House Committee Holds Emerald Ash Borer Informational Hearing

The League is asking the state to commit at least $5 million per year to help cities deal with emerald ash borer and other urban forest pest issues.
(Published Feb 11, 2019)

The House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee invited the League, state agencies, and other stakeholders to present an update about the spread, severity, costs, and latest science related to emerald ash borer (EAB), a problem that plagues many Minnesota cities.

As in a previous Senate committee hearing, the League testified that cities and other local governments need state funding to help them prepare for and respond to the spread of EAB, League staff said during the Feb. 6 House informational hearing.

The Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, and Forest Resources Council also repeated its testimony from the Jan. 16 Senate hearing.

State assistance is critical

The committee had significant discussion and numerous questions on the topic, and the League explained that slowing the spread of the problem was essential to make it more manageable for affected cities. It would help spread out costs over many years instead of happening all at once. The need for the state to be a fully participating partner with cities was also stressed.

The creation of a state grant program available to cities to deal with EAB and other urban forest pest issues is one of the League’s 2019 legislative priorities. The League is asking the state to commit at least $5 million per year to that need.

For more background information about this bill, read a previous Cities Bulletin article.

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