To support Minnesotans in their efforts to lessen the impacts of climate change, and to adapt to changes already occurring, it is important that environmental documents required by the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) include usable information about potential climate effects.
Quantifying a proposed project's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can help decision makers identify opportunities to:
- Reduce GHG emissions
- Improve environmental outcomes
- Make more informed decisions about climate adaptations
After a 9-month pilot, the Environmental Quality Board chair approved the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) form. This webpage is dedicated to providing guidance, best management practices, and resources for completing climate assessments on the approved EAW form.
Updated environmental assessment worksheet form
At their December 14, 2022 meeting, Environmental Quality Board members supported the chair in replacing the July 2013 Environmental Assessment Worksheet form with the December 2022 Environmental Assessment Worksheet form, in accordance with the authorities and responsibilities identified in Minnesota Statutes 116D and Minnesota Rules chapter 4410.
All Responsible Governmental Units (RGUs) are required to use the December 2022 EAW form for projects that begin after the approval date of December 14, 2022.
Guidance on climate assessments
Guidance for including climate assessments in the EAW form can be found in this guidance document which discusses steps to assemble a carbon footprint, assess mitigation, identify adaptation, and more.
Additional helpful information was provided during the pilot speaker sessions. Recordings from those sessions can be found on the pilot project page.
An implementation plan was designed to ensure a successful transition for all responsible governmental units to use the December 2022 EAW form. This includes a transition plan, a process for considering greenhouse gas emissions for different sectors and sources, and the framework for a pilot ombuds role.
Implementation activities include:
|A. Transition plan
Develop a Transition plan to include:
|Develop a plan for updating existing climate guidance
|Request legislative funding to develop a GHG planning calculator and additional guidance
|To be determined
|Work with technical experts to develop guidance for best practices in climate assessments
|Max of $25,000; depending on project scope, timeline, and available funds.
|C. Pilot Ombuds Program
Additional Background Information
During this Pilot Program, RGUs had the option to use the draft revised EAW on a voluntary basis. Throughout this process, EQB collected feedback from RGUs, technical consultants, project proposers, and other interested members of the public on the proposed changes. This work was guided by the Subcommittee on Pilot Program Implementation (SPPI). More details about the Pilot Program and feedback received are included in the Environmental Review Pilot Program Final Memo in October, 2022.
The Environmental Review Implementation Subcommittee also played an instrumental role in developing and overseeing the implementation of the revised EAW form.
Please contact EQB at 651-757-2873.