Pollution Control Agency proposes environmental control agency

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Environmental bill of rights. Department of labor and industry. Pollution Control Agency Russell Doughty. Environmental bill of rights. Standards for the use of pesticides. Blackouts. Energy conservation. Reusable energy.


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ROSEMARY DAHLEN: The Minnesota Public Health Department sponsored the forum, but a number of other state agencies also presented health related bills. The welfare department asked for strengthened child abuse laws. The Agriculture Department asked for the control of hazardous substances. And the Department of Labor and Industry asked for a bill to guarantee safe and healthful working conditions.

But the most radical proposal and the only one applauded by the audience came from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. PCA spokesman Russell Doty said the fight against pollution is not going well. He presented an environmental bill of rights to help reverse the trend.

RUSELL DOTY: We are approaching this whole situation as though our very existence as a species on this continent and in this world depended upon avant-garde radical legislation. And radical means that it goes to the very basic fundamental change to the very core change that would go to the very core of things.

We live in a mosaic. We can no longer say that we are a man apart. So we think that Minnesota should be concerned with the actions-- the impact that the actions that Minnesotans have upon the rest of the world.

ROSEMARY DAHLEN: Other articles in the Bill of Rights deal with the protection for workers who lose their jobs because of pollution control, standards for the use of pesticides, and the conservation of energy.

RUSELL DOTY: To cool the day and to light up the night, we've blacked out the sun. And that's the kind of blackout that we're worried about. We're not worried so much about the 15-minute blackout. We're worried about the blackout to health that may happen.

And we feel that we have to do more to conserve energy to stop this kind of thing. The bill would provide funds to research more efficient and less polluting forms of producing usable energy. We place an emphasis on solar power generation. And it would set up and implement building codes that discourage the use of improper insulation and discourage heat loss.

It would discourage unnecessary air conditioning and over-lighting. Would limit gas and electric lighting for purposes of decoration or advertising. It may require the most efficient use of a non-renewable resource, such as natural gas, for example. And require substitute if a more efficient use could be made.

It may invert the rate structure of public utilities. Right now as you know, many public utilities, the more kilowatts you use, for example, the less it costs you per kilowatt. In Vermont Michigan, Oregon, and New York and some other states, they are changing that so that the more you use, it costs you a little bit more in an attempt to encourage more efficient use of lighting.

ROSEMARY DAHLEN: Public utilities which operate nuclear reactors were the target of a separate bill proposed by the health department. It asked for mandatory licensing of power plant reactors in Minnesota. At present, northern states power gives the state of Minnesota a gift of $40,000 a year. That gift covers the cost of monitoring the Monticello nuclear reactor. The health department wants to charge a $40,000 license fee instead. This is Rosemary Dahlen.


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