As many of you already know, Scott Strand stepped down as Executive Director earlier this month to pursue other opportunities. Scott has a long history with MCEA, and as we go through this transition, all of us at MCEA feel it is important to reflect on Scott’s service to MCEA and how important it is to us as well as the state of Minnesota as a whole.
Before Scott joined MCEA as Executive Director in 2010, he generously volunteered his time as an attorney to MCEA. As for so many others, it was the threat of sulfide mining in Northern Minnesota that brought him to our door. In 2008, MCEA and others proposed legislation to reform financial assurance laws in Minnesota – the laws that require sulfide mining companies to put down a “damage deposit” before they start digging to due to the risks of long-term water pollution. Scott helped draft the proposed legislation, and worked tirelessly with our lobbying staff to get it introduced and through committee hearings. While this legislation ultimately didn’t pass, it shone an light on the deficiencies in our current law in a way that continues to shape the debate over financial assurance for PolyMet today.
Scott came on as Executive Director in mid-2010 to continue his advocacy for Minnesota's environment. Scott’s extraordinary depth of knowledge of the environmental challenges facing Minnesota, as well as his excellent policy and legal judgment, made him an effective advocate for MCEA’s work. Under his leadership, MCEA overcame the remaining fiscal challenges following the 2008 financial crisis to return to full strength. During his tenure, MCEA made great strides in getting new rules to protect Minnesota’s waters, retiring coal plants, expanding stops on the Green Line to ensure that minority communities are served by public transit, and keeping harmful sulfide mining proposals at bay. Scott worked in close partnership with other organizations, including Clean Air Minnesota and the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, to build clout for environmental protections. Scott also served as a valued resource for legislators on issues from buffers to clean energy to mining to environmental review.
We will miss Scott, and thank him for his years of service to MCEA.
Interim Executive Director