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S.F. No. 42 - Environmental Permitting (Third Engrossment)
 
Author: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen
 
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
 
Date: February 7, 2011



 

Section 1 [DNR permitting efficiency] establishes a goal of 150 days for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to issue environmental and resource management permits.  Beginning July 1, 2011, the DNR must notify the project proposer within 30 days of application of any deficiencies in the application and advise how they can be remedied.  This section also requires semiannual permitting reports and provides for the electronic submission of environmental review and permit documents.

Sections 2 [NPDES and SDS permits; construction before issuance] allows a permit applicant to begin new construction or an extension before a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) or state disposal system (SDS) permit is issued by the Pollution Control Agency (PCA), unless the action is:

1.  prohibited by federal law;

2.  is taken by a municipal wastewater treatment facility with less than 200,000 gallons/day capacity;

3.  subject to environmental review and prohibited from commencing construction during the review;

4.  subject to a grant or loan agreement with the Public Facilities Authority (PFA);

5.  required to have a construction stormwater permit; or

6.  required to have a subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) permit.

The permit applicant is prohibited from operating the system before the permit is granted by the PCA.

Section 3 [PCA permitting efficiency] establishes a goal of 150 days for the PCA to issue environmental and resource management permits.  Beginning July 1, 2011, the PCA must notify the project proposer within 30 days of application of any deficiencies in the application and advise how they can be remedied.  This section also requires semiannual permitting reports and provides for the electronic submission of environmental review and permit documents.

Section 4 [Adoption of environmental standards] requires that when the PCA adopts standards that exceed federal standards, the PCA must document that federal standards are not protective enough.

Section 5 [Preliminary draft EIS; proposer developed] allows a project proposer to develop a preliminary draft EIS for the project.  The preliminary draft EIS must include an identification of all studies and other sources of information used to substantiate the analysis.  The responsible governmental unit (RGU) must obtain from the project proposer all information necessary to review, modify, and make a decision on the EIS.

Section 6 [Final decision; EIS] provides that a final decision must be made by the RGU within 30 days after final approval of an EIS, unless the permit is subject to the 60-day provision for local governments or a longer time period under federal law or state statute, or has been consented to by the permit applicant.

Section 7 [Judicial review of environmental review decisions] provides that environmental review decisions are subject to review by the Court of Appeals rather than district court.

Sections 8 and 9 [Technical] makes technical and conforming amendments related to allowing a project proposer to develop the preliminary draft EIS.

Section 10 [Expedited rules] directs the PCA, DNR, and EQB to update their rules through an expedited process to conform with the changes made in this act

Section 11 [Effective date] makes the act effective the day following final enactment.

 

GK:dv

 

 

 

 

 
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