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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1991 

                        CHAPTER 224-H.F.No. 236 
           An act relating to eminent domain; allowing entry onto 
          land for environmental testing before beginning 
          eminent domain proceedings; providing for findings 
          regarding the cost of removal and remedial actions 
          relating to environmental contamination; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 117.041; and 117.085.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 117.041, is 
amended to read: 
    117.041 [ENTRY FOR SURVEYS SURVEY OR ENVIRONMENTAL 
TESTING.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SURVEYS.] For the purpose of making 
surveys and examinations relative to any proceedings under this 
chapter, it shall be lawful to enter upon any land, doing no 
unnecessary damage.  
    Subd. 2.  [ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING BEFORE EMINENT DOMAIN 
PROCEEDINGS.] (a) A state agency by order of the commissioner or 
a political subdivision by resolution may enter property for 
purposes of investigation, monitoring, testing, surveying, 
boring, or other similar activities necessary or appropriate to 
identify the existence and extent of a release or threat of 
release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant if:  
    (1) the state agency or political subdivision has reason to 
believe that acquisition of the property may be required 
pursuant to eminent domain proceedings; 
    (2) the state agency or political subdivision has reason to 
believe that a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant is 
present on the property or the release of a hazardous substance, 
pollutant, or contaminant may have occurred or is likely to 
occur on the property; and 
    (3) entry on the property for environmental testing is 
rationally related to health, safety, or welfare concerns of the 
state agency or political subdivision in connection with 
possible eminent domain proceedings. 
    (b) At least ten days before entering the property, the 
state agency or political subdivision must serve notice on the 
property owner requesting permission to enter the property, 
stating the approximate time and purpose of the entry, and 
giving the owner the option of refusing entry.  The notice shall 
also give the owner the option of requesting an equal amount of 
any sample or portion taken from the property and a copy of any 
data obtained or report issued.  If the property owner refuses 
to consent to the entry, the state agency or political 
subdivision must apply for a court order authorizing the entry 
and the removal of any sample or portion from the property, 
giving notice of the court order to the property owner.  The 
court shall issue an order if the state agency or political 
subdivision meets the standards in paragraph (a).  Notices under 
this paragraph must be served in the same manner as a summons in 
a civil action.  
    (c) The state agency or political subdivision must do no 
unnecessary damage to the property and shall restore the 
property to substantially the same condition in which it was 
found.  If the state agency or political subdivision removes a 
sample or portion of the property for investigation, monitoring, 
or testing, or obtains any data or issues any report, it must 
give the property owner an equal amount of the sample or portion 
and a copy of any data or report, if requested by the property 
owner, and must permit the property owner to perform independent 
investigation, monitoring, or testing of the sample or portion. 
    (d) The results of testing performed under paragraph (a) 
must be included in any environmental assessment worksheet or 
environmental impact statement that the state agency or 
political subdivision is required to prepare under chapter 116D. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 117.085, is 
amended to read: 
    117.085 [COMMISSIONERS, POWERS, DUTIES.] 
    The commissioners, having been duly sworn and qualified 
according to law, shall meet as directed by the order of 
appointment and hear the allegations and proofs of all persons 
interested touching the matters to them committed.  They may 
adjourn from time to time and from place to place within the 
county, giving oral notice to those present of the time and 
place of their next meeting.  All testimony taken by them shall 
be given publicly, under oath, and in their presence.  They 
shall view the premises, and any of them may subpoena witnesses, 
which shall be served as subpoenas in civil actions are served, 
and at the cost of the parties applying therefor.  If deemed 
necessary, they may require the petitioner or owner to furnish 
for their use maps, plats, and other information which the 
petitioner or owner may have showing the nature, character, and 
extent of the proposed undertaking and the situation of lands 
desired therefor.  In proper cases they may reserve to the owner 
a right of way or other privilege in or over the land taken, or 
attach reasonable conditions to such taking in addition to the 
damages given or they may make an alternative award, conditioned 
upon the granting or withholding of the right specified.  
Without unreasonable delay they shall make a separate assessment 
and award of the damages which in their judgment will result to 
each of the owners of the land by reason of such taking and 
report the same to the court.  The commissioners, in all such 
proceedings, may in their discretion allow and show separately 
in addition to the award of damages, reasonable appraisal fees 
not to exceed a total of $500.  Upon request of an owner the 
commissioners shall show in their report the amount of the award 
of damages which is to reimburse the owner and tenant or lessee 
for the value of the land taken, and the amount of the award of 
damages, if any, which is to reimburse the owner and tenant or 
lessee for damages to the remainder involved, whether or not 
described in the petition.  The amounts awarded to each person 
shall also be shown separately.  The commissioners shall, if 
requested by any party, make an express finding of the estimated 
cost of removal and remedial actions that will be necessary on 
the taken property because of existing environmental 
contamination. 
    Presented to the governor May 24, 1991 
    Signed by the governor May 28, 1991, 9:56 p.m.