Thank you to everyone who joined for MESERB’s Annual Regulatory, Legal, & Legislative Update last week. Here is some follow-up information on issues that were referenced at the meeting.
- The Presentation – Here is a copy of the Power Power presentation.
- Environment Bill and PFAS Provisions: The link to the bill as passed is HERE. The PFAS provisions are:
- PFAS Municipal Source Reduction, 5.15 (page 5, line 15)
- PFAS Food Packaging Prohibition, 115.28 (page 115, line 28)
- PFAS Biosolids Strategy, 168.32 (page 168, line 32)
- PFAS Demonstration Project, 169.17 (page 169, line 18)
- Legislative Appropriations Spreadsheet: The spreadsheet for the full set of appropriations is HERE. Please note that there are a lot of columns as the spreadsheet captures everything that was in either the House, Senate, or Governor’s respective bills, and a number of items were dropped. The relevant column for reference is the “Special Session” column.
- Low Income Water Assistance Program (LIWAP) – Public Meeting and Comment Period: As we mentioned in the presentation, the state is currently seeking input on the LIWAP appropriations. LIWAP was developed by Congress as part of the American Rescue Plan. It was modeled after Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help low income individuals and families pay their water and wastewater bills. Approximately $14.7 million has been allocated to Minnesota. At this time, we do not know whether there will be permanent funding for this program.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has been tasked with designing a program to distribute the funds and is seeking comments on their plan for distribution. Because of the impact to our cities’ water and wastewater utilities, we encourage you to review the plan and submit comments. To learn more, you can review this presentation and the plan. There will also be a webinar on the plan at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14 (Webex link: https://minnesota.webex.com/minnesota/j.php?MTID=m599761fa8ecca6e9ad46bff98da1e56a).
Comments are due July 23, 2021 and may be submitted HERE.
- Wastewater Operator Credits: We received confirmation that 1.0 credits were approved for our meeting! We will be sending a certificate of attendance to all attendees and a list of attendees to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for their confirmation.
If have any questions or comments on the presentation or related other issues, please contact Gretel Lee at email@example.com.