ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill that aims to speed up the environmental permit applications process for businesses and local governments.

Under the new law, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources will be free to act any permit application within 150 days of submission. Previously, an application had to be “substantially completed” for consideration. The law will also lengthen permit cycles for feedlots and allow some construction projects to start before permits are issued.

Another provision will let businesses to privately hire businesses to do the review as long as they have 10 years of experience in permitting. Critics had argued that could allow applicants to essentially write their own permits.

The bill passed the Legislature with bipartisan support last week.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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