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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 973

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/17/2019 06:37pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/11/2019

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to environment; reinstating Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens
Board; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 116.02; 116.03, subdivisions
1, 2a; repealing Laws 2015, First Special Session chapter 4, article 4, section 149.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1. new text beginPURPOSE.
new text end

new text begin Since the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was created in 1967, the citizens board
served as a check on the actions of the agency staff and commissioner. The citizens board
listened to the concerns of Minnesotans, giving voice to rural residents upset about decisions
made by agency staff in St. Paul, occasionally overturning those staff decisions. This valuable
service to the people of Minnesota was eliminated by the legislature in 2015, but it is in the
public interest that the citizens board be reinstituted now.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116.02, is amended to read:


116.02 POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY; CREATION AND POWERS.

Subdivision 1.

Creation.

A pollution control agency, designated as the Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency, is deleted text beginherebydeleted text end created.new text begin The agency consists of the commissioner and
eight members appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate.
One member must be a person knowledgeable in the field of agriculture, and one must be
a representative of organized labor.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2a. new text end

new text begin Terms, compensation, removal, vacancies. new text end

new text begin The membership terms,
compensation, removal of members, and filling of vacancies on the agency is as provided
in section 15.0575.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3a. new text end

new text begin Membership. new text end

new text begin The membership of the Pollution Control Agency must be
broadly representative of the skills and experience necessary to effectuate the policy of
sections 116.01 to 116.075, except that no member other than the commissioner may be an
officer or employee of the state or federal government. Only two members at one time may
be officials or employees of a municipality or any governmental subdivision, but neither
may be a member ex officio or otherwise on the management board of a municipal sanitary
sewage disposal system.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4a. new text end

new text begin Chair. new text end

new text begin The commissioner serves as chair of the agency. The agency elects
other officers as the agency deems necessary.
new text end

Subd. 5.

Agency successor to commission.

The Pollution Control Agency is the
successor of the Water Pollution Control Commission, and all powers and duties now vested
in or imposed upon said commission by chapter 115, or any act amendatory thereof or
supplementary thereto, are hereby transferred to, imposed upon, and vested in the
deleted text begin commissioner of thedeleted text endnew text begin Minnesotanew text end Pollution Control Agency.

new text begin Subd. 6a. new text end

new text begin Required decisions. new text end

new text begin The agency must make final decisions on the following
matters:
new text end

new text begin (1) a petition for preparing an environmental assessment worksheet, if the project proposer
or a person commenting on the proposal requests that the decision be made by the agency
and the agency requests that it make the decision under subdivision 8a;
new text end

new text begin (2) the need for an environmental impact statement following preparation of an
environmental assessment worksheet under applicable rules, if:
new text end

new text begin (i) the agency has received a request for an environmental impact statement;
new text end

new text begin (ii) the project proposer or a person commenting on the proposal requests that the
declaration be made by the agency and the agency requests that it make the decision under
subdivision 8a; or
new text end

new text begin (iii) the commissioner is recommending preparation of an environmental impact
statement;
new text end

new text begin (3) the scope and adequacy of environmental impact statements;
new text end

new text begin (4) issuing, reissuing, modifying, or revoking a permit if:
new text end

new text begin (i) a variance is sought in the permit application or a contested case hearing request is
pending; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) the permit applicant, the permittee, or a person commenting on the permit action
requests that the decision be made by the agency and the agency requests that it make the
decision under subdivision 8a;
new text end

new text begin (5) final adoption or amendment of agency rules for which a public hearing is required
under section 14.25 or for which the commissioner decides to proceed directly to a public
hearing under section 14.14, subdivision 1;
new text end

new text begin (6) approving or denying an application for a variance from an agency rule if:
new text end

new text begin (i) granting the variance request would change an air, soil, or water quality standard;
new text end

new text begin (ii) the commissioner determines that granting the variance would have a significant
environmental impact; or
new text end

new text begin (iii) the applicant or a person commenting on the variance request requests that the
decision be made by the agency and the agency requests that it make the decision under
subdivision 8a; and
new text end

