Participation at EQB Board Meetings

Board meeting purpose

The purpose of EQB monthly meetings is to have regular discussions across state leadership and with the public about the direction of emerging environmental issues in Minnesota. Monthly meetings work to advance the strategic goals outlined in EQB’s five year strategic plan.

Public participation opportunities

Thank you for considering to attend an EQB Board meeting. EQB truly values your input and appreciates the opportunity to build shared understanding. Utilizing multiple formats for participation fosters meaningful public engagement. Each format has its strengths and weaknesses. The following are ways the public can participate in monthly EQB meetings.

Public input section of the agenda

The public input period of the Board meeting agenda is a way for the public to contribute their perspectives to EQB discussions, and for members of the Board and the public to build greater understanding with one another.

Members of the public wishing to speak during this portion of the agenda fill out a purple comment form and give the form to EQB staff.

When speaking, members of the public are asked to introduce themselves by stating their name and organization (if applicable). Please be mindful of others wishing to provide public input and try to keep your comments concise. Depending on the number of comment forms received, and to ensure all voices are heard, the Board Chair may decide to set a time limit for each speaker.

Informal discussion

Board meetings frequently include a community building period with refreshments near the middle of the meeting. This is a time for meeting attendees to talk informally with Board members and with each other. The community building period enables dialogue that the public input section does not. It also facilitates getting to know one another which is an important part of understanding each other’s perspectives. We encourage members of the public to circulate and meet new faces in the room. Conversations occurring during this section of the meeting are not included in the formal meeting record.

Structured activities

Where possible, the public may be given the option to participate in deliberative activities such as large and small group discussions, prioritization activities, and straw polls as directed by the facilitator or Board Chair.

Written comment

Members of the public may submit written comments on Board meeting agenda items. Written comment forms are available at the Board meeting for those attending in person. These will be included in the minutes section of the next Board packet. Comments can also be emailed to EQB staff at info.EQB@state.mn.us. Written comments received after the Board packet is posted online will be included in the subsequent Board packet, up to a limit of two pages per comment.

Other opportunities

EQB welcomes other opportunities to build relationships with the public such as hosting meetings in partnership with EQB, inviting Citizen Board members to events in their district, and inviting community members and groups to attend EQB meetings.

Proposing an agenda item

Members of the public can propose agenda items for EQB meetings. To propose an agenda item, please email EQB staff at info.EQB@state.mn.us with the following information:

1) Name of your organization

2) Contact information for the person(s) EQB should be in touch with, including preferred way of being contacted

3) Name of agenda item

4) Brief description of the agenda item: why would you like to see this on an EQB agenda and what content would be discussed?

5) Name and title of possible presenters who would participate (if known)

6) Approximate time requested for the agenda item (Agenda items typically run between 20-60 minutes including time for discussion. Due to scheduling limitations, we may not always be able to accommodate the full time requested.)

7) Other organizations beyond your own that might be interested in this discussion (if known)

Upon receiving a request, EQB staff will consult with the Board Chair, Board members, and follow up with you directly. EQB will make a decision about the request based on alignment with Board goals and schedule constraints. The EQB Chair sets the agenda for EQB meetings per Minnesota Rule 4405.

Value of public engagement

The Environmental Quality Board is a unique Minnesota institution that enables monthly discussion across state agencies and with the public about the direction of emerging environmental issues in Minnesota. Public engagement is valuable for several reasons:

●The EQB makes its best decisions when it learns about and considers diverse viewpoints. Thepublic plays an essential role in bringing forward diverse views. The exchange of ideas andperspectives between the public and Board members helps to develop the sharedunderstanding of complex environmental issues that is a prerequisite for successful action.

●Collaboration among government, diverse stakeholder groups, and the general public is criticalfor addressing complex environmental challenges in Minnesota. Public participation at EQBBoard meetings fosters the relationships and trust necessary for successful collaboration, andfor building coalitions for action.