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Subdivision 1.Definitions.

(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.

(b) "Applicable entity" means the commissioner with respect to a capacity expansion project for inclusion in the state transportation improvement program or a metropolitan planning organization with respect to a capacity expansion project for inclusion in the appropriate metropolitan transportation improvement program.

(c) "Assessment" means the capacity expansion impact assessment under this section.

(d) "Capacity expansion project" means a project for trunk highway construction or reconstruction that:

(1) is a major highway project, as defined in section 174.56, subdivision 1, paragraph (b); and

(2) adds highway traffic capacity or provides for grade separation at an intersection, excluding auxiliary lanes with a length of less than 2,500 feet.

(e) "Greenhouse gas emissions" includes those emissions described in section 216H.01, subdivision 2.

Subd. 2.Project assessment.

(a) Prior to inclusion of a capacity expansion project in the state transportation improvement program or a metropolitan transportation improvement program, the applicable entity must perform a capacity expansion impact assessment of the project. Following the assessment, the applicable entity must determine if the project conforms with:

(1) the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets under section 174.01, subdivision 3; and

(2) the vehicle miles traveled reduction targets established in the statewide multimodal transportation plan under section 174.03, subdivision 1a.

(b) If the applicable entity determines that the capacity expansion project is not in conformance with paragraph (a), the applicable entity must:

(1) alter the scope or design of the project and perform a revised assessment that meets the requirements under this section;

(2) interlink sufficient impact mitigation as provided in subdivision 4; or

(3) halt project development and disallow inclusion of the project in the appropriate transportation improvement program.

Subd. 3.Assessment requirements.

(a) The commissioner must establish a process to perform capacity expansion impact assessments. An assessment must provide for the determination under subdivision 2.

(b) Analysis under an assessment must include but is not limited to estimates resulting from the project for the following:

(1) greenhouse gas emissions over a period of 20 years; and

(2) a net change in vehicle miles traveled for the affected network.

Subd. 4.Impact mitigation.

(a) To provide for impact mitigation, the applicable entity must interlink the capacity expansion project as provided in this subdivision.

(b) Impact mitigation is sufficient under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), if the capacity expansion project is interlinked to mitigation actions such that the total greenhouse gas emissions reduction from the mitigation actions, after accounting for the greenhouse gas emissions otherwise resulting from the capacity expansion project, is consistent with meeting the targets specified under subdivision 2, paragraph (a). Each comparison under this paragraph must be performed over equal comparison periods.

(c) A mitigation action consists of a project, program, or operations modification in one or more of the following areas:

(1) transit expansion, including but not limited to regular route bus, arterial bus rapid transit, highway bus rapid transit, rail transit, and intercity passenger rail;

(2) transit service improvements, including but not limited to increased service level, transit fare reduction, and transit priority treatments;

(3) active transportation infrastructure;

(4) micromobility infrastructure and service, including but not limited to shared vehicle services;

(5) transportation demand management, including but not limited to vanpool and shared vehicle programs, remote work, and broadband access expansion;

(6) parking management, including but not limited to parking requirements reduction or elimination and parking cost adjustments;

(7) land use, including but not limited to residential and other density increases, mixed-use development, and transit-oriented development;

(8) infrastructure improvements related to traffic operations, including but not limited to roundabouts and reduced conflict intersections; and

(9) natural systems, including but not limited to prairie restoration, reforestation, and urban green space.

(d) A mitigation action may be identified as interlinked to the capacity expansion project if:

(1) there is a specified project, program, or modification;

(2) the necessary funding sources are identified and sufficient amounts are committed;

(3) the mitigation is localized as provided in subdivision 5; and

(4) procedures are established to ensure that the mitigation action remains in substantially the same form or a revised form that continues to meet the calculation under paragraph (b).

Subd. 5.Impact mitigation; localization.

(a) A mitigation action under subdivision 4 must be localized in the following priority order:

(1) within or associated with at least one of the communities impacted by the capacity expansion project;

(2) if there is not a reasonably feasible location under clause (1), in areas of persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities, as measured and defined in federal law, guidance, and notices of funding opportunity;

(3) if there is not a reasonably feasible location under clauses (1) and (2), in the region of the capacity expansion project; or

(4) if there is not a reasonably feasible location under clauses (1) to (3), on a statewide basis.

(b) The applicable entity must include an explanation regarding the feasibility and rationale for each mitigation action located under paragraph (a), clauses (2) to (4).

Subd. 6.Public information.

The commissioner must publish information regarding capacity expansion impact assessments on the department's website. The information must include:

(1) identification of capacity expansion projects; and

(2) for each project, a summary that includes an overview of the expansion impact assessment, the impact determination by the commissioner, and project disposition, including a review of any mitigation actions.

Subd. 7.Safety and well-being.

The requirements of this section are in addition to and must not supplant the safety and well-being goals established under section 174.01, subdivision 2, clauses (1) and (2).

NOTE: This section, as added by Laws 2023, chapter 68, article 4, section 28, is effective February 1, 2025. Laws 2023, chapter 68, article 4, section 28, the effective date.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes