language to be deleted (2) new language
CHAPTER 289-S.F.No. 2652 An act relating to utilities; modifying electric power generating plant exemption from the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act; amending Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 116C.57, subdivision 5a. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 116C.57, subdivision 5a, is amended 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 from the requirements of sections 116C.51 to 116C.69 the construction at a proposed site: (1) 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; or (2) involving the retrofitting or repowering of an existing nuclear or primarily coal-fired power plant to primarily a gas-powered power plant or similar clean fuel. 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 or is being retrofitted or repowered as described in paragraph (a), 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. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] Section 1 is effective the day following final enactment. Presented to the governor March 24, 2000 Signed by the governor March 28, 2000, 2:32 p.m.