Minnesota to accelerate permitting, environmental review

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has signed an Executive Order that requires the Commissioners of the Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency to “move at the speed of commerce,” by accelerating and simplifying their environmental review and permitting processes.

The Governor claims that the changes are needed in order to make the state more responsive to the business community and create jobs. Currently, state regulations require that the agencies must ensure environmental protection while also supporting economic development. According to the Governor, the agencies aren’t fully living up to the second requirement and must streamline and speed up the permitting process.

The Order requires that the Commissioners of the Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency make decisions on permitting within 150 days of receiving a complete application, and/or make decisions within 30 days of the completion of an environmental impact study. Further, both agencies must allow for electronic filing of both permit applications and environmental impact studies.

According to the Governor, the changes “show that we mean it when we say Minnesota will be an even better place for business success.”

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