Last week Governor Dayton submitted a recommendation of essential services to continue in the event of a government shutdown. Our understanding is that this is a recommendation only, and that an appointed judge or Special Master would make the final recommendation.
Here is the summary by department with comments on how we are interpreting the recommendation:
- Department of Labor & Industry activities recommended to continue:
- W/C claims and benefits activities, approval of medical treatment
- OSHA compliance for high risk activities.
- Construction industry inspection services & support staff
- Incident command, technology security, support for critical services
Total FTE (Full time equivalent employees): 32
- W/C claims will still get processed.
- OSHA will not do programmed inspections, but will, we believe, still respond to imminent danger (and probably fatality) reports.
- We do not know if the shutdown would mean a grace period for compliance deadlines. (That is, if you were supposed to pay a penalty by July 5, you might have until the end of the shutdown). Other media is reporting that taxes must still be paid, so a fine might fill into that category.
- OSHA grants won’t be processed.
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) activities recommended to continue:
- petroleum remediation at four sites
- air quality index monitoring
- Biowatch monitoring services
- four closed landfill sites
- seven superfund sites
- emergency response
- incident command & support for critical services
Total FTE: 13
In normal times , Emergency Response alone has about 8-10 people. With only 13 total people at the MPCA in shutdown mode they will be hard pressed to handle the above list. We believe the permitting process will grind to a halt.