Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sixty Day Rule - Minnesota Environmental Review

With some exceptions, Minnesota Statute 15.99 requires that an agency must approve or deny within 60 days a written request relating to some specific petitions, including

  • zoning,
  • septic systems,
  • watershed district review,
  • soil and water conservation district review, or
  • expansion of the metropolitan urban service area for a permit, license, or other governmental approval of an action.

Failure of an agency to deny a request within 60 days is approval of the request. If an agency denies the request, it must state in writing the reasons for the denial at the time that it denies the request.

The “sixty day rule” (MN Statute 15.99) does not apply to projects that are going through the environmental review process. Because environmental review decisions can often take months (and in some cases years) to be reached, environmental review is one of the exceptions to the rule. The clock stops ticking on the “sixty day rule” until environmental review has been completed and, once environmental review has been completed, the clock is reset at 60 days.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address Environmental Review and Environmental Impact Assessment.

Caltha Environmental Review Website

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