MPCA head Aasen stepping downby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Paul Aasen, the commissioner of the Minesota Pollution Control Agency, has resigned to take the post of Minneapolis city coordinator.
Aasen has had a long career in state government under three governors. He has also headed the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, a non-profit group that regularly prodded the state to act more aggressively to reduce pollution problems.
When Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Aasen commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency, many environmental activists praised the choice.
More recently, some have voiced disappointment in what they see as slow changes at the agency.
Aasen led reorganization efforts designed to streamline permitting and environmental review processes.
Dayton has appointed Aasen's deputy, John Linc Stine, as acting commissioner. Stine has a long career in public service, including stints at the Department of Health and the Department of Natural Resources.
Stine, who has been serving as deputy commissioner at the MPCA, said he's looking forward to working on the challenges facing the environmental agency.
"We are fortunate to have some of the best water quality in the nation, and yet we still have a lot of work to do," said Stine. "I'm looking forward to continuing the work we've been doing the past couple of years to improve air, land, and water ... and public health."
As deputy commissioner, Stine helped streamline the environmental review and permit process, and helped oversee the department's budget, personnel, and enforcement.
If Aasen is confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council, he is expected to start his new position with the city later this month.