Monday, December 14, 2009

EQB Mandatory Environmental Review Categories Proposed

The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is proposing amendments to environmental review rules adding several categories of projects that would require a Mandatory Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) or a Mandatory Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). These amendments are in five areas:

  • New mandatory EAW, EIS, and Exemption categories that would apply to certain projects located in the shoreland areas of lake and rivers;
  • Amendments to how the rules handle treatment of “cumulative potential effects” in EAWs, EIS, and Alternative Urban Areawide Reviews (AUARs) in response to a 2006 Minnesota Supreme Court decision;
  • Amendments to the Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR) process with respect to how specific individual projects are treated or how they affect the review;
  • A new mandatory EIS category for releases of genetically-engineered wild rice, in response to a legislative directive in the 2007 session; and
  • Miscellaneous other amendments to clarify the meaning of certain rule provisions.

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