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Minn. House approves faster environmental permits

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved a bill that aims to speed up environmental reviews and permits for businesses and sent it to Gov. Mark Dayton.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled House 87-44 on Monday. A number of Democrats objected to a provision that allows businesses to commission their own draft environmental reviews. Rep. Frank Hornstein of Minneapolis likened it to letting the fox guard the henhouse.

Supporters say the bill sends a business-friendly message. It sets a goal for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources to rule on permit applications within 150 days.

Gov. Mark Dayton already implemented several provisions of the bill by executive order. He said at a news conference Monday he needed a few days to review the legislation before deciding if he'll sign it.

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