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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1747

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 02:23am

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to environment; modifying environmental review requirements;
exempting certain projects that are subject to standards from environmental
review; requiring project proposers to prepare environmental impact statements
and environmental assessment worksheets; amending Minnesota Statutes 2008,
sections 116D.04, subdivisions 2a, 2b, 3a, 6a, 10, by adding a subdivision;
116D.045.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116D.04, subdivision 2a, is amended to
read:


Subd. 2a.

When prepared.

Where there is potential for significant environmental
effects resulting from any major governmental actionnew text begin that is not subject to any
environmental quality standard, limitation, rule, order, license, stipulation agreement,
or permit issued by the federal government or by the Pollution Control Agency,
Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, or Department of Agriculture
new text end,
the action shall be preceded by a detailed environmental impact statement prepared by
the deleted text beginresponsible governmental unitdeleted text endnew text begin project proposernew text end. The environmental impact statement
shall be an analytical rather than an encyclopedic document which describes the proposed
action in detail, analyzes its significant environmental impacts, discusses appropriate
alternatives to the proposed action and their impacts, and explores methods by which
adverse environmental impacts of an action could be mitigated. The environmental
impact statement shall also analyze those economic, employment and sociological
effects that cannot be avoided should the action be implemented. To ensure its use in
the decision-making process, the environmental impact statement shall be prepared as
early as practical in the formulation of an action. No mandatory environmental impact
statement may be required for an ethanol plant, as defined in section 41A.09, subdivision
2a
, paragraph (b), that produces less than 125,000,000 gallons of ethanol annually and
is located outside of the seven-county metropolitan area.

(a) The board shall by rule establish categories of actions new text beginthat are not subject to any
environmental quality standard, limitation, rule, order, license, stipulation agreement,
or permit issued by the federal government or by the Pollution Control Agency, the
Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, or Department of Agriculture
new text endfor which environmental impact statements and for which environmental assessment
worksheets shall be prepared new text beginby the project proposer new text endas well as categories of actions for
which no environmental review is required under this section.

(b) The responsible governmental unit shall promptly publish notice of the
completion of an environmental assessment worksheet in a manner to be determined by
the board and shall provide copies of the environmental assessment worksheet to the board
and its member agencies. Comments on the need for an environmental impact statement
may be submitted to the responsible governmental unit during a 30 day period following
publication of the notice that an environmental assessment worksheet has been completed.
The responsible governmental unit's decision on the need for an environmental impact
statement shall be based on the environmental assessment worksheet and the comments
received during the comment period, and shall be made within 15 days after the close of
the comment period. The board's chair may extend the 15 day period by not more than 15
additional days upon the request of the responsible governmental unit.

(c) An environmental assessment worksheet shall also be prepared new text beginby the project
proposer
new text endfor a proposed action whenever material evidence accompanying a petition by
not less than 25 individuals, submitted before the proposed project has received final
approval by the appropriate governmental units, demonstrates that, because of the nature
or location of a proposed action, there may be potential for significant environmental
effectsnew text begin that are not subject to any environmental quality standard, limitation, rule, order,
license, stipulation agreement, or permit issued by the federal government or by the
Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, or
Department of Agriculture
new text end. Petitions requesting the preparation of an environmental
assessment worksheet shall be submitted to the board. The chair of the board shall
determine the appropriate responsible governmental unit and forward the petition to it.
A decision on the need for an environmental assessment worksheet shall be made by
the responsible governmental unit within 15 days after the petition is received by the
responsible governmental unit. The board's chair may extend the 15 day period by not
more than 15 additional days upon request of the responsible governmental unit.

(d) Except in an environmentally sensitive location where Minnesota Rules, part
4410.4300, subpart 29, item B, applies, the proposed action is exempt from environmental
review under this chapter and rules of the board, if:

(1) the proposed action is:

(i) an animal feedlot facility with a capacity of less than 1,000 animal units; or

(ii) an expansion of an existing animal feedlot facility with a total cumulative
capacity of less than 1,000 animal units;

(2) the application for the animal feedlot facility includes a written commitment by
the proposer to design, construct, and operate the facility in full compliance with Pollution
Control Agency feedlot rules; and

(3) the county board holds a public meeting for citizen input at least ten business
days prior to the Pollution Control Agency or county issuing a feedlot permit for the
animal feedlot facility unless another public meeting for citizen input has been held with
regard to the feedlot facility to be permitted. The exemption in this paragraph is in
addition to other exemptions provided under other law and rules of the board.

