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Environmental Health Division
Process and Time Line
The rulemaking process is governed by Minnesota Statutes, chapter 14, and Minnesota Rules, chapter 1400. This is a short summary of the main parts of the process, important documents, and time line for developing and adopting rules.
Request for Comments
The Request for Comments is published in the State Register and initiates the rulemaking process.
MDH develops and drafts the proposed rules. The Revisor of Statutes reviews the rules for form and style, and prepares the final rule draft for publication in the State Register.
Statement of Need and Reasonableness
The Department is required to justify the need and reasonableness of each rule requirement. “Need” means that there is a problem, or a legislative directive, that requires us to adopt or amend rules. “Reasonableness” means that a proposed requirement is a reasonable solution to a problem. The Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) is the justification document that contains the analysis of each requirement in the rules, the Department's statutory authority for the rules, and a regulatory analysis.
Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules
When the proposed rule revisions are complete, MDH intends to publish a Notice of Hearing in the State Register, along with the proposed rule revisions. MDH will also mail the Notice of Hearing to the agency's rulemaking list and to all parties who submitted comments throughout rule development.
The Department intends to hold a hearing on the proposed RRP rules before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) from the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
After the Notice of Hearing is published, there is a 5-day comment period, during which interested parties and affected stakeholders may submit written comments on the proposed rules. This comment period can be increased to 20 days at the ALJ's discretion Following the comment period is a 5-day rebuttal period.
Review by Administrative Law Judge
An ALJ will either approve or disapprove the rules as to legality. The ALJ reviews the proposed rules and all exhibits from the hearing to determine if the Department has demonstrated that it has statutory authority for the rules, has shown the rules to be needed and reasonable, has given proper notice of the proposed rules, and has complied with all other rulemaking requirements.
After the rule revisions are approved by the ALJ, OAH files the approved rules to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then sends the approved rules to the Governor. The Governor has 14 days to review the approved rules during which time he may veto the proposed new rules or rule amendments. If the proposed rules are not vetoed, then MDH proceeds with adopting the rules.
Notice of Adoption
After the Governor’s review and veto period, MDH publishes Notice of Adoption in the State Register.
The proposed rules become effective five working days after the Notice of Adoption is published.
This process of drafting rules can take several months or years depending on the level of interest and stakeholder engagement. The formal, or procedural, part of the rulemaking process, from publishing the Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules until the date the rules become effective, takes approximately five months if there is a hearing.