Rural Residents Celebrate Governor's Veto of Pineland Sands Land and Water Study
Members of Toxic Taters, Land Stewardship Project, White Earth Land Recovery Project, and Pesticide Action Network celebrated and commended Governor Dayton’s line item veto Tuesday that removed $1.5 million dollars of funding for the Pineland Sands Land and Water Study from the LCCMR budget signed by the Governor. The groups commended the Governor for acknowledging that LCCMR funds are set for conservation purposes and that the legislature ought to listen to the direction of citizen boards.
The controversial study was developed by potato producer RD Offutt (RDO)and the Department of Natural Resources as part of a memorandum of agreement created between the two entities after RDO took the DNR to court last year regarding the agency’s attempt to hold the company accountable to a public environmental assessment prior to expansion in the Pineland Sands Aquifer.
“We’re glad Governor Dayton vetoed funding for the Pineland Sands Land and Water Study because it didn’t go through the rigorous citizen-legislative review process required for LCCMR projects. The Governor is right that the legislature needs to listen to citizen boards. We’d go one step further and say government needs to be accountable to the public. The people of the region have spoken, repeatedly, and called on RDO to be held to existing public environmental review, and said no to the Pineland Sands Land and Water Study. People in the region don’t want an expansion of the potato fields. It’s time to listen, to shelve the study and the expansion." Said Toxic Taters Coordinator Amy Mondloch.