Environmentalists across the state of Minnesota are worried that integral programs will be cut from the state budget and the end result for Minnesotans will be dirtier air and water. State spending on pollution control is expected to decrease dramatically. Governor Pawlenty’s budget would take about $38.5 million from natural resource and environmental projects and put it into the general treasury, roughly a 14 percent cut in spending.
The ability of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to operate may be affected, cleanup of superfund sites may be impacted, and wetland and watershed programs may be cut. Local water management programs will feel the sting as the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil is expected to receive a 25 percent reduction in grant money, causing the loss of an estimated 1,500 local projects in 80 nonmetro counties.
According to Don Arnosti, campaign coordinator for the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, “under Governor Tim Pawlenty’s proposal, general fund spending on conservation and environment from 2001 to 2005 drops a stunning 33 percent.”
The proposed budget in no way reflects the high value Minnesotan’s place on their clean water and their environment. To learn more or get involved, contact EAGLE at 218-726-1828 or visit our website www.eagle-ecosource.org.