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

CHAPTER 150--S.F.No. 1567
An act
relating to environment; providing for permitting efficiency; modifying
environmental review requirements; modifying requirements for water
supply plans; modifying terms for certain permits; appropriating money;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, sections 41A.10, subdivision 1; 103G.291,
subdivisions 3, 4; 115.03, by adding a subdivision; 116.07, subdivision 4a, by
adding a subdivision; 116D.04, by adding a subdivision; 116J.035, by adding a
subdivision; Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, sections 84.027, subdivision
14a; 116.03, subdivision 2b; 116D.04, subdivision 2a.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1
PERMITTING

    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, section 84.027, subdivision 14a,
is amended to read:
    Subd. 14a. Permitting efficiency. (a) It is the goal of the state that environmental
and resource management permits be issued or denied within 150 days of the submission
of a substantially completed permit application. The commissioner of natural resources
shall establish management systems designed to achieve the goal.
(b) The commissioner shall prepare semiannual permitting efficiency reports that
include statistics on meeting the goal in paragraph (a). The reports are due February 1
and August 1 each year. For permit applications that have not met the goal, the report
must state the reasons for not meeting the goal, steps that will be taken to complete action
on the application, and the expected timeline. In stating the reasons for not meeting the
goal, the commissioner shall separately identify delays caused by the responsiveness of
the proposer, lack of staff, scientific or technical disagreements, or the level of public
engagement. The report must specify the number of days from initial submission of the
application to the day of determination that the application is complete. The report for
August 1 each year must aggregate the data for the year and assess whether program
or system changes are necessary to achieve the goal. The report must be posted on the
department's Web site and submitted to the governor and the chairs and ranking minority
members of the house of representatives and senate committees having jurisdiction over
natural resources policy and finance.
(c) The commissioner shall allow electronic submission of environmental review
and permit documents to the department.
(d) Beginning July 1, 2011, within 30 business days of application for a permit
subject to paragraph (a), the commissioner of natural resources shall notify the project
proposer, in writing, of whether or not the permit application is complete enough for
processing. If the permit is incomplete, the commissioner must identify where whether
the application is complete or incomplete. If the commissioner determines that an
application is incomplete, the notice to the applicant must enumerate all deficiencies exist,
citing specific provisions of the applicable rules and statutes, and advise the applicant
on how they the deficiencies can be remedied. A resubmittal of the application begins
a new 30-day review period. If the commissioner fails to notify the project proposer
of completeness within 30 business days, the application is deemed to be substantially
complete and subject to the 150-day permitting review period in paragraph (a) from the
date it was submitted. This paragraph does not apply to an application for a permit that is
subject to a grant or loan agreement under chapter 446A.

    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 103G.291, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
    Subd. 3. Water supply plans; demand reduction. (a) Every public water supplier
serving more than 1,000 people must submit a water supply plan to the commissioner
for approval by January 1, 1996. In accordance with guidelines developed by the
commissioner, the plan must address projected demands, adequacy of the water supply
system and planned improvements, existing and future water sources, natural resource
impacts or limitations, emergency preparedness, water conservation, supply and demand
reduction measures, and allocation priorities that are consistent with section 103G.261.
Public water suppliers must update their plan and, upon notification, submit it to the
commissioner for approval every ten years.
    (b) The water supply plan in paragraph (a) is required for all communities in the
metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, with a municipal water supply system
and is a required element of the local comprehensive plan required under section 473.859.
Water supply plans or updates submitted after December 31, 2008, must be consistent
with the metropolitan area master water supply plan required under section 473.1565,
subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2).
    (c) Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must employ encourage
water conservation by employing water use demand reduction measures, including a
conservation rate structure, as defined in subdivision 4, paragraph (a), unless exempted
under subdivision 4, paragraph (c), before requesting approval from the commissioner
of health under section 144.383, paragraph (a), to construct a public water supply well
or requesting an increase in the authorized volume of appropriation. Demand reduction
measures must include evaluation of conservation rate structures and a public education
program that may include a toilet and showerhead retrofit program. The commissioner
of natural resources and the water supplier shall use a collaborative process to achieve
demand reduction measures as a part of a water supply plan review process.
    (d) Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must submit records
that indicate the number of connections and amount of use by customer category and
volume of water unaccounted for with the annual report of water use required under
section 103G.281, subdivision 3.
    (e) For the purposes of this section, "public water supplier" means an entity
that owns, manages, or operates a public water supply, as defined in section 144.382,
subdivision 4
.

    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 103G.291, subdivision 4, is amended to read:
    Subd. 4. Conservation rate structure required Demand reduction measures.
    (a) For the purposes of this section, "demand reduction measures" means measures that
reduce water demand, water losses, peak water demands, and nonessential water uses.
Demand reduction measures must include a conservation rate structure, or a uniform rate
structure with a conservation program that achieves demand reduction. A "conservation
rate structure" means a rate structure that encourages conservation and may include
increasing block rates, seasonal rates, time of use rates, individualized goal rates, or excess
use rates. If a conservation rate is applied to multifamily dwellings, the rate structure must
consider each residential unit as an individual user in multiple-family dwellings.
    (b) To encourage conservation, a public water supplier serving more than 1,000
people in the metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, shall use
a conservation rate structure by January 1, 2010. All remaining public water suppliers
serving more than 1,000 people shall use a conservation rate structure must implement
demand reduction measures by January 1, 2013 2015.
    (c) A public water supplier without the proper measuring equipment to track the
amount of water used by its users, as of July 1, 2008, is exempt from this subdivision and
the conservation rate structure requirement under subdivision 3, paragraph (c).

    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 115.03, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:
    Subd. 8b. Permit duration; state disposal system permits; feedlots. State
disposal system permits that are issued without a national pollutant discharge elimination
system permit to feedlots shall be issued for a term of ten years. A feedlot with a permit
under this subdivision is required to be in compliance with agency rules. A facility or
operation change may require a permit modification if required under agency rules.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

    Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, section 116.03, subdivision 2b, is
amended to read:
    Subd. 2b. Permitting efficiency. (a) It is the goal of the state that environmental and
resource management permits be issued or denied within 150 days of the submission of a
substantially completed permit application. The commissioner of the Pollution Control
Agency shall establish management systems designed to achieve the goal.
(b) The commissioner shall prepare semiannual permitting efficiency reports that
include statistics on meeting the goal in paragraph (a). The reports are due February 1
and August 1 each year. For permit applications that have not met the goal, the report
must state the reasons for not meeting the goal, steps that will be taken to complete action
on the application, and the expected timeline. In stating the reasons for not meeting the
goal, the commissioner shall separately identify delays caused by the responsiveness of
the proposer, lack of staff, scientific or technical disagreements, or the level of public
engagement. The report must specify the number of days from initial submission of the
application to the day of determination that the application is complete. The report for
August 1 each year must aggregate the data for the year and assess whether program
or system changes are necessary to achieve the goal. The report must be posted on the
agency's Web site and submitted to the governor and the chairs and ranking minority
members of the house of representatives and senate committees having jurisdiction over
environment policy and finance.
(c) The commissioner shall allow electronic submission of environmental review
and permit documents to the agency.
(d) Beginning July 1, 2011, within 30 business days of application for a permit
subject to paragraph (a), the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency shall notify
the project proposer, in writing, of whether or not the permit application is complete
enough for processing. If the permit is incomplete, the commissioner must identify where
whether the application is complete or incomplete. If the commissioner determines that an
application is incomplete, the notice to the applicant must enumerate all deficiencies exist,
citing specific provisions of the applicable rules and statutes, and advise the applicant
on how they the deficiencies can be remedied. A resubmittal of the application begins
a new 30-day review period. If the commissioner fails to notify the project proposer
of completeness within 30 business days, the application is deemed to be substantially
complete and subject to the 150-day permitting review period in paragraph (a) from the
date it was submitted. This paragraph does not apply to an application for a permit that is
subject to a grant or loan agreement under chapter 446A.
(e) For purposes of this subdivision, "permit professional" means an individual not
employed by the Pollution Control Agency who:
(1) has a professional license issued by the state of Minnesota in the subject area
of the permit;
(2) has at least ten years of experience in the subject area of the permit; and
(3) abides by the duty of candor applicable to employees of the Pollution Control
Agency under agency rules and complies with all applicable requirements under chapter
326.
(f) Upon the agency's request, an applicant relying on a permit professional must
participate in a meeting with the agency before submitting an application:
(1) at least two weeks prior to the preapplication meeting, the applicant must submit
at least the following:
(i) project description, including, but not limited to, scope of work, primary
emissions points, discharge outfalls, and water intake points;
(ii) location of the project, including county, municipality, and location on the site;
(iii) business schedule for project completion; and
(iv) other information requested by the agency at least four weeks prior to the
scheduled meeting; and
    (2) during the preapplication meeting, the agency shall provide for the applicant at
least the following:
(i) an overview of the permit review program;
(ii) a determination of which specific application or applications will be necessary
to complete the project;
(iii) a statement notifying the applicant if the specific permit being sought requires a
mandatory public hearing or comment period;
(iv) a review of the timetable established in the permit review program for the
specific permit being sought; and
(v) a determination of what information must be included in the application,
including a description of any required modeling or testing.
(g) The applicant may select a permit professional to undertake the preparation
of the permit application and draft permit.
(h) If a preapplication meeting was held, the agency shall, within seven business
days of receipt of an application, notify the applicant and submitting permit professional
that the application is complete or is denied, specifying the deficiencies of the application.
(i) Upon receipt of notice that the application is complete, the permit professional
shall submit to the agency a timetable for submitting a draft permit. The permit
professional shall submit a draft permit on or before the date provided in the timetable.
Within 60 days after the close of the public comment period, the commissioner shall notify
the applicant whether the permit can be issued.
(j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify:
(1) any requirement of law that is necessary to retain federal delegation to or
assumption by the state; or
(2) the authority to implement a federal law or program.
(k) The permit application and draft permit shall identify or include as an appendix
all studies and other sources of information used to substantiate the analysis contained in
the permit application and draft permit. The commissioner shall request additional studies,
if needed, and the project proposer shall submit all additional studies and information
necessary for the commissioner to perform the commissioner's responsibility to review,
modify, and determine the completeness of the application and approve the draft permit.

    Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 116.07, subdivision 4a, is amended to read:
    Subd. 4a. Permits. (a) The Pollution Control Agency may issue, continue in
effect or deny permits, under such conditions as it may prescribe for the prevention of
pollution, for the emission of air contaminants, or for the installation or operation of
any emission facility, air contaminant treatment facility, treatment facility, potential air
contaminant storage facility, or storage facility, or any part thereof, or for the sources
or emissions of noise pollution.
    The Pollution Control Agency may also issue, continue in effect or deny permits,
under such conditions as it may prescribe for the prevention of pollution, for the storage,
collection, transportation, processing, or disposal of waste, or for the installation or
operation of any system or facility, or any part thereof, related to the storage, collection,
transportation, processing, or disposal of waste.
    The agency may not issue a permit to a facility without analyzing and considering
the cumulative levels and effects of past and current environmental pollution from all
sources on the environment and residents of the geographic area within which the facility's
emissions are likely to be deposited, provided that the facility is located in a community in
a city of the first class in Hennepin County that meets all of the following conditions:
    (1) is within a half mile of a site designated by the federal government as an EPA
superfund site due to residential arsenic contamination;
    (2) a majority of the population are low-income persons of color and American
Indians;
    (3) a disproportionate percent of the children have childhood lead poisoning, asthma,
or other environmentally related health problems;
    (4) is located in a city that has experienced numerous air quality alert days of
dangerous air quality for sensitive populations between February 2007 and February
2008; and
    (5) is located near the junctions of several heavily trafficked state and county
highways and two one-way streets which carry both truck and auto traffic.
    The Pollution Control Agency may revoke or modify any permit issued under this
subdivision and section 116.081 whenever it is necessary, in the opinion of the agency, to
prevent or abate pollution.
    (b) The Pollution Control Agency has the authority for approval over the siting,
expansion, or operation of a solid waste facility with regard to environmental issues.
However, the agency's issuance of a permit does not release the permittee from any
liability, penalty, or duty imposed by any applicable county ordinances. Nothing in this
chapter precludes, or shall be construed to preclude, a county from enforcing land use
controls, regulations, and ordinances existing at the time of the permit application and
adopted pursuant to sections 366.10 to 366.181, 394.21 to 394.37, or 462.351 to 462.365,
with regard to the siting, expansion, or operation of a solid waste facility.
(c) Except as prohibited by federal law, a person may commence construction,
reconstruction, replacement, or modification of any facility prior to the issuance of a
construction permit by the agency.

    Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 116.07, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:
    Subd. 7e. Manure digester permits. Except for areas within the metropolitan area,
as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, or within cities of the first or second class,
an air emission permit is not required for a manure digester and associated electrical
generation equipment that process manure from the farm or provide for backup power for
the farm.

    Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 116J.035, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:
    Subd. 8. Minnesota Business First Stop. (a) The commissioner of employment and
economic development shall, through the multiagency collaboration called "Minnesota
Business First Stop," ensure the coordination, implementation, and administration of
state permits, including:
(1) establishing a mechanism in state government that will coordinate administrative
decision-making procedures and related quasijudicial and judicial review pertaining to
permits related to the state's air, land, and water resources;
(2) providing coordination and understanding between federal, state, and local
governmental units in the administration of the various programs relating to air, water,
and land resources;
(3) identifying all existing state permits and other approvals, compliance schedules,
or other programs that pertain to the use of natural resources and protection of the
environment; and
(4) recommending legislative or administrative modifications to existing permit
programs to increase their efficiency and utility.
(b) A person proposing a project may apply to Minnesota Business First Stop for
assistance in obtaining necessary state permits and other approvals. Upon request, the
commissioner shall to the extent practicable:
(1) provide a list of all federal, state, and local permits and other required approvals
for the project;
(2) provide a plan that will coordinate federal, state, and local administrative
decision-making practices, including monitoring, analysis and reporting, public comments
and hearings, and issuances of permits and approvals;
(3) provide a timeline for the issuance of all federal, state, and local permits and
other approvals required for the project;
(4) coordinate the execution of any memorandum of understanding between the
person proposing a project and any federal, state, or local agency;
(5) coordinate all federal, state, or local public comment periods and hearings; and
(6) provide other assistance requested to facilitate final approval and issuance of all
federal, state, and local permits and other approvals required for the project.
(c) Notwithstanding section 16A.1283, as necessary, the commissioner may
negotiate a schedule to assess the project proposer for reasonable costs that any state
agency incurs in coordinating the implementation and administration of state permits, and
the proposer shall pay the assessed costs to the commissioner. Money received by the
environmental permits coordinator must be credited to an account in the special revenue
fund and is appropriated to the commissioner to cover the assessed costs incurred.
(d) The coordination of implementation and administration of state permits is not
governmental action under section 116D.04.

ARTICLE 2
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 41A.10, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
    Subdivision 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section and section 103F.518,
the terms defined in this subdivision have the meanings given them.
    (a) "Cellulosic biofuel" means transportation fuel derived from cellulosic materials.
    (b) "Cellulosic material" means an agricultural or wood feedstock primarily
comprised of cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin or a combination of those ingredients
grown on agricultural lands or harvested on timber lands.
    (c) "Agricultural land" means land used for horticultural, row, close grown, pasture,
and hayland crops; growing nursery stocks; animal feedlots; farm yards; associated
building sites; and public and private drainage systems and field roads located on any of
that land.
    (d) "Cellulosic biofuel facility" means a facility at which cellulosic biofuel is
produced.
    (e) "Perennial crops" means agriculturally produced plants that have a life cycle of at
least three years at the location where the plants are being cultivated.
    (f) "Perennial cropping system" means an agricultural production system that
utilizes a perennial crop.
    (g) "Native species" means a plant species which was present in a defined area of
Minnesota prior to European settlement (circa 1850). A defined area may be an ecological
classification province. Wild-type varieties therefore are regional or local ecotypes that
have not undergone a selection process.
    (h) "Diverse native prairie" means a prairie planted from a mix of local Minnesota
native prairie species. A selection from all available native prairie species may be made so
as to match species appropriate to local site conditions.
    (i) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture.

