116B.03 CIVIL ACTIONS.
Subdivision 1. Parties.
Any person residing within the state; the attorney general; any
political subdivision of the state; any instrumentality or agency of the state or of a political
subdivision thereof; or any partnership, corporation, association, organization, or other entity
having shareholders, members, partners or employees residing within the state may maintain a
civil action in the district court for declaratory or equitable relief in the name of the state of
Minnesota against any person, for the protection of the air, water, land, or other natural resources
located within the state, whether publicly or privately owned, from pollution, impairment, or
destruction; provided, however, that no action shall be allowable hereunder for acts taken by a
person on land leased or owned by said person pursuant to a permit or license issued by the owner
of the land to said person which do not and can not reasonably be expected to pollute, impair, or
destroy any other air, water, land, or other natural resources located within the state; provided
further that no action shall be allowable under this section for conduct taken by a person pursuant
to any environmental quality standard, limitation, rule, order, license, stipulation agreement or
permit issued by the Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Department of
Health or Department of Agriculture.
Subd. 2. Service; notice.
Within seven days after commencing such action, the plaintiff shall
cause a copy of the summons and complaint to be served upon the attorney general and the
Pollution Control Agency. Within 21 days after commencing such action, the plaintiff shall
cause written notice thereof to be published in a legal newspaper in the county in which suit is
commenced, specifying the names of the parties, the designation of the court in which the suit
was commenced, the date of filing, the act or acts complained of, and the declaratory or equitable
relief requested. The court may order such additional notice to interested persons as it may deem
just and equitable.
Subd. 3. Other parties.
In any action maintained under this section, the attorney general
may intervene as a matter of right and may appoint outside counsel where as a result of such
intervention the attorney general may represent conflicting or adverse interests. Other interested
parties may be permitted to intervene on such terms as the court may deem just and equitable in
order to effectuate the purposes and policies set forth in section
Subd. 4. Venue.
Except as provided in sections
, any action maintained under this section may be brought in any county in which one
or more of the defendants reside when the action is begun, or in which the cause of action or
some part thereof arose, or in which the conduct which has or is likely to cause such pollution,
impairment, or destruction occurred. If none of the defendants shall reside or be found in the state,
the action may be begun and tried in any county which the plaintiff shall designate. A corporation,
other than railroad companies, street railway companies, and street railroad companies whether
the motive power is steam, electricity, or other power used by these corporations or companies,
also telephone companies, telegraph companies, and all other public service corporations, shall
be considered as residing in any county wherein it has an office, resident agency, or business
place. The above enumerated public service corporations shall be considered as residing in any
county wherein the cause of action shall arise or in which the conduct which has or is likely to
cause pollution, impairment or destruction occurred and wherein any part of its lines of railway,
railroad, street railway, street railroad, without regard to the motive power of the railroad, street
railway, or street railroad, telegraph or telephone lines or any other public service corporation
shall extend, without regard to whether the corporation or company has an office, agent, or
business place in the county or not.
Subd. 5. Subsequent actions.
Where any action maintained under this section results in a
judgment that a defendant has not violated an environmental quality standard, limitation, rule,
order, license, stipulation agreement, or permit promulgated or issued by the Pollution Control
Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, or Department of Agriculture,
the judgment shall not in any way estop the agency from relitigating any or all of the same issues
with the same or other defendant unless in the prior action the agency was, either initially or
by intervention a party. Where the action results in a judgment that the defendant has violated
an environmental quality standard, limitation, rule, order, license, stipulation agreement, or
permit promulgated or issued by the Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources,
Department of Health or Department of Agriculture the judgment shall be res judicata in favor of
the agency in any action the agency might bring against the same defendant.
History: 1971 c 952 s 3; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444