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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL)

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Minnesota House passes legislation to preserve our environment and natural resources, including key bills authored by Rep. Wazlawik

Friday, April 29, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed legislation to invest more than $275 million in preserving our environment and natural resources. Bills authored by Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL – White Bear Township) are key components of the legislation, which she helped develop as vice chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  

“Minnesotans shouldn’t be exposed to dangerous chemicals,” said Rep. Wazlawik. “This legislation will protect people from PFAS, pollution, and other hazards in addition to preserving our environment for future generations of Minnesotans. It will help create a cleaner, greener, and safer Minnesota.” 

Rep. Wazlawik authored several bills to protect Minnesotans and our environment from hazardous chemicals, including legislation to ban the use of PFAS in cookware, cosmetics, and ski wax. Under her legislation, manufacturers are required to disclose if they intentionally add these “forever chemicals” to their products. If a business exposes Minnesotans to pollution, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be required to hold a public hearing before finalizing any settlement of more than $25,000. This will give residents an opportunity to suggest additional conditions to benefit the community. Rep. Wazlawik introduced this legislation in response to feedback from community members on the Water Gremlin stipulation agreement.  

The bill contains legislation Rep. Wazlawik authored to prohibit food packaging from being labeled as “biodegradable” or “compostable” unless it meets certain criteria. This will provide more clarity for consumers and composters because it makes it clear if products are actually biodegradable or compostable. Another significant provision provides $3.3 million to maintain scientific and natural areas across the state.  

Rep. Wazlawik also supported a bill to expand the popular Lawns to Legumes program, which helps Minnesotans establish pollinator habitat in their yards, and groundbreaking legislation to address racial inequities that often place communities of color and Indigenous communities at the highest risk of exposure to pollution and hazardous chemicals. Under this legislation, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be required to establish environmental justice areas, analyze cumulative impacts of pollution, and develop stronger regulations to protect Minnesotans from toxic emissions.