Description: Challenge to Rochester Township's negative declaration on the need for an environmental impact statement for a 10-lot residential development.
In re Determination of Need for Environmental Impact Statement for Pavilion Estates Subdivision
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/06/2022 Opinion Download Negative declaration affirmed. Minnesota Court Rejected Climate Change Arguments in Decision Affirming Environmental Review for Residential Development. The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed Rochester Township’s negative declaration on the need for an environmental impact statement under the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act for a 10-lot residential development. Among the arguments rejected by the court was a contention that the Township failed to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The court said the Township’s determination “could have more explicitly and thoroughly set forth its findings as to greenhouse-gas emissions” but concluded that the determination was “thoroughly supported.” In support of this conclusion, the court noted that the environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) stated that emissions from residential heating units would be comparable to “suburban homes of similar size.” The EAW also cited other greenhouse gas or climate change factors such as reduced forest clearing, high-efficiency furnaces, well-insulated buildings, and proximity to the City of Rochester.