Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, on February 23, 2016, announced the eight members comprising the Governor’s Committee to Advise the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (source: http://mn.gov/governor/dayton)

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (source: http://mn.gov/governor/dayton)

Governor Dayton created the Committee by executive order in August 2015 following the Minnesota’s Legislature’s June 2015 bill to terminate the MPCA Citizens’ Board. For almost four decades, the Board served as the agency’s ultimate decision-making body, instead of the MPCA commissioner, on various important environmental decisions.

By contrast, the new Governor’s Committee plays an advisory role only; it is charged with “advis[ing] the commissioner of the MPCA prior to final decisions on matters that are within the scope of the MPCA’s statutory authority, including but not limited to: environmental review, permitting, rulemaking, and variances to existing rules.” Minn. Gov. Dayton, Exec. Order 15-15, Creating the Governor’s Committee to Advise the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Aug. 4, 2015). “As regulators make decisions, and enforce our state’s environmental protection laws,” Dayton wrote in the press release announcing the newly appointed Governor’s Committee members, “Minnesota citizens need and deserve a seat at the table.” The Committee members, whose initial terms expire in April 2019, are as follows (with biographies provided by the Governor’s office):

  • Craig Acomb: Mr. Acomb is the current President and CEO of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), an independent, nonprofit health care improvement organization composed of three major health plans and more than 50 medical groups representing 9,000 physicians. Previously, Mr. Acomb was an Assistant Commissioner and former CFO at the Minnesota Department of Health. Mr. Acomb is a member of the Board of Trustees for the National MS Society – Upper Midwest Chapter and the Education Advisory Council for HealthPartners Institute.
  • Amira Adawe: Ms. Adawe is a Planner and Health Educator of Family Health and Community Engagement at Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health, where she plans the maternal/child health policy initiatives and develops their community engagement strategy. She has previously served at the Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health as a Health Educator in the Community Health and Child/Teen Checkups Programs. Ms. Adawe is a founding member and co-chair of the Somali Health Coalition and a member of the Metro Refugee Health Group Task Force.
  • Cortney Amundson: Ms. Amundson is the founder and Director of Mindful Restoration, LLC, which provides eco-therapy to individuals and groups by contracting with organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Department of Veteran Affairs. Previously, she was the supervisor of the military specific program at the Domestic Abuse Project and served a four-year enlistment as a Nondestructive Inspection Technician with the United States Air Force. Additionally, Ms. Amundson provides therapy to individuals and families at Secure Base Counseling Center.
  • Kurt Anderson: Mr. Anderson is the Manager of the Environmental & Land Management Department for ALLETE, where he is responsible for the implementation and compliance of air, water, solid waste, and land management regulations. Previously, he was the Operations Manager at ASci Corporation, a toxicology lab with a wide range of domestic and international clients. Mr. Anderson is a member of the MPCA Sulfate/Wild Rice Advisory Panel, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and the Electric Power Research Institute.
  • Dr. Rebecca Forman: Dr. Forman is a Senior Analyst at Merjent, Inc., where she prepares construction and industrial stormwater pollution prevention plans and supervises construction stormwater inspectors. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, is an instructor for the Erosion and Stormwater Management Certification Program, and is certified as a Senior Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America. Previously, Dr. Forman was a Project Scientist for Braun Intertec Corporation and an adjunct professor of biology at the University of St. Thomas.
  • Nathaniel Hultgren: Mr. Hultgren is the Agronomy Director for Meadow Star Dairy, where he serves as a liaison between the dairy development and local farmers. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Hultgren Farms, a 5,000 acre specialty crop farm, and previously was the Chief Financial Officer of the Bird Island Bean Company. He is a member of the Heritage Bank Community Advisory Committee and a past member of the Hawk Creek Country Club Board of Directors and the Willmar Airport Planning Commission.
  • Norman Miranda: Mr. Miranda is a Senior Technical Advisor with HR Green Company, where he consults with the Central Iron Range Sanitary Sewer District as its Executive Director and served the City of Minneapolis Public Works Department as a Wastewater Conveyance/Collection System Manager. Previously, he was a Water/Wastewater Business Development Manager with HDR Engineering, Inc. and the President/Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of OES Environmental Services. Mr. Miranda is a member of the Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association and the Water Environment Federation.
  • Ted Winter: Ted Winter is a Licensed Insurance Agent with Farmers Union Insurance, where he sells and services property, casualty, life, accident, and health insurance policies in Southwest Minnesota. Previously, he served 16 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, including two years as House Majority Leader. Additionally, he owns and operates a 250 acre crop farm and is a member of the Lions Club, the Land Stewardship Project State Policy Committee, and the Minnesota Farmer’s Union, where he serves as County President for Nobles and Rock Counties.
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