To assure the paramount and controlling effect of the provisions herein over other state agencies, regional, county, and local governments, and special purpose government districts, the issuance of a site permit or route permit and subsequent purchase and use of such site or route locations for large electric power generating plant and high-voltage transmission line purposes shall be the sole site or route approval required to be obtained by the utility. Such permit shall supersede and preempt all zoning, building, or land use rules, regulations, or ordinances promulgated by regional, county, local and special purpose government.
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, utilities shall obtain state permits that may be required to construct and operate large electric power generating plants and high-voltage transmission lines. A state agency in processing a utility's facility permit application shall be bound to the decisions of the commission, with respect to the site or route designation, and with respect to other matters for which authority has been granted to the commission by this chapter.
(a) State agencies authorized to issue permits required for construction or operation of large electric power generating plants or high-voltage transmission lines shall participate during routing and siting at public hearings and all other activities of the commission on specific site or route designations and design considerations of the commission, and shall clearly state whether the site or route being considered for designation or permit and other design matters under consideration for approval will be in compliance with state agency standards, rules, or policies.
(b) An applicant for a permit under this section or under chapter 216G shall notify the commissioner of agriculture if the proposed project will impact cultivated agricultural land, as that term is defined in section 216G.01, subdivision 4. The commissioner may participate and advise the commission as to whether to grant a permit for the project and the best options for mitigating adverse impacts to agricultural lands if the permit is granted. The Department of Agriculture shall be the lead agency on the development of any agricultural mitigation plan required for the project.