new text begin (7) whether to reopen, rescind, or reverse a decision of the agency.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7a. new text end

new text begin Additional decisions. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may request that the agency make
additional decisions or provide advice to the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8a. new text end

new text begin Other actions. new text end

new text begin (a) Any other action not specifically within the authority of
the commissioner must be made by the agency if:
new text end

new text begin (1) before the commissioner's final decision on the action, one or more members of the
agency notify the commissioner of their request that the decision be made by the agency;
or
new text end

new text begin (2) any person submits a petition to the commissioner requesting that the decision be
made by the agency and the commissioner grants the petition.
new text end

new text begin (b) If the commissioner denies a petition submitted under paragraph (a), clause (2), the
commissioner must advise the agency and the petitioner of the reasons for the denial.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9a. new text end

new text begin Informing public. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must inform interested persons as
appropriate in public notices and other public documents of their right to request the agency
to make decisions in specific matters according to subdivision 6a and the right of agency
members to request that decisions be made by the agency according to subdivision 8a. The
commissioner must regularly inform the agency of activities that have broad policy
implications or potential environmental significance and of activities in which the public
has exhibited substantial interest.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Changing decisions. new text end

new text begin (a) The agency must not reopen, rescind, or reverse a
decision of the agency except upon:
new text end

new text begin (1) the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the agency; or
new text end

new text begin (2) a finding that there was an irregularity in a hearing related to the decision, an error
of law, or a newly discovered material issue of fact.
new text end

new text begin (b) The requirements in paragraph (a) are minimum requirements and do not limit the
agency's authority under sections 14.06 and 116.07, subdivision 3, to adopt rules:
new text end

new text begin (1) applying the requirement in paragraph (a), clause (1) or (2), to certain decisions of
the agency; or
new text end

new text begin (2) establishing additional or more stringent requirements for reopening, rescinding, or
reversing decisions of the agency.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Office.

(a) The Office of Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency
is created and is under the supervision and control of the commissioner, who is appointed
by the governor under the provisions of section 15.06.

(b) The commissioner may appoint a deputy commissioner and assistant commissioners
who deleted text beginshall bedeleted text endnew text begin arenew text end in the unclassified service.

(c) The commissioner shall make all decisions on behalf of the agencynew text begin that are not
required to be made by the agency under section 116.02
new text end.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116.03, subdivision 2a, is amended to read:


Subd. 2a.

Mission; efficiency.

It is part of the agency's mission thatnew text begin,new text end within the agency's
resourcesnew text begin,new text end the commissioner new text beginand the members of the agency new text endshall endeavor to:

(1) prevent the waste or unnecessary spending of public money;

(2) use innovative fiscal and human resource practices to manage the state's resources
and operate the agency as efficiently as possible;

(3) coordinate the agency's activities wherever appropriate with the activities of other
governmental agencies;

(4) use technology where appropriate to increase agency productivity, improve customer
service, increase public access to information about government, and increase public
participation in the business of government;

(5) deleted text beginutilizedeleted text endnew text begin usenew text end constructive and cooperative labor-management practices to the extent
otherwise required by chapters 43A and 179A;

(6) report to the legislature on the performance of agency operations and the
accomplishment of agency goals in the agency's biennial budget according to section 16A.10,
subdivision 1
; and

(7) recommend to the legislature appropriate changes in law necessary to carry out the
mission and improve the performance of the agency.

Sec. 5. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Laws 2015, First Special Session chapter 4, article 4, section 149, new text end new text begin is repealed.
new text end

APPENDIX

Repealed Minnesota Session Laws: 19-1285

Laws 2015, First Special Session chapter 4, article 4, section 149

Sec. 149. new text beginREVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.new text end

new text begin The revisor of statutes shall prepare draft legislation to amend statutes to conform with structural changes to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under sections 114 to 117 and 150. The revisor shall submit the proposed legislation to the chairs of the house of representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over environment policy by January 1, 2016. new text end