Environment and Energy

Clean Water
Clean water is a top environmental priority for Minnesotans. Currently about 40% of Minnesota’s waters do not meet standards for “fishable and swimmable.”

Clean Water Accountability Act

To thrive, our communities count on safe, clean water resources. When Minnesota authorized funds for clean water in the 2008 Legacy Amendment, they counted on results. Unfortunately, results have not been as strong as they should be and we need to adjust the plan. Last month, I introduced legislation which is now law that would address water issues unresolved by the federal Clean Water Act to streamline our Legacy Act funds dedicated to cleaning up water pollution. The Clean Water Accountability Act targets two primary problems: 1) cleaning up nonpoint source pollution; and 2) better targeting of Clean Water fund dollars by agencies.

Overall this bill tackles these weaknesses through a few new cleanup plans. First, it requires a precise assessment of pollution sources and needed reductions. Furthermore, it sets deadlines and milestones for assessing progress, requires strategies to put the money where it will have the best result, and creates a plan for effective monitoring. Support for the Clean Water Accountability Act includes multiple environmental groups across Minnesota, such as the Minnesota Environmental Partnership—a statewide coalition of 75 environmental organizations, farm organizations and the state agencies overseeing pollution cleanup.

Pollinators

Banning Toxics

While federal policy on toxic chemicals was mostly unchanged for the past forty years, Sen. Hoffman voted to make Minnesota a leader in approving laws to control chemicals in consumer products, especially those harmful to children.

Cutting Wait time – Regulatory Permits

Many businesses that want to expand and create jobs in Minnesota have expressed frustration with the time it takes government to process environmental permits.

2013 Omnibus Energy Bill

Sen. Hoffman voted to establish a 1.5% solar standard by 2025 for investor-owned utilities such as Excel Energy and Minnesota Power, expected to increase Minnesota’s installed capacity by 32 times over seven years. The bill also set up a new framework for community solar programs. (H.F. 729-2013, 5/16/13)

Recycling and Waste

Each year Minnesotans create about 5.7 million tons of garbage, with about 30% ending up in a landfill, 21% burned and 46% recycled, beating the national average of about 35%. Senator Hoffman has consistently supported measures to improve Minnesota’s record on recycling, which is not only part of our state’s shared ethics and values, but a large industry that supports close to 30,000 jobs.