No large electric power generating plant may be located in any of the following areas:
national historic sites and landmarks;
national historic districts;
national wildlife refuges;
national wild, scenic, and recreational riverways;
state wild, scenic, and recreational rivers and their land use districts;
nature conservancy preserves;
state scientific and natural areas; and
state and national wilderness areas.
The areas identified in subpart 1 must not be permitted as a site for a large electric power generating plant except for use for water intake or discharge facilities. If the commission includes any of these areas within a site for use for water intake or discharge facilities, it may impose appropriate conditions in the site permit to protect these areas for the purposes for which they were designated. The commission shall also consider the adverse effects of proposed sites on these areas which are located wholly outside of the boundaries of these areas.
No large electric power generating plant may be located in any of the following areas unless there is no feasible and prudent alternative. Economic considerations alone do not justify approval of these areas. These areas are:
state registered historic sites;
state historic districts;
state wildlife management areas, except in cases where the plant cooling water is to be used for wildlife management purposes;
designated state and federal recreational trails;
designated trout streams; and
No large electric power generating plant site may be permitted where the developed portion of the plant site, excluding water storage reservoirs and cooling ponds, includes more than 0.5 acres of prime farmland per megawatt of net generating capacity, or where makeup water storage reservoir or cooling pond facilities include more than 0.5 acres of prime farmland per megawatt of net generating capacity, unless there is no feasible and prudent alternative. Economic considerations alone do not justify the use of more prime farmland. "Prime farmland" means those soils that meet the specifications of Code of Federal Regulations 1980, title 7, section 657.5, paragraph (a). These provisions do not apply to areas located within home rule charter or statutory cities; areas located within two miles of home rule charter or statutory cities of the first, second, and third class; or areas designated for orderly annexation under Minnesota Statutes, section 414.0325.
No site may be designated that does not have reasonable access to a proven water supply sufficient for plant operation. No use of groundwater may be permitted where removal of groundwater results in material adverse effects on groundwater, groundwater dependent natural resources, or higher priority users in and adjacent to the area, as determined in each case.
The use of groundwater for high consumption purposes, such as cooling, must be avoided if a feasible and prudent alternative exists.
27 SR 1295; L 2005 c 97 art 3 s 19
September 18, 2009