    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, section 116D.04, subdivision 2a, is
amended to read:
    Subd. 2a. When prepared. Where there is potential for significant environmental
effects resulting from any major governmental action, the action shall be preceded by a
detailed environmental impact statement prepared by the responsible governmental unit.
The environmental impact statement shall be an analytical rather than an encyclopedic
document which describes the proposed action in detail, analyzes its significant
environmental impacts, discusses appropriate alternatives to the proposed action and
their impacts, and explores methods by which adverse environmental impacts of an
action could be mitigated. The environmental impact statement shall also analyze those
economic, employment and sociological effects that cannot be avoided should the action
be implemented. To ensure its use in the decision-making process, the environmental
impact statement shall be prepared as early as practical in the formulation of an action.
No mandatory environmental impact statement may be required for an ethanol plant,
as defined in section 41A.09, subdivision 2a, paragraph (b), that produces less than
125,000,000 gallons of ethanol annually and is located outside of the seven-county
metropolitan area.
    (a) The board shall by rule establish categories of actions for which environmental
impact statements and for which environmental assessment worksheets shall be prepared
as well as categories of actions for which no environmental review is required under this
section. A mandatory environmental assessment worksheet shall not be required for the
expansion of an ethanol plant, as defined in section 41A.09, subdivision 2a, paragraph
(b), or the conversion of an ethanol plant to a biobutanol facility or the expansion of a
biobutanol facility as defined in section 41A.105, subdivision 1a, based on the capacity
of the expanded or converted facility to produce alcohol fuel, but must be required if
the ethanol plant or biobutanol facility meets or exceeds thresholds of other categories
of actions for which environmental assessment worksheets must be prepared. The
responsible governmental unit for an ethanol plant or biobutanol facility project for which
an environmental assessment worksheet is prepared shall be the state agency with the
greatest responsibility for supervising or approving the project as a whole.
A mandatory environmental impact statement shall not be required for a facility
or plant located outside the seven-county metropolitan area that produces less than
125,000,000 gallons of ethanol, biobutanol, or cellulosic biofuel annually, if the facility
or plant is: an ethanol plant, as defined in section 41A.09, subdivision 2a, paragraph
(b); a biobutanol facility, as defined in section 41A.105, subdivision 1a, clause (1); or a
cellulosic biofuel facility, as defined in section 41A.10, subdivision 1, paragraph (d).
    (b) The responsible governmental unit shall promptly publish notice of the
completion of an environmental assessment worksheet in a manner to be determined by
the board and shall provide copies of the environmental assessment worksheet to the board
and its member agencies. Comments on the need for an environmental impact statement
may be submitted to the responsible governmental unit during a 30-day period following
publication of the notice that an environmental assessment worksheet has been completed.
The responsible governmental unit's decision on the need for an environmental impact
statement shall be based on the environmental assessment worksheet and the comments
received during the comment period, and shall be made within 15 days after the close of
the comment period. The board's chair may extend the 15-day period by not more than 15
additional days upon the request of the responsible governmental unit.
    (c) An environmental assessment worksheet shall also be prepared for a proposed
action whenever material evidence accompanying a petition by not less than 100
individuals who reside or own property in the state, submitted before the proposed
project has received final approval by the appropriate governmental units, demonstrates
that, because of the nature or location of a proposed action, there may be potential for
significant environmental effects. Petitions requesting the preparation of an environmental
assessment worksheet shall be submitted to the board. The chair of the board shall
determine the appropriate responsible governmental unit and forward the petition to it.
A decision on the need for an environmental assessment worksheet shall be made by
the responsible governmental unit within 15 days after the petition is received by the
responsible governmental unit. The board's chair may extend the 15-day period by not
more than 15 additional days upon request of the responsible governmental unit.
    (d) Except in an environmentally sensitive location where Minnesota Rules, part
4410.4300, subpart 29, item B, applies, the proposed action is exempt from environmental
review under this chapter and rules of the board, if:
    (1) the proposed action is:
