There are specific steps (found in Chapter 14 of Minnesota Statutes) that State agencies must follow when new or revised rules are proposed.
The DNR issued a request for comments on possible amendments to Minnesota Rules parts 6100.3000 to 6100.4300 in 2006. The DNR issued a request for comments on possible amendments to Minnesota Rules parts 6100.0100 to 6100.2400 in 2009. The DNR has combined these rulemaking processes.
An updated and combined request for comments was published in the State Register in May 2014. The request for comments was sent to parties responding to the earlier requests for comments; to parties likely to be affected by the rule changes, and to parties who had expressed interest in being notified.
The comments we received were reviewed and summarized. These comments are being considered as we prepare the draft rule revisions.
Another step in the rulemaking process is to prepare the revised/proposed rule and SONAR that describes why each rule revision is needed and reasonable. The DNR will develop the draft rule and SONAR in the first half of 2016.
Once the proposed rule and SONAR are drafted, they must be approved by the DNR Commissioner and Governor's Office. If approved, the proposed rule is published in the State Register and a 30-day comment period follows.
All of the persons who were notified of the proposed rule during the request for comments period, as well as those people who have commented or expressed an interest in the rule changes, will receive notification and information on how they can receive a copy of the proposed rule.
An administrative law judge will conduct a hearing on the proposed rule if 25 or more people request a hearing during the 30-day comment period. If a hearing is held, a 20-day comment period follows the hearing. There is an additional 5-day period for the agency to respond to comments received.
The administrative law judge will advise the agency as to whether there is legal authority to adopt the rules, and if the agency has demonstrated the need for and reasonableness of the proposed rule.
After receiving the administrative law judge's report, the agency has 180 days to adopt the rule and submit the final rule for publication in the State Register.
The rule goes into effect 5 working days after final publication. The DNR anticipates this step in early 2017.