more background on the group's scope, function, and goals before the May 16th application deadline. The Environmental Justice Advisory Group charter and application materials can be found on MPCA's website

Commissioner Stine encourages Minnesotans to apply to serve on the Advisory Group, by submitting the application on the MPCA website. In order to intentionally create a diverse committee, candidates from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds and residents of greater Minnesota are encouraged apply. The application deadline is May 16, 2016. Contact Environmental Justice Coordinator Ned Brooks at Ned.Brooks@state.mn.usor call 651-757-2557 with any questions.

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