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Legislative Audit Commission


January 28, 1999

The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Representative Dan McElroy on Thursday, January 28, 1999 at 4:05 p.m. in Room 316, State Capitol.

Members Present:

Representative Lynda Boudreau    Senator William Belanger, Jr.
Representative Chris Gerlach Senator Claire Robling
Representative Mindy Greiling Senator Deanna Wiener
Representative Dan McElroy
Representative Mary Jo McGuire

Members Not Present:

Representative Phil Carruthers    Senator Dave Johnson
Representative Kris Hasskamp Senator Sheila Kiscaden
Representative Philip Krinkie Senator David Knutson
Representative Peggy Leppik Senator Keith Langseth
Representative Wes Skoglund Senator James Metzen
Senator Thomas Neuville
Senator Ember Reichgott Junge

Representative McElroy indicated the purpose of the meeting was to release and discuss the program evaluation report on the Animal Feedlot Regulation and recognized James Nobles, Legislative Auditor. Mr. Nobles reviewed the reasons why this topic had been selected for study by the commission and introduced John Yunker, project manager, and other evaluation specialists who had worked on the study, Jennifer Moenck Feige and David Chein.

Senator Wiener joined the meeting and assumed the Chair. She recognized Mr. Yunker.

Mr. Yunker reviewed the issues reviewed in the study and why they were studied. He also gave an overview of the methods used in conducting the study, as well as the findings, conclusions, and recommendations contained in the report. He answered questions from members.

Senator Wiener recognized Lisa Thorvig, Acting Commissioner for the Pollution Control Agency. Commissioner Thorvig reviewed the history of PCA's involvement in regulating animal feedlots and indicated that her agency generally agreed with the report and specifically with the recommendation that the agency needs to have a greater presence in the field. She noted that the budget request contains a request for additional staff for this purpose. She emphasized, however, that the agency could never have enough staff to police all feedlots and must find non-traditional ways to reduce pollution risks.

Senator Kenric Scheevel was recognized by Senator Wiener. Senator Scheevel noted that most complaints were related to odor problems, and asked whether there had been any degradation in drinking water quality in recent years. Commissioner Thorvig called on Dave Nelson, Environmental Engineer, and Rodney Massey, Division Manager for the Water Quality Division. Mr. Nelson responded that drinking water quality appears to have improved.

The meeting adjourned at 5:25 PM.

Senator Deanna Wiener, Chair

Jean Barnhill, Acting Recording Secretary


Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155