Environmental Review Advisory Panel

The Environmental Review Advisory Panel (Panel) concluded their work and created a final report, containing their recommendations to the Environmental Quality Board for improving the environmental review program.  The final report is avilable by clicking on this link:  Environmental Review Advisory Panel Report.  The Panel's recomendations will be presented to the Environmental Quality Board, at their regularly scheduled meeting on October 17, 2018.  Additional information about the meeting can be found on the front page of the EQB web site.

I. Background

The Environmental Quality Board (EQB or Board) has a general responsibility to “monitor the effectiveness” and “take appropriate measures to modify and improve” the effectiveness of the ER rules (Minn. Rules 4410.0400, subp. 1). In 2015 Minnesota legislative session, the EQB was directed to streamline environmental review, per Laws of Minnesota 2015, Chapter 4, Article 5, Section 33.

To that end, the EQB initiated an ER Mandatory Categories rulemaking in early 2016. The scope of the rulemaking is to gain efficiencies through housekeeping such as aligning rules and statutes; making technical updates and corrections. Regardless, comments received during public meetings and in stakeholder engagement periods have raised much larger policy questions—outside the scope of this rulemaking.

Additionally, in an effort to improve effectiveness and efficiency, the ER program initiated several opportunities in 2016 for public input, including:

  • A results based accountability workshop to develop ER program measures;
  • Project-specific surveys for responsible governmental units (RGUs) and citizens; and,
  • Public meetings and stakeholder engagement periods to shape the Mandatory Categories rulemaking.

Based on all of the feedback received over the past year, the EQB is convening an ER Advisory Panel (Minn. Stat. 116D.03, subd. 2) charged with modernizing and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the ER program.

The scope of the work will be determined by the panel, but they will be focused on any number of the following policy issues that have been raised over the last year:

  • Human health impacts
  • Proposed ER exclusions
  • Climate change considerations
  • Alternative review
  • Environmental justice
  • ER process streamlining

II. Environmental Review Advisory Panel

  • Purpose – The purpose of the ER Advisory Panel (Panel) is to review the ER program, identify areas of concern, and propose changes to modernize the program.
  • Outcomes – Within 12 months of the first meeting of the Panel, a final report must be produced. The report must document the activities and recommendations for addressing the topics agreed to by the Panel.
  • Facilitation Services – Management Analysis and Development has been retained to design, facilitate, and document the process.
  • Panel Members -
    • David Zoll, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.
    • Willis Mattison, Citizen
    • Peder Larson, Larkin Hoffman Attorneys
    • Kathryn Hoffman, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
    • Jason Aagenes, Cliffs Natural Resources
    • Carissa Slotterback, University of Minnesota
    • James Atkinson, ALLETE, Inc.
    • Halston Sleets, City of Minneapolis
    • Lucas Sjostrom, Minnesota Milk Producers
    • Michele Ross, Sambatek
    • Andi Moffatt, WSB & Associates, Inc.
    • Timothy Nelson, Cook County
    • Randall Doneen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
    • Louise Miltich, Minnesota Department of Commerce
    • Josh Fitzpatrick, Federal Aviation Administration

III. Proposed Meeting Dates, Agendas and Meeting Minutes

Meeting locations and discussion topics are subject to change until one week before the scheduled meetings. Please check back often for the most up to date information.

Date Time Location Proposed Discussion Topic Agenda and Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices   Agenda, Minutes
March 13, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices   Agenda, Minutes
April 20, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices Climate Change Considerations in ER Agenda, Minutes, Supporting Document
May 30, 2017 1:00 - 4:00pm Room 2A and 2B, EQB Offices Climate Change Considerations in ER Agenda, Minutes, Supporting Document
June 27, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices Mandatory EAW and EIS Categories Agenda, Minutes, Supporting Document
July 17, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices Relationship with ER and Other Regulatory Systems Agenda, Minutes, Supporting Document
August 10, 2017 10:00 - 2:00pm

Conf. Room, Duluth  MNDOT Office --1123 Mesaba Ave. Duluth, MN

Human Health Impacts in ER Agenda, Minutes, Supporting Document
September 8, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices Stakeholder Engagement in ER Agenda, Minutes not yet approved
October 10, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Board Room, EQB Offices Review of Panel Work Thus Far Agenda, Supporting Document 1, Supporting Document 2
November 14, 2017 1:00 - 4:00pm Board Room, EQB Offices Flexibility and Alternatives to the ER Process Agenda, Minutes, Supporting Document
December 8, 2017 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices Flexibility and Alternatives to the ER Process; Part 2 Agenda, Minutes. Supporting Document 1, Supporting Document 2
January 18, 2018 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices Education, Outreach and Public Engagement Agenda, Minutes Supporting Document
February 15, 2018 9:00 - 12:00pm Room 100, EQB Offices

Final Review of Panel Recommendations

Agenda minutes


August 29, 2018 9:00 AM-12:00PM  Conference Room 100, EQB Office  Final Panel Meeting  Agenda


For more information regarding the Panel contact:

Denise Wilson
Minnesota Environmental Quality Board
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN, 55155
O: 651-757-2523