What’s an Environmental Report?

Filed under:Laws & Rules — posted by admin on February 23, 2008 @ 10:50 am


So the bizarre scoping decision for the CapX 2020 “Environmental Report” has come out.  What does it mean?

I’ve been asked about review of this decision, and in trying to figure that out, am looking at “What the heck is an Environmental Report anyway?” and it gets more and more complicated.

First to the scoping decision issued last week:

Scope of Environmental Report

The “Scope” references Minn. R. 7849.7030 and here’s what it says:


The commissioner of the Department of Commerce shall prepare an environmental report on a proposed high voltage transmission line or a proposed large electric power generating plant at the need stage. The environmental report must contain information on the human and environmental impacts of the proposed project associated with the size, type, and timing of the project, system configurations, and voltage. The environmental report must also contain information on alternatives to the proposed project and shall address mitigating measures for anticipated adverse impacts. The commissioner shall be responsible for the completeness and accuracy of all information in the environmental report.

tatutory Authority: MS s 116D.04
History: 8 SR 951; L 2005 c 97 art 3 s 19
Posted: October 02, 2007

Now there’s another section of chapter 7849 called “Environmental Report,” and that says (I’ll link to the referenced statutes and rules):


Subpart 1.Draft report.
If the application is for an LHVTL, the information submitted under parts 7849.0240, 7849.0260, and 7849.0290 to 7849.0340 must be designated by the applicant as its “draft environmental report” and distributed in accordance with part 4410.7100, subpart 5.

Subp. 2.Written responses.
The applicant shall submit written responses to the substantive comments entered into the record of the proceeding before the close of the public hearing on the application. The written responses must be entered into the record and be available to the administrative law judge in preparing the recommendation on the application.

Subp. 3.Final report.
The draft environmental report, written comments, and the applicant’s written responses to comments comprise the “final environmental report,” which must be distributed in accordance with part 4410.7100, subpart 5.

Subp. 4.Notice of final report.
On completing the final environmental report, the commission shall have published in the EQB Monitor, published by the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, a notice indicating completion.

Subp. 5.Supplements.
The applicant must prepare a supplement to the final environmental report if the tests described in part 4410.3000, subparts 1 and 2, are met and a certificate of need proceeding on the proposed facility is pending.

Statutory Authority: MS s 216A.05; 216B.08; 216B.2421; 216B.243; 216C.10
History: L 1983 c 289 s 115; 12 SR 2624
Posted: October 02, 2007

Hmmmmmmm, how is Minn. Stat. 216C.10 different from 216C.02???

And it seems they’ve neglected to address the Commissioner DUTIES in Minn. Stat. 216C.09!!!

Minn. R. 4410.7100 has been renumbered to 7850.0200, and that says:

7850.0200 [Renumbered 4410.7100]
Posted: May 13, 1997

and Minn. R. 4410.7100 says:

4410.7100 [Repealed, 28 SR 951]
Posted: August 21, 2007

Wait a minute… aren’t we going around in circles???  I’m dizzy… more later…