The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) was created in 1967 and since that time its legal structure included a Citizens' Board consisting of the commissioner of the MPCA and eight members of the public. The 2015 Minnesota legislature eliminated the MPCA Citizens' Board in part due to lobbying from big agricultural groups upset with the panel's vetoing of certain projects. Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill, 2015 Laws of Minn. Chap. 79 (HF0846* / SF1764), that eliminated the board, but signed a revised version of the bill after a special session (2015 Laws of Minn. 2015, 1st Spec. Sess. Chap. 4 Art. 4 Sec. 114-117).
On August 4, 2015, Governor Dayton declared: It is in the best interests of Minnesotans that there remain a forum for public input, discussion, and debate on important and controversial environmental issues and decisions affecting Minnesotans and their communities around the state. It is also beneficial, for transparent and deliberate decision-making on important issues affecting Minnesota' s environment and human health, that a citizen's advisory committee be created to provide advice and counsel to the commissioner of the MPCA.
The new Committee will not have the same powers as the Citizens' Board did to approve or disapprove of decisions made by the MPCA.
Governor Tim Walz provided for the committee's continuance by issuing Executive Order 19-29.