December 31, 2010

On December 31, 2010 Minnesota Governor-Elect Mark Dayton appointed Paul Aasen as Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Aasen has served in Minnesota state government in former Governor Jesse Ventura’s Administration as Director of Government Relations and Policy, as Assistant Commissioner in the Department of Public Safety, as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Emergency Response Commission. Aasen most recently has served as Advocacy Director for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), one of the State’s more active environmental groups.  Governor Dayton will be sworn as Minnesota’s Governor on Monday, January 3, 2010.

In introducing Paul Aasen, Governor–Elect Dayton remarked: “Mr. Aasen has assured me of his commitment to enforcing Minnesota’s environmental laws, as they are written, impartially and efficiently.  He shares my view that the agency’s mission, and I believe its name, should be changed from “Pollution Control” to “Pollution Reduction.”  At the same time, Mr. Aasen’s training, from his Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Minnesota to six years as an Environmental Scientist at the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission, provides him with the qualifications to be an objective and fair environmental regulator.”

In accepting the appointment as MPCA Commissioner Paul Aasen indicated “I am honored to again have a chance to serve the citizens of Minnesota.  Our state faces the difficult task of recovering from the Great Recession while maintaining our clean water and air – all with fewer resources to go around.  Three top issues in the next few years are dealing with air quality in the metro area, continuing the clean-up of our lakes and rivers by wisely using the constitutional amendment funds, and making sure the agency moves at the speed of commerce as it does its work.”

For more information related to the MPCA Commissioner appointment, please see:

The MPCA Commissioner appointment is one that has been closely watched by both business and environmental groups.  The MPCA Commissioner directs the staff of the MPCA, the state’s primary environmental regulatory agency, in St. Paul and in regional offices around the State of Minnesota.  The MPCA Commissioner participates in decisions made by the MPCA’s Citizens Board. The Governor makes appointments to the MPCA’s Citizens Board as vacancies occur.  Given the looming record state budget deficit, State Agency Commissioners will necessarily be closely involved with the budgeting process and will likely be closely involved with key legislative Committees on policy and budget issues.

At Hessian & McKasy’s Environmental Law Attorney Practice Group, we track developments affecting our clients.  Many of our clients are regulated by the MPCA and its staff.  Our environmental attorneys are regularly involved advising clients on permitting and enforcement matters.  For more information on our environmental attorneys, please visit:

The views contained within this entry and on this website are my own and do not constitute those of Hessian & McKasy, a Professional Association.

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