Certain projects (for example, the construction or expansion of commercial or industrial facilities) can trigger specialized environmental review intended to prevent damage to environmental resources as a result of private or public development projects. This preventive planning approach helps identify and mitigate possible environmental problems while the project is still in the planning stages before permits are issued and construction or operation begins.
Those reviews are conducted by a legally defined “responsible governmental unit” and are of two types: an Environmental Assessment Worksheet and an Environmental Impact Statement. An Environmental Assessment Worksheet is a preliminary review to evaluate the potential for significant environmental effects from a project. An Environmental Impact Statement is a more comprehensive environmental review. The size and nature of certain projects trigger a mandatory Environmental Assesment Worksheet and/or an Environmental Impact Statement while in other cases the nature of review is at the discretion of the responsible governmental unit. For more information, contact the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
CREDITS: This is an excerpt from A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office, Twenty-eighth Edition, January 2010, written by Charles A. Schaffer, Madeline Harris, and Mark Simmer. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.