Climate Change and Environmental Review - Pilot Program

About

The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is considering changes to the Environmental Review Program to address climate change. EQB identified climate change as an important issue facing Minnesota and made it the main organizing focus for the biennial work plan. Additionally, Governor Walz directed ‘‘state government [to] work across the enterprise in a coordinated approach to develop equitable strategies that will mitigate climate change and achieve greater resilience.”

Currently, environmental review documents do not include information about a project’s greenhouse gas emissions and the relationship between climate change and other environmental impacts in a systematic way. EQB members are proposing changes that would help project proposers, decisions makers, and members of the public identify opportunities to:

  • Clarity, certainty, and efficiency for decision makers and project proposers
  • Consider the effects of climate change on proposed projects
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Integrate climate adaptation and resiliency measures
  • Improve environmental outcomes

Pilot Program for the Draft, Revised Environmental Assessment Worksheet

On September 15, the Environmental Quality Board approved a pilot program to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of climate information included on the draft, revised EAW form and provide support for Responsible Governmental Units (RGUs).The pilot program will provide time for learning and practice with the draft, revised EAW form and the opportunity to collect important information about the effectiveness of the proposed changes as well as make adjustments to improve effectiveness. The objectives of the pilot program are to:

  • Learn what is working/not working as RGUs complete the draft, revised EAW form
  • Better understand the effectiveness of climate information
  • Identify additional resource and guidance needs

Draft revised EAW form

Any RGU may voluntarily use the draft, revised EAW form at any time.  Registration in the pilot program is not required.

Draft, revised EAW form (Contains greenhouse gas quantification and assessment as well as adaptation and resiliency information)

Guidance for Draft, revised EAW form with climate information

Pilot Program Participation

All state RGUs will participate in the pilot program. Local units of government and consultants responsible for preparing EAWs are invited to voluntarily participate.

More details about the pilot prgram will be devloped this fall. However, at a minimum, it will include:

  • a voluntary registration process for local governments and consultants,
  • recurring meetings for learning and sharing with registered participants, and
  • some data gathering to help better understand effectiveness of the climate information.

Sign up here to be notified when you can register for the pilot program.

Timeline

  • October/November/December 2021 – Design pilot program framework; register pilot program participants
  • January and July 2022 – Begin pilot program; Update Environmental Review Implementation Subcommittee
  • October and November 2022 – Compile information from pilot program 
  • December 2022 – Present final EAW form to Board for approval

Contact

Please contact Denise Wilson (651.757.2523) with questions and/or to request past materials on this project.