(e) The board may, prior to final approval of a proposed project, require deleted text beginpreparation
of
deleted text endnew text begin a project proposer to preparenew text end an environmental assessment worksheet new text beginreviewed new text endby a
responsible governmental unit selected by the board for any action new text beginthat is not subject to
any environmental quality standard, limitation, rule, order, license, stipulation agreement,
or permit issued by the federal government or by the Pollution Control Agency,
Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, or Department of Agriculture
new text endwhere environmental review under this section has not been specifically provided for by
rule or otherwise initiated.

(f) An early and open process shall be utilized to limit the scope of the environmental
impact statement to a discussion of those impacts, which, because of the nature or location
of the project, have the potential for significant environmental effects. The same process
shall be utilized to determine the form, content and level of detail of the statement as well
as the alternatives which are appropriate for consideration in the statement. In addition,
the permits which will be required for the proposed action shall be identified during the
scoping process. Further, the process shall identify those permits for which information
will be developed concurrently with the environmental impact statement. The board
shall provide in its rules for the expeditious completion of the scoping process. The
determinations reached in the process shall be incorporated into the order requiring the
preparation of an environmental impact statement.

(g) deleted text beginWhenever practical,deleted text end Information needed by a governmental unit for making final
decisions on permits or other actions required for a proposed project shall be new text begincollected,
reviewed, and
new text enddeveloped in conjunction with the preparation of an new text beginenvironmental
assessment worksheet or
new text endenvironmental impact statement.

(h) An environmental impact statement shall be prepared and its adequacy
determined within 280 days after notice of its preparation unless the time is extended
by consent of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text endnew text begin proposernew text end or by the governor for good cause. The responsible
governmental unit shall determine the adequacy of an environmental impact statement,
unless within 60 days after notice is published that an environmental impact statement
will be prepared, the board chooses to determine the adequacy of an environmental
impact statement. If an environmental impact statement is found to be inadequate, the
deleted text begin responsible governmental unitdeleted text endnew text begin project proposernew text end shall have 60 days to prepare an adequate
environmental impact statement.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116D.04, subdivision 2b, is amended to read:


Subd. 2b.

Project prerequisites.

If an environmental assessment worksheet or an
environmental impact statement is required for a governmental action under subdivision
2a, deleted text begina project may not be started and a final governmental decision may not be made to grant
a permit, approve a project, or begin a project,
deleted text endnew text begin construction must not commencenew text end until:

(1) a petition for an environmental assessment worksheet is dismissed;

(2) a negative declaration has been issued on the need for an environmental impact
statement;

(3) the environmental impact statement has been determined adequate; or

(4) a variance has been granted from making an environmental impact statement by
the environmental quality board.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116D.04, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 2c. new text end

new text begin Permits. new text end

new text begin (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, no person required
by statute or rule to obtain a permit from the Pollution Control Agency may operate the
facility to be permitted, nor shall a person commence an activity for which a permit from
the Pollution Control Agency is required by statute or rule until the Pollution Control
Agency has issued a written permit for the facility or activity.
new text end

new text begin (b) Except as otherwise provided by law, no person may discharge a pollutant from a
point source into the waters of the state without obtaining a national pollutant discharge
elimination system permit from the Pollution Control Agency.
new text end

new text begin (c) Except as otherwise provided by law, no person may construct, modify,
reconstruct, or operate an emissions unit, emission facility, or stationary source, except
in compliance with an air emission permit from the Pollution Control Agency. A person
violates this paragraph when the person begins actual construction of a new source,
reconstruction, or modification prior to obtaining the permit or amendment, except as
otherwise provided by law.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116D.04, subdivision 3a, is amended to read:


Subd. 3a.

Final decisions.

