Commerce’s “Scoping Decision”

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on March 1, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

 I got a few calls and emails about that Commerce Scoping Decision.

Scope of Environmental Report

I fully agree… it’s a doozy!  I’d not submitted the “No CapX 2020” intervention yet, so that’s what I did — without party status, it’s hard to do anything.

NO CAPX 2020 Petition for Intervention

That done, I spent some time digging in the rules, and waiting to see what turned up in the inbox.  I didn’t have to wait long:

NAWO/ILSR Scoping Clarification & Expansion

Now the statute cited by the ALJ about ALJ jurisdiction seems to be regarding challenge of the ultimate result of the decision, challenging the Environmental Report itself.  Minn. Stat. 116D.04, Subd. 10 and 13.  Read these carefully — do you see anything about an “Environmental Report?”

    Subd. 10. Review. Decisions on the need for an environmental assessment worksheet, the
need for an environmental impact statement and the adequacy of an environmental impact
statement may be reviewed by a declaratory judgment action in the district court of the county
wherein the proposed action, or any part thereof, would be undertaken. Judicial review under this
section shall be initiated within 30 days after the governmental unit makes the decision, and a
bond may be required under section 562.02 unless at the time of hearing on the application
for the bond the plaintiff has shown that the claim has sufficient possibility of success on the
merits to sustain the burden required for the issuance of a temporary restraining order. Nothing
in this section shall be construed to alter the requirements for a temporary restraining order or a
preliminary injunction pursuant to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure for district courts. The
board may initiate judicial review of decisions referred to herein and may intervene as of right in
any proceeding brought under this subdivision.

Subd. 13. Enforcement. This section may be enforced by injunction, action to compel
performance, or other appropriate action in the district court of the county where the violation
takes place. Upon the request of the board or the chair of the board, the attorney general may
bring an action under this subdivision.

But the rules do provide an avenue to challenge the scoping decision, albeit, as the Motion notes, the rules “are a bit garbled.”  Yes, that’s putting it mildly.   But here’s the rule:

Minn. R. 7849.7050
Subp. 8. Notice of decision.

At the time of the commissioner’s decision, the commissioner shall mail the order to those persons who have requested to be notified. Any person may request to bring the matter of what alternatives or impacts to include in the environmental report to the commissioner in accordance with part 4405.0600, subpart 5. Such request shall be filed in writing with the commissioner within ten days of the commissioner’s decision. A request to bring sthe matter to the commission shall not preclude the commissioner from beginning preparation of the environmental report in accordance with the commissioner’s decision.

So here we go… nothing in yet in the way of comments or replies.

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