Environmental Spending of City Interest Included in Governor’s Budget

February 1, 2021

The governor’s proposal includes funding for a variety of city water programs, as well as other environmental programs.

Gov. Tim Walz’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, which was announced Jan. 26, includes several changes that apply to city services, permits, and funding.

Agency policy changes that do not have staff or budget implications are not included in this list and, for the most part, have not yet been released for public viewing.

Environment-related highlights

Here are some of the governor’s environmental spending recommendations of interest to cities:

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

  • Accelerated enactment of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) stormwater permits: $200,000 each year of the biennium from Clean Water Fund.
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit implementation and stormwater manual: $900,000 each year of the biennium from Clean Water Fund.
  • Environmental justice air monitoring equipment and staff: $384,000 per year ongoing, plus $180,000 for gear from Environmental Fund.
  • Chloride reduction: $260,000 each year of the biennium from Clean Water Fund.
  • Monitoring of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): $200,000 per year ongoing from Environmental Fund.
  • PFAS inventory pilot project: $450,000 the first year, then $250,000 per year ongoing from Environmental Fund.
  • PFAS source evaluation: $300,000 the first year and $200,000 the second year from Environmental Fund.
  • Climate Adaptation and Resiliency grants to local government: $2 million for biennium, then $1.482 million per year ongoing from general fund.
  • Groundwater monitoring: $950,000 each year of the biennium from Clean Water Fund.
  • Rural recycling grants program would be expanded to allow tribal governments to apply.

Board of Water and Soil Resources

  • Wellhead protection grants: $1 million each year of the biennium from Clean Water Fund.
  • Water storage and treatment: $1.5 million per year ongoing from general fund.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

For the DNR, the governor is recommending $1.85 million each year of the biennium from the Clean Water Fund for aquifer monitoring for water supply.

Next Steps

Next, state agencies will present their proposed budgets to the legislative budget committees that oversee environmental spending. The House and Senate will then work to craft their own versions of a state budget.

The House is expected to base its plan heavily on the governor’s proposal, while the Senate is discussing across-the-board base spending cuts for all state agencies. The League is already meeting with agencies and legislators about these budgets and will continue to do so as the talks proceed.

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