language to be deleted (2) new language
Laws of Minnesota 1989 CHAPTER 346-S.F.No. 1083 An act relating to the environment; providing an exemption process from the power plant siting requirements for certain generating plants; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 116C.57, by adding a subdivision; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 116C.57, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: Subd. 5a. [EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN SITES.] (a) A utility or person may apply to the board in a form and manner prescribed by the board to exempt the construction at a proposed site of a proposed electric power generating plant with a capacity between 50 and 80 megawatts from the requirements of sections 116C.51 to 116C.69. Within 15 days of the board's receipt of an exemption application, the utility or person shall: (1) publish a notice and description of the exemption application in a legal newspaper of general circulation in the county of the proposed site; (2) send a copy of the exemption application by certified mail to the chief executive of counties, home rule charter and statutory cities, and organized towns within ten miles of the proposed site; and (3) mail to each owner whose property is part of or contiguous to the proposed site a notice and description of the exemption application, together with an understandable description of the procedures the owner must follow should the owner desire to object. (b) For the purpose of giving mailed notice under this subdivision, owners are the persons or entities shown on the tax records of the county auditor or, in a county where tax statements are mailed by the county treasurer, on the records of the county treasurer, but other appropriate records may be used to identify owners. Except for owners of tax exempt property or property taxed on a gross earnings basis, a property owner whose name does not appear on the records of the county auditor or the county treasurer is deemed to have waived the mailed notice unless the owner has requested in writing that the county auditor or county treasurer, as the case may be, include the owner's name on the records for that purpose. The failure to give mailed notice to a property owner or defects in the notice does not invalidate the proceedings, if a good faith effort is made to comply with this subdivision. (c) If a person who owns real property that is part of or contiguous to the proposed site or an affected political subdivision files an objection with the board within 60 days after the board receives an exemption application, the board must either deny the exemption application or conduct a public hearing to determine if the proposed electric power generating plant at the proposed site will cause any significant human or environmental impact. (d) The board shall require environmental review under chapter 116D to assist in making its determination regarding potential significant human and environmental impact. (e) If the board determines that the proposed plant has an electric power production capacity less than 80 megawatts and the proposed site will not have a significant human and environmental impact, the board may exempt the construction of the proposed plant at the proposed site from the requirements of sections 116C.51 to 116C.69 with any appropriate conditions. (f) If an exemption is granted, the utility or person must comply with applicable state rules, local zoning, building, and land use rules, regulations, and ordinances of any regional, county, local, and special purpose governments in which the facility is to be located. (g) The board may, by rule, require a fee to pay costs incurred in processing exemptions. An estimated cost for processing the exemption application must be discussed with the applicant and be approved by the board when an application is received. The applicant must remit 50 percent of the approved cost within 14 days of acceptance of the application. The balance is due within 30 days after receipt of an invoice from the board. Costs in excess of those approved must be certified by the board and charged to the applicant. Certification is prima facie evidence that the costs are reasonable and necessary. All money received pursuant to this subdivision must be deposited in a special account. Money in the account is appropriated to the board to pay expenses incurred in processing the application and in the event the expenses are less than the fee paid, to refund the excess to the applicant. Sec. 2. [116C.91] [DEFINITIONS.] Subdivision 1. [SCOPE.] As used in sections 2 to 6, the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them. Subd. 2. [BOARD.] "Board" means the environmental quality board. Subd. 3. [GENETIC ENGINEERING.] "Genetic engineering" means the introduction of new genetic material to an organism or the regrouping of an organism's genes using techniques or technology designed by humans. This does not include selective breeding, hybridization, or nondirected mutagenesis. Subd. 4. [GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ORGANISM.] "Genetically engineered organism" means an organism derived from genetic engineering. Subd. 5. [ORGANISM.] "Organism" means any animal, plant, bacterium, cyanobacterium, fungus, protist, or virus. Subd. 6. [RELEASE.] "Release" means the placement or use of a genetically engineered organism outside a contained laboratory, greenhouse, building, structure, or other similar facility or under any other conditions not specifically determined by the board to be adequately contained. Sec. 3. [116C.92] [COORDINATION OF ACTIVITIES.] The environmental quality board is designated the state coordinating organization for state and federal regulatory activities relating to genetically engineered organisms. Sec. 4. [116C.93] [ADVISORY COMMITTEE.] The board shall establish an advisory committee on genetically engineered organisms to provide advice at the request of the board on general issues involving genetic engineering and on issues relating to specific proposals, including the identification of research needed for adequate regulation of field trials. Sec. 5. [116C.94] [RULES.] The board shall adopt rules consistent with sections 2 to 6 that require an environmental assessment worksheet for a proposed release and a permit for a release. The rules shall provide that a permit from the board is not required if the proposer can demonstrate to the board that a significant environmental permit is required for the proposal by another state agency. The board shall consult with local units of government and with private citizens before adopting any rules. Sec. 6. [116C.95] [LIABILITY.] Rules established by the board under section 5 shall not affect liability under any other law or regulation for adverse effects resulting from activities relating to genetically engineered organisms. Sec. 7. [APPROPRIATION.] $55,000 is appropriated to the chair of the environmental quality board to administer sections 2 to 6 to be available until July 1, 1991. Presented to the governor May 30, 1989 Signed by the governor June 1, 1989, 11:06 p.m.