EQB Mandatory Categories Rulemaking

Notice of Hearings

Based on the volume and wide range of comments received, EQB will hold hearings on two dates (May 31, 2019 @ 1:30pm and June 26 2019 @ 5:30pm).

The first hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 31, 2019 1:30pm in Room 100, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.

The May 31, 2019 hearing (via a two-way-video-conference connection) will also be available at (anyone wishing to give testimony to the Judge can do so via the two-way-video-conference connection):

--> the two-way video conferencing will only be available at: Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Marshall and Rochester MPCA offices.


The second hearing is scheduled for: June 26, 2019 5:30pm-8:30pm hearing at the Great River Regional Library, 1300 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud, MN 56301

A second comment period will be open May 20, 2019 through June 21, 2019 (4:30pm CST). Comment here:  eComments

May 15, 2019 Board Packet


Rule Language


Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR)


Exhibits for SONAR


Comments received during comment period (11/13/18-2/4/2019)

Download (68mb)


Current Notices:

Past Notices:

The EQB provided the required notifications to the public and the entities identified in statute. Three Request for Comments were published in the State Register:

How to submit written comments:

  1. Email us: Denise.wilson@state.mn.us and/or Erik.Dahl@state.mn.us with the subject line: "Mandatory Category Rulemaking: Comment" 
  2. OAH's eComment portal: eComments -- comments on the rule or requests for a hearing can be made at this website. (https://minnesotaoah.granicusideas.com/discussions/35532-environmental-quality-board-hearing-notice)
  3. Mail Us:

Environmental Quality Board

Attn: Mandatory Category Rulemaking

520 Lafayette Road North

St. Paul, MN 55155



The EQB took the following steps to develop the draft rules, notify interested parties about the draft rules and to solicit their input on rule language:


  • EQB staff presented an updated preliminary draft of the proposed rules to the EQB Board on November 18, 2015. This was another opportunity to provide an informal comment on the EQB rules and process. 


  • The EQB hosted informational meetings, open to the public, but specifically focused on implications to local units of government on March 18, 21, 22, 2016, at the EQB offices in St. Paul, MN and via WebEx. Recordings of the informational meetings can be found here:






  • On November 13, 2018, the EQB published the Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules Without a Public Hearing Unless 25 or More Persons Request a Hearing, and Notice of Hearing if 25 or More Requests for Hearing Are Received; Revisor’s ID Number RD-04157 in the State Register.



  • On December 31, 2018, the EQB published an AMENDED Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules Without a Public Hearing Unless 25 or More Persons Request a Hearing, and Notice of Hearing if 25 or More Requests for Hearing Are Received; Revisor’s ID Number RD-04157 in the State Register--changing the date of the hearing(s) and extending the comment period (extending to February 4, 2019 4:30pm).



  • On February 4, 2019,4:30pm, the comment period closed.

    • Comments received Nov 13, 2018 - February 4, 2019 (4:30pm): All Comments (68mb)



  • On February 25, 2019, the EQB published a Notice of Hearing in the State Register and emailed/mailed all commenters regarding the Notice of Hearing, locations and time.


  • On May 15, 2019, the EQB will hold a public Board meeting (1pm, MPCA offices) to give an overview of the comments received during the comment period and make a decision on staff's recommended revisions to the proposed rules.







Publish Request for Comments

Fall 2016

Publish notice of proposed rules in the State Register

November 13, 2018

December 31, 2018 (amended)

February 25, 2019 (Notice of Hearing)

1st Comment period (CLOSED)

November 13, 2018 to

February 4, 2019 4:30pm

2nd Comment period

May 20, 2019 to 

June 21, 2019 4:30pm


Hearing dates

May 31, 2019 (1:30pm)

June 26, 2019 (5:30pm)

Final adoption of rules:

  • no hearing

  • with a hearing


~3 months after notice
~6 months after notice

Current Minnesota Statutes and Rules:


2013 EQB Mandatory Categories Report

EQB Mandatory Category Power Point

Environmental Review 4410.0200 (Definitions) [Word Document]

Environmental Review 4410.4300 (Environmental Assessment Worksheet Mandatory Categories) [Word Document]

Environmetnal Review 4410.4400 (Environmental Impact Statement Mandatory Catories) [Word Document]


The Environmental Review Program was established in the early 1970’s under the direction of the EQB. Periodic updates to the mandatory categories have been made since that time, the latest major revisions occurring in 2009. In 2013, the EQB along with other state agencies completed the Mandatory Environmental Review Categories Report (Report), directed by the 2012 Minnesota legislature (Laws of Minnesota for 2012, Chapter 150, Article 2, Section 3). The report provided an analysis of whether the mandatory categories should be modified, eliminated, or unchanged based on their relationship to existing permits or other federal, state, or local laws or ordinances.

Pursuant to a legislative charge to support environmental review efficiency (2015 Special Session Law, Chapter 4, Article 3, Section 2),  the EQB will pursue policy and technical updates to MN Rules Ch. 4410. Specifically, this rulemaking, proposed under Revisor's ID Number R-04157, will focus on select mandatory EAW and EIS categories that were identified in the 2013 report to the legislature and categories identified by the public during rulemaking comment periods.

For more information on the Environmental Review Program visit https://www.eqb.state.mn.us/content/environmental-review-program.

The proposed mandatory categories rulemaking will also encompass the amendments to rules relating to silica sand projects. This includes the mandatory categories related to mining facilities, transfer facilities, processing facilities and storage facilities related to silica sand projects. The purpose of these amendments is to adopt the threshold levels for silica sand projects established by the Minnesota Legislature through Laws of Minnesota 2013, Chapter 114, Article 4, Section 91. In 2014, the EQB began rulemaking for silica sand projects under Revisor’s ID Number RD-4305.

Additionally, the proposed mandatory categories rulemaking will also include the proposed amendments to rules relating to recreational trails. This includes thresholds for different types of recreational trails that require preparation of an EAW. In the 2015 Minnesota legislative session, Laws of Minnesota 2015, Chapter 4, Article 5, Section 33, the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation changing the EAW thresholds applicable to motorized trails. In 2015, the EQB began rulemaking for recreational trails projects under Revisor’s ID Number RD-4381.

Staff Contacts:

Denise Wilson
Director Environmental Review Program
Phone:  (651) 757-2523
Email:  denise.wilson@state.mn.us
Environmental Quality Board
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155

Erik Cedarleaf Dahl
Planning Director
Environmental Quality Board
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone:  (651) 757-2364