    (i) an animal feedlot facility with a capacity of less than 1,000 animal units; or
    (ii) an expansion of an existing animal feedlot facility with a total cumulative
capacity of less than 1,000 animal units;
    (2) the application for the animal feedlot facility includes a written commitment by
the proposer to design, construct, and operate the facility in full compliance with Pollution
Control Agency feedlot rules; and
    (3) the county board holds a public meeting for citizen input at least ten business
days prior to the Pollution Control Agency or county issuing a feedlot permit for the
animal feedlot facility unless another public meeting for citizen input has been held with
regard to the feedlot facility to be permitted. The exemption in this paragraph is in
addition to other exemptions provided under other law and rules of the board.
    (e) The board may, prior to final approval of a proposed project, require preparation
of an environmental assessment worksheet by a responsible governmental unit selected
by the board for any action where environmental review under this section has not been
specifically provided for by rule or otherwise initiated.
    (f) An early and open process shall be utilized to limit the scope of the environmental
impact statement to a discussion of those impacts, which, because of the nature or location
of the project, have the potential for significant environmental effects. The same process
shall be utilized to determine the form, content and level of detail of the statement as well
as the alternatives which are appropriate for consideration in the statement. In addition,
the permits which will be required for the proposed action shall be identified during the
scoping process. Further, the process shall identify those permits for which information
will be developed concurrently with the environmental impact statement. The board
shall provide in its rules for the expeditious completion of the scoping process. The
determinations reached in the process shall be incorporated into the order requiring the
preparation of an environmental impact statement.
    (g) The responsible governmental unit shall, to the extent practicable, avoid
duplication and ensure coordination between state and federal environmental review
and between environmental review and environmental permitting. Whenever practical,
information needed by a governmental unit for making final decisions on permits
or other actions required for a proposed project shall be developed in conjunction
with the preparation of an environmental impact statement. When an environmental
impact statement is prepared for a project requiring multiple permits for which two or
more agencies' decision processes include either mandatory or discretionary hearings
before a hearing officer prior to the agencies' decision on the permit, the agencies
may, notwithstanding any law or rule to the contrary, conduct the hearings in a single
consolidated hearing process if requested by the proposer. All agencies having jurisdiction
over a permit that is included in the consolidated hearing shall participate. The responsible
governmental unit shall establish appropriate procedures for the consolidated hearing
process, including procedures to ensure that the consolidated hearing process is consistent
with the applicable requirements for each permit regarding the rights and duties of parties
to the hearing, and shall utilize the earliest applicable hearing procedure to initiate the
hearing. The procedures of section 116C.28, subdivision 2, apply to the consolidated
hearing.
    (h) An environmental impact statement shall be prepared and its adequacy
determined within 280 days after notice of its preparation unless the time is extended by
consent of the parties or by the governor for good cause. The responsible governmental
unit shall determine the adequacy of an environmental impact statement, unless within 60
days after notice is published that an environmental impact statement will be prepared,
the board chooses to determine the adequacy of an environmental impact statement. If an
environmental impact statement is found to be inadequate, the responsible governmental
unit shall have 60 days to prepare an adequate environmental impact statement.
    (i) The proposer of a specific action may include in the information submitted to the
responsible governmental unit a preliminary draft environmental impact statement under
this section on that action for review, modification, and determination of completeness and
adequacy by the responsible governmental unit. A preliminary draft environmental impact
statement prepared by the project proposer and submitted to the responsible governmental
unit shall identify or include as an appendix all studies and other sources of information
used to substantiate the analysis contained in the preliminary draft environmental impact
statement. The responsible governmental unit shall require additional studies, if needed,
and obtain from the project proposer all additional studies and information necessary for
the responsible governmental unit to perform its responsibility to review, modify, and
determine the completeness and adequacy of the environmental impact statement.

