The EAW is a brief document prepared in worksheet format which is designed to rapidly assess the environmental effects which may be associated with a proposed project. The EAW serves primarily to:
aid in the determination of whether an EIS is needed for a proposed project; and
serve as a basis to begin the scoping process for an EIS.
An EAW shall be prepared:
when a project is not exempt under part 4410.4600 and when a governmental unit with approval authority over the proposed project determines that, because of the nature or location of a proposed project, the project may have the potential for significant environmental effects;
when a project is not exempt under part 4410.4600 and when a governmental unit with approval authority over a proposed project determines pursuant to the petition process set forth in part 4410.1100 that, because of the nature or location of a proposed project, the project may have the potential for significant environmental effects;
whenever the EQB determines that, because of the nature or location of a proposed project, the project may have the potential for significant environmental effects (this item shall not be applicable to a project exempt under part 4410.4600 or to a project for which a governmental unit, with approval authority over the project, has made a prior negative or positive determination concerning the need for an EAW concerning the project); or
when the proposer wishes to initiate environmental review to determine if a project has the potential for significant environmental effects.
Multiple projects and multiple stages of a single project that are connected actions or phased actions must be considered in total when determining the need for an EAW, preparing the EAW, and determining the need for an EIS.
In connected actions and phased actions where it is not possible to adequately address all the project components or stages at the time of the initial EAW, a new EAW must be completed before approval and construction of each subsequent project component or stage. Each EAW must briefly describe the past and future stages or components to which the subject of the present EAW is related.
For proposed projects such as highways, streets, pipelines, utility lines, or systems where the proposed project is related to a large existing or planned network, for which a governmental unit has determined environmental review is needed, the RGU shall treat the present proposal as the total proposal or select only some of the future elements for present consideration in the threshold determination and EAW. These selections must be logical in relation to the design of the total system or network and must not be made merely to divide a large system into exempted segments.
When review of the total of a project is separated under this subpart, the components or stages addressed in each EAW must include at least all components or stages for which permits or approvals are being sought from the RGU or other governmental units.
If, after a negative declaration has been issued but before the proposed project has received all approvals or been implemented, the RGU determines that a substantial change has been made in the proposed project or has occurred in the project's circumstances, which change may affect the potential for significant adverse environmental effects that were not addressed in the existing EAW, a new EAW is required.
November 30, 2009
Copyright © 2009 by the Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota. All rights reserved.