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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1479

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/21/2019 02:14pm

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 external peer review requirements for certain
standards; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 115.035.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 115.035, is amended to read:


115.035 EXTERNAL PEER REVIEW OF WATER QUALITY STANDARDS.

(a) deleted text beginWhen the commissioner convenes an external peer review panel during the
promulgation or amendment of water quality standards, the commissioner must provide
notice and take public comment on the charge questions for the external peer review panel
and must allow written and oral public comment as part of the external peer review panel
process.
deleted text end new text beginEvery new or revised numeric water quality standard must be supported by a
technical support document that provides the scientific basis for the proposed standard and
that has undergone external, scientific peer review. Numeric water quality standards in
which the agency is adopting, without change, a United States Environmental Protection
Agency criterion that has been through peer review are not subject to this paragraph.
new text end Documentation of the external peer review deleted text beginpaneldeleted text end, including the name or names of the peer
reviewer or reviewers, must be included in the statement of need and reasonableness for
the water quality standard. deleted text beginIf the commissioner does not convene an external peer review
panel during the promulgation or amendment of water quality standards, the commissioner
must state the reason an external peer review panel will not be convened in the statement
of need and reasonableness.
deleted text end

new text begin (b) Every technical support document that is subject to this section and developed by
the agency must be released in draft form for public comment before peer review and again
before finalizing the technical support document.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner must provide public notice and information about the external
peer review through the request for comments published at the beginning of the rulemaking
process for the numeric water quality standard, and:
new text end

new text begin (1) the request for comments must identify the draft technical support document and
where the document can be found;
new text end

new text begin (2) the request for comments must include a proposed charge for the external peer review
and request comments on the charge;
new text end

new text begin (3) all comments received during the public comment period must be made available to
the external peer reviewers; and
new text end

new text begin (4) if the agency is not soliciting external peer review because the agency is adopting a
United States Environmental Protection Agency criterion without change, that must be
noted in the request for comments.
new text end

new text begin (d) The purpose of the external peer review is to evaluate whether the technical support
document and proposed standard are based on sound scientific knowledge, methods, and
practices. The external peer review must be conducted according to the guidance in the
most recent edition of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Peer Review
Handbook. Peer reviewers must not have participated in developing the scientific basis of
the standard. Peer reviewers must disclose any activities or circumstances that could pose
a conflict of interest or create an appearance of loss of impartiality that could interfere with
an objective review.
new text end

new text begin (e) The type of review and the number of peer reviewers depend on the nature of the
science underlying the standard. When the agency is developing significant new science or
science that expands significantly beyond current documented scientific practices or
principles, a panel review must be used.
new text end

new text begin (f) In response to the findings of the external peer review, the draft technical support
document must be revised as appropriate. The findings of the external peer review must be
documented and attached to the final technical support document, which must be an exhibit
as part of the statement of need and reasonableness in the rulemaking to adopt the new or
revised numeric water quality standard. The final technical support document must note
changes made in response to the external peer review.
new text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (g)new text end By December 15 each year, the commissioner shall post on the agency's website
a report identifying the water quality standards development work in progress or completed
in the past year, the lead agency scientist for each development effort, and opportunities for
public input.