    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 116D.04, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:
    Subd. 5b. Review of environmental assessment worksheets and environmental
impact statements. By December 1, 2012, and every five years thereafter, the
Environmental Quality Board, Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural
Resources, and Department of Transportation, after consultation with political
subdivisions, shall submit to the governor and the chairs of the house of representatives
and senate committees having jurisdiction over environment and natural resources a list of
mandatory environmental assessment worksheet and mandatory environmental impact
statement categories for which the agency or a political subdivision is designated as the
responsible government unit, and for each worksheet or statement category, a document
including:
(1) intended historical purposes of the category;
(2) whether projects that fall within the category are also subject to local, state, or
federal permits; and
(3) an analysis of whether the mandatory category should be modified, eliminated,
or unchanged based on its relationship to existing permits or other federal, state, or local
laws or ordinances.

    Sec. 4. PILOT PROGRAM FOR ALTERNATIVE FORM OF
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW.
(a) The commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency and the commissioner
of natural resources may jointly conduct a pilot program for an alternative form of
environmental review as specified in this section. This pilot program is in addition to the
alternate forms of environmental review that are authorized under Minnesota Statutes,
section 116D.04, subdivision 4a. Minnesota Rules, part 4410.3600, does not apply to the
pilot program authorized in this section.
(b) The commissioners may select up to three projects to be processed under the
pilot program. The environmental review work for each project must commence before
January 1, 2014, to remain eligible for proceeding under this program.
(c) The pilot program procedures are as follows:
(1) an environmental assessment worksheet is not required;
(2) a scoping document must be prepared that identifies the issues to be analyzed,
the alternatives to be considered, and the studies to be undertaken. The scoping document
results must be published at the same time as the notice of preparation of the pilot program
impact statement;
(3) any person may submit written comments within 20 days of publication of
the notice for preparation of the pilot program impact statement. The responsible
governmental unit must consider modifying the scope of the project based on the
comments;
(4) the pilot program impact statement must be an analytical, rather than an
encyclopedic, document that describes the proposed action in detail, analyzes the
action's significant environmental impacts, discusses appropriate alternatives to the
proposed action and the alternatives' impacts, and explores methods by which adverse
environmental impacts of an action could be mitigated. The pilot program impact
statement must also analyze those economic, employment, and sociological effects that
cannot be avoided should the action be implemented;
(5) if an impact analysis is needed for permitting, the impact analysis may be
summarized for inclusion in the draft pilot program impact statement rather than the full
modeling and analysis being contained within the draft pilot program impact statement.
An impact analysis must identify the regulatory requirements, types of impact, and
mitigation methods; and
(6) the responsible governmental unit must follow the procedural notice requirements
for a draft environmental impact statement, final environmental impact statement, and
notice of determination of adequacy for an environmental impact statement.
(d) A project proposed to be processed under the pilot program must meet all of the
following criteria:
(1) the project meets or exceeds the threshold of a project requiring a mandatory
environmental impact statement, or the project proposer and the responsible governmental
unit agree to prepare a pilot program impact statement;
(2) if a combustion source, other than an internal combustion engine, is part of the
project, natural gas is the only fuel that may supply the burners;
(3) the project does not have any known projected drawdown effect on private wells;
(4) Class I air modeling demonstrates that the project will not cause adverse
impacts; and
(5) the project is subject to Code of Federal Regulations, title 40, section 52.21, and
the reviews required for a PSD (prevention of significant deterioration) permit, including
control technology, ambient air, and Class I area impact analysis.
(e) A project may not be processed under the pilot program if the project:
(1) requires a federal environmental impact statement;
(2) is for mining metallic minerals by open pit or underground methods or is a new
facility for processing metallic minerals mined by open pit or underground methods;
(3) is for mining nonferrous metallic minerals or is a new facility for processing
nonferrous metallic minerals;
(4) combusts solid waste or hazardous waste;
(5) is located in a karst area; or
(6) would result in a direct discharge of process water to surface water.
(f) For the selected projects, the responsible governmental unit must prepare the
pilot program impact statement according to this section. Notwithstanding Minnesota
Statutes, section 116D.04, subdivision 2a, paragraph (i), the proposers of the specific
project selected for the pilot program may not prepare or submit a preliminary draft pilot
program impact statement.
(g) Minnesota Statutes, sections 116D.04, subdivisions 2b and 10, and 116D.045,
apply to the pilot program under this section.
(h) By January 15, 2016, the commissioners shall report to the Environmental
Quality Board on the outcomes of the pilot program and include any recommendations for
statute or rule changes.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Presented to the governor March 29, 2012
Signed by the governor April 2, 2012, 12:32 p.m.

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