Nobles County Board takes stand on MPCA rulemaking

WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday took a stand against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s plan to bypass the Legislature and go straight to the Governor for the adoption of California car standards.

Commissions approved sending Gov. Tim Walz and the MPCA a resolution stating opposition to not only the plan, but the MPCA’s attempt to adopt California mandates through rulemaking.

The standard would phase out all fuel-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. The resolution states the rulemaking process limits the scope of discussion to a narrow set of issues, precluding a broader policy debate on the economic development, transportation, energy and waste disposal of the policy.

The MPCA estimates the rule will displace 674 million gallons of fuel by 2034, but the MPCA documents do not address the consequences of the county’s loss of gas tax, the negative impacts on the ethanol and biofuels industry, or the effect on the agricultural industry.

The resolution encourages the Walz administration to withdraw its proposed rulemaking and bring a proposal to the Legislature where a more comprehensive policy can be considered.

The MPCA published notice of its intent on Dec. 21, and a two-day hearing is scheduled February 22-23 before an administrative law judge. Public comments are being accepted through March 15.

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