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S.F. No. 1567 - Environmental Permit Streamlining (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Date: January 31, 2012


Article 1 – Permitting

Section 1 [Permitting efficiency; DNR] simplifies the process for the Commissioner of Natural Resources in notifying the project proposer of any deficiencies in a permit application.

Section 2 [Irrevocability of permits] provides for the irrevocability of permits after July 1of an odd-numbered year when the budget for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has not been enacted.  The period of irrevocability applies until the biennial appropriation law for the DNR is enacted.

Section 3 [Water supply plans] deletes the requirement for a conservation rate structure in local water supply plans.

Section 4 [SDS permits; feedlots] provides that state disposal system (SDS) permits for feedlots are for a term of ten years.

Section 5 [Permitting efficiency, PCA] simplifies the process for the Pollution Control Agency (PCA) in notifying the project proposer of any deficiencies in a permit application. This section also:

(1) provides for default approval of a permit submitted to the PCA by a permit professional licensed by the state with at least ten years of permit application experience; and

(2) provides for the irrevocability of PCA permits when the appropriation law for the PCA has not been enacted, similar to that provided for DNR permits. 

Section 6 [PCA permits; commenced construction] allows a person to commence construction or modification to a facility prior to the issuance of a construction permit from the PCA, unless it is prohibited by federal law.

Section 7 to 11 [Definitions; environmental permit coordination] defines “agency,” “local governmental unit,” “permit,” “person,” and “project” for the purpose of environmental permit coordination activities in the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Section 12 [Environmental permits coordinator] designates the Commissioner of DEED as the environmental permits coordinator to coordinate the implementation and administration of state permits. This section provides for specific duties of the commissioner to coordinate state permits and to provide specific assistance to applicant for state licenses, permits, and other approvals necessary for a project.

Section 13 [Repealer] repeals the requirement for local water suppliers to have a conservation rate structure.

Article 2 – Environmental Review

Section 1 [Cellulosic biofuel definition] modifies the definition of cellulosic biofuel to clarify that it includes harvested wood.

Section 2 [Mandotory EIS] specifies that a mandatory environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required for cellulosic biofuel and biobutanol facilities producing less than 125 million gallons of fuel annually.

Section 3 [Review and repeal of EAW and EIS requirements] directs the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), PCA, DNR, and Department of Transportation, after consultation with political subdivisions, to annually submit to the governor and the legislature a list of categories of mandatory environmental assessment worksheets (EAW) and environmental impact statements (EIS) performed in the last year and information on the intended outcomes, the costs to the governmental unit and private sector, the relationship of the EAW or EIS to other permit requirements, and the justification for why the mandatory EAW or EIS category should not be eliminated.




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