It’s my pleasure to wish you and your loved ones a safe, happy, and healthy holiday. Before we ring in the New Year, I’m sharing one final email newsletter with the latest news from the Capitol and our community. Please take precautions to stay safe this holiday season, whether it’s getting tested for COVID-19, getting a booster, or social distancing. Click here for guidance from the Minnesota Department of Public Health.
House internships available
The Sergeant’s Office will be administering a remote Undergraduate Internship Program for the 2022 legislative session. The deadline to apply is January 7. For a detailed description of the program click on the following link: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sergeant/internship
New pollution prevention report slightly delayed
Under state law, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is required to release a report on pollution prevention activities by Dec. 31, 2021. The MPCA has notified the public that this report is slightly delayed and will be issued no later than Jan. 31, 2022. I’ll share a link to the report in a future email.
Letter to Governor Walz
Earlier this month, my colleagues from Dakota County and I sent a letter to Gov. Walz concerning the Metropolitan Landfill Contingency Trust. With Minnesota’s historic budget surplus, we are advocating that a portion be dedicated to repaying funds borrowed from the trust over the years. This is a major priority for Dakota County to protect future generations from contamination from landfills. Click here to read our letter.
Funds available for PERC removal at dry cleaners
The MPCA is providing up to $20,000 to dry cleaners for removing or replacing dry cleaning equipment that uses perchloroethylene (PERC). Eligible businesses can either upgrade to processes that are less environmentally damaging or decommission PERC machines and become dry facilities (no cleaning on site). PERC is a suspected carcinogen, with the potential to harm the health of staff, customers, and neighbors. It is expensive to manage and dispose of properly.
Minnesota has recently banned the use of PERC as a dry-cleaning solvent; the ban takes effect in 2026. The Legislature also set aside $355,000 to help businesses transition away from PERC. Grantees are not required to provide matching funds. I was proud to lead the legislative effort to establish funding for this bipartisan program.
Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis until all funds are awarded or until January 31, 2024, whichever is first. Projects must be completed by April 30, 2024. Click here to learn more and apply.
We encourage applicants to also take advantage of matching fund opportunities, such as the MPCA Small Business Loan Program, which covers equipment costs up to $75,000 at 0% interest.
Stay in touch
If you’d like to share ideas or feedback with me before the 2022 legislative session begins, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (651) 296-6828.