Within deleted text begin90deleted text endnew text begin 30new text end days after final approval of an
environmental impact statement, final decisions shall be made by the appropriate
governmental units on those permits which were identified as required and for
which information was deleted text begindevelopeddeleted text endnew text begin reviewednew text end concurrently with the preparation of the
environmental impact statement. Provided, however, that the deleted text begin90-daydeleted text endnew text begin 30-daynew text end period
may be extended where a longer period is required by federal law deleted text beginor state statutedeleted text end or is
consented to by the permit applicant. The permit decision shall include the reasons for
the decision, including any conditions under which the permit is issued, together with a
final order granting or denying the permit.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116D.04, subdivision 6a, is amended to read:


Subd. 6a.

Comments.

Prior to the preparation of a final environmental impact
statement, the governmental unit responsible for new text beginreviewing new text endthe statement shall consult
with and request the comments of every governmental office which has jurisdiction by
law or special expertise with respect to any environmental effect involvednew text begin that is not
subject to any environmental quality standard, limitation, rule, order, license, stipulation
agreement, or permit issued by the federal government or by the Pollution Control Agency,
Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, or Department of Agriculture
new text end.
Copies of the drafts of deleted text beginsuchdeleted text endnew text begin thenew text end statements and the comments and views of the appropriate
offices shall be made available to the public. The final detailed environmental impact
statement and the comments received thereon shall precede final decisions on the proposed
action and shall accompany the proposal through an administrative review process.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116D.04, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Review.

Decisions on the need for an environmental assessment
worksheet, the need for an environmental impact statement and the adequacy of an
environmental impact statement may be reviewed by deleted text begina declaratory judgment action in
the district court of the county wherein the proposed action, or any part thereof, would be
undertaken
deleted text endnew text begin the Court of Appeals under sections 14.63 to 14.68new text end. Judicial review under this
section shall be initiated within 30 days after the governmental unit makes the decision,
and a bond deleted text beginmaydeleted text endnew text begin shallnew text end be required under section 562.02 unless deleted text beginat the time of hearing on the
application for the bond
deleted text end the plaintiff has shown that the claim has sufficient possibility
of success on the merits to sustain the burden required for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the requirements
for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction pursuant to the Minnesota
Rules of Civil Procedure for district courts. The board may initiate judicial review of
decisions referred to herein and may intervene as of right in any proceeding brought
under this subdivision.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116D.045, is amended to read:


116D.045 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS; new text beginPROCEDURES
AND REVIEW
new text endCOSTS.

Subdivision 1.

deleted text beginAssessmentdeleted text endnew text begin Procedurenew text end.

The board shall by rule adopt procedures deleted text beginto
assess
deleted text endnew text begin fornew text end the proposer of a specific action deleted text beginfor reasonable costs of preparingdeleted text end new text begin to prepare new text endand
deleted text begin distributingdeleted text endnew text begin distributenew text end an environmental impact statement on that action required pursuant
to section 116D.04. deleted text beginSuch costs shall be determined by the responsible governmental unit
pursuant to the rules promulgated by the board.
deleted text end

deleted text begin Subd. 2. deleted text end

deleted text begin Modification. deleted text end

deleted text begin In the event of a disagreement between the proposer of the
action and the responsible governmental unit over the cost of an environmental impact
statement, the responsible governmental unit shall consult with the board, which may
modify the cost or determine that the cost assessed by the responsible governmental
unit is reasonable.
deleted text end

Subd. 3.

deleted text beginUse ofdeleted text end Assessmentnew text begin for review and distributionnew text end.

The responsible
governmental unit shall assess the project proposer for reasonable costs in deleted text beginpreparingdeleted text endnew text begin
reviewing
new text end and distributing the environmental impact statement and the proposer shall
pay the assessed cost to the responsible governmental unit. Money received under this
subdivision by a responsible governmental unit may be retained by the unit for the same
purposes. Money received by a state agency must be credited to a special account and is
appropriated to the agency to cover the assessed costs incurred.

Subd. 4.

deleted text beginPartialdeleted text end Cost to be paidnew text begin before permit is issuednew text end.

deleted text beginNo responsible
governmental unit shall commence the preparation of an environmental impact statement
until at least one-half of the assessed cost of the environmental impact statement is
paid pursuant to subdivision 3.
deleted text end Other laws notwithstanding, no state agency may issue
any permits for the construction or operation of a project for which an environmental
impact statement is prepared until the assessed cost for new text beginreview and distribution of new text endthe
environmental impact statement has been paid in full.