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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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Lueck named to task force which examines aggregate issues

Thursday, February 02, 2017

 

ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, has been appointed to a task force which addresses issues related to materials which literally provide the foundation for our everyday lives but often are overlooked.

The task force is officially known as the Aggregate Resources Task Force. It was created in 1998 to examine sustainable management of materials such as sand, gravel, clay, earth and bedrock. These substances are used to construct our transportation infrastructure, homes, offices, schools, factories and more.

Reports indicate the statewide annual demand for aggregates is over 50 million tons per year, an increase of about 50 percent since the early 1980s. That increase has outpaced previous projections, tapping mines sooner and causing mine operators to seek resources farther from where they are needed.

“Just look at what is happening right now in the north metro,” said Lueck, who also is vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry and Tourism. “They are moving farther and farther north to find aggregate for construction projects. We must be strategic on how we manage these important resources and it starts with knowing what is there and understanding what the demand will be in the future.”

The task force must study and provide recommendations to the Legislature prior by June 30, 2018. By law, the report must address:

  • The Department of Natural Resources' and Metropolitan Council's aggregate mapping progress and needs.
  • The effectiveness of recent aggregate tax legislation and the use of the revenues collected by counties.
  • The use of state funds to preserve aggregate reserves.
  • Local land use and permitting issues, environmental review requirements, and the impacts of other state regulations on aggregate reserves.

“We need a balanced approach,” said Lueck, who in 2016 successfully authored legislation to extend the task force instead of allowing it to statutorily sunset. “We must ensure access and availability of these materials and not encumber them with unnecessary regulations.”

Lueck received the appointment from House Speaker Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.

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