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DNR Permitting Efficiency Is 99.6 Percent


ST. PAUL, MN (KDAL) -  In its latest report on permitting efficiency to the Minnesota Legislature, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports it has met new targets for expediting permit applications 99.6 percent of the time.  New permit efficiency expectations require DNR permit applications from industry and other entities to be approved or denied within 150 days. A year ago, Gov. Mark Dayton signed an executive order directing the DNR and MPCA to meet the benchmark to ensure quick response to industry requests. The DNR's nearly 100 percent efficiency delivers on Dayton's promise that DNR should "move at the speed of commerce," as the governor said last year.  "The report shows the DNR is responsive to companies and other entities that require speedy review of their permit requests, while still safeguarding the state's natural resources," said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. "In this economic environment, I'm pleased to show that the DNR is not only able to meet expectations, but exceed them."  In many cases, DNR staff was able to render decisions on permits in less than two weeks, and often within a few days.  In addition to Dayton's executive order, the governor signed legislation codifying the 150-day permit decision goal for the DNR. "It's a goal we take very seriously," Landwehr said.  As part of the legislation, the DNR and other agencies are required to deliver semiannual reports to the Legislature on permitting efficiency on Feb. 1 and Aug. 1.