- An Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) is required for the types of projects listed in the mandatory EAW categories in Minnesota Rules part 4410.4300.
- An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required for the types of projects listed in the mandatory EIS categories in Minnesota Rules part 4410.4400.
- Sometimes, a petition is sent to the EQB by citizens requesting an EAW on a project. When this happens, the Responsible Governmental Unit (RGU) decides whether the project has the potential for significant environmental effects. If so, the project must go through the environmental review process before it may proceed.
- An RGU may also order a discretionary EAW if it determines that the project may have the potential for significant effects.
Responsible Governmental Unit (RGU) determination
The RGU is the government entity such as a county, city or state agency that is responsible for preparing the environmental review documents. For mandatory reviews, the RGU is typically listed in rule. For other cases the EQB selects the RGU.
For RGU determinations, mandatory category applicability determinations, or process-related questions, contact the EQB at 651-757-2873 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before you begin
Before proceeding with the permitting process, use this pre-screening form to determine if the project needs environmental review by the MPCA: Environmental Review pre-screening form (p-ear1-08) (Note: The questionnaire only applies to mandatory EAW categories where the MPCA is the RGU. You will need to determine if other mandatory review is required.)
Request a meeting with MPCA environmental review staff early in the project planning. Contact Dan Card, P.E. at email@example.com or 651-757-2261.
Expect MPCA environmental review to take four to six months to complete, however, controversial projects often take longer.
Submitting your draft EAW
If it’s determined environmental review is required, gather information about the project’s potential environmental effects and ways to avoid or minimize them. No permits or approvals may be issued until environmental review is complete. MPCA's environmental review and permitting staff work together to ensure consistency and coordinate public notices. Permit applications must be submitted at the same time as the draft EAW. (An exception is the construction stormwater general permit since its issuance is automated.)
The draft EAW must include:
- A county map showing the general project location.
- A topographic map showing project boundaries.
- A site map that clearly identify existing operations/structures (if present) and the proposed operations/structures.
- A Natural Heritage Review, completed within the last year; include the concurrence letter or email from the Department of Natural Resources.
- State Historic Preservation Office’s information on nearby historic properties, completed within the last year.
- An air assessment: MPCA Environmental Review Unit EAW air assessment practices (p-ear1-10)
You may also need:
- Air Quality Modeling or an Air Emission Risk Analysis.
- A DNR preliminary approval to construct a well.
- Well data such as a pump test or aquifer test.
- Additional information if your project is located in an area of potential concern for environmental justice.
- Work with the community early in the process.
- Use plain language and active voice in your draft EAW.
- Ensure permit applications match the draft EAW.
- Be consistent in labeling structures/operations throughout the draft EAW and attachments.
- Make sure to reference all attachments within the draft EAW. Also, order the attachments as they appear within the draft EAW.
- Use recently completed MPCA EAWs as an example for completing your draft EAW.
Complete the draft EAW
For most proposed projects, use the Environmental Assessment Worksheet form
- Feedlot projects: Alternative Environmental Assessment Worksheet for animal feedlots (p-ear1-05)
Submit the draft EAW
Dan Card, P.E.
Supervisor, Environmental Review Unit
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul MN 55155-4194