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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) 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.