The commission may appoint one or more advisory task forces to assist it in carrying out its duties. Task forces appointed to evaluate sites or routes considered for designation shall be comprised of as many persons as may be designated by the commission, but at least one representative from each of the following: Regional development commissions, counties and municipal corporations and one town board member from each county in which a site or route is proposed to be located. No officer, agent, or employee of a utility shall serve on an advisory task force. Reimbursement for expenses incurred shall be made pursuant to the rules governing state employees. The task forces expire as provided in section 15.059, subdivision 6. At the time the task force is appointed, the commission shall specify the charge to the task force. The task force shall expire upon completion of its charge, upon designation by the commission of alternative sites or routes to be included in the environmental impact statement, or upon the specific date identified by the commission in the charge, whichever occurs first.
The commission shall adopt broad spectrum citizen participation as a principal of operation. The form of public participation shall not be limited to public hearings and advisory task forces and shall be consistent with the commission's rules and guidelines as provided for in section 216E.16.
The commission shall designate one staff person for the sole purpose of assisting and advising those affected and interested citizens on how to effectively participate in site or route proceedings.
The commission may appoint one or more advisory task forces composed of technical and scientific experts to conduct research and make recommendations concerning generic issues such as health and safety, underground routes, double circuiting and long-range route and site planning. Reimbursement for expenses incurred shall be made pursuant to the rules governing reimbursement of state employees. The task forces expire as provided in section 15.059, subdivision 6. The time allowed for completion of a specific site or route procedure may not be extended to await the outcome of these generic investigations.