Last month, Flaherty & Hood Senior Attorney Elizabeth Wefel gave an update on recent environmental legislation titled “Environmental Law Update – What You Missed This Summer When You Were Up at the Cabin (or sheltering in your COVID cave).” Her presentation was part of an online continuing legal education seminar for the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Wefel’s presentation covered the progress — or lack thereof — that was made on environmental and energy issues during the Minnesota Legislature’s 2021 session and June 2021 special session. She explained that partisan gridlock caused many proposals to be left behind. Nonetheless, the Legislature made some progress on one key emerging environmental issue: addressing the challenge of per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). She noted that the Legislature approved $600,000 in state funding for a new PFAS municipal source reduction initiative aimed at studying the sources of PFAS and developing source reduction strategies.

Wefel also discussed how gridlock prevented progress on most energy issues, but she highlighted the Legislature’s ability to pass much-needed reform to the state’s energy efficiency programs.