ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved a bill that aims to speed up environmental reviews and permits for businesses and sent it to Gov. Mark Dayton.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled House 87-44 on Monday. A number of Democrats objected to a provision that allows businesses to commission their own draft environmental reviews. Rep. Frank Hornstein of Minneapolis likened it to letting the fox guard the henhouse.

Supporters say the bill sends a business-friendly message. It sets a goal for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources to rule on permit applications within 150 days.

Gov. Mark Dayton already implemented several provisions of the bill by executive order. He said at a news conference Monday he needed a few days to review the legislation before deciding if he’ll sign it.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Sam says:

    I’m all for improving things for businesses, but not at the cost of the rest of us. I live in an area that has been affected by pollution by a large corporation. Their own “studies” repeatedly state that this pollution causes no harm, despite the fact that independent studies have shown quite the contrary.
    If a company commissions such a review, the reviewing party is going to be more likely to act favorably toward the hiring company. These reviews will not show the true environmental impact of a proposed business or process. In essence, there will be nobody looking out for the interests of those living and working around the business.

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