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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board

Also known as:
Environmental Quality Council (1972-1975)
Active dates:1972-

Insures coordination and cooperation among state agencies on environmental issues in Minnesota, and advises the governor and legislature on environmental legislation and issues. EQB programs include: environmental review, state water planning and coordination, and strategic energy and environmental planning.


The Environmental Quality Board was established by an executive order of Governor Wendell Anderson in 1972 and then by an act of the Legislature in 1973. The interest in creating the EQB grew out of a conviction that Minnesota urgently needed a mechanism to coordinate its environmental efforts. The perception then was that environmental problem solving in Minnesota was highly fragmented and the issues surrounding preservation and protection of Minnesota's resources complex.

The Legislature established the Environmental Quality Council in 1973 with the adoption of Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 116C and the companion Chapter 116D, the environmental policy act. In its findings, the Legislature argued that "problems related to the environment often encompass the responsibilities of several state agencies and that solutions to these problems require the interaction of these agencies." [Minnesota Statutes, Section 116C.01]

The 1973 Legislature made overall understanding, management and protection of the state's environmental quality the backbone of the Environmental Quality Council's duties. In particular, the Council's founders made the interagency aspects of this task its primary reason for existence. Governor Anderson described land use as one of his primary environmental quality concerns, and an issue for the prospective Council: "Perhaps the ultimate constraint on our resources is the earth itself. There is a serious question as to whether this planet can continue to accumulate unrestricted numbers of people and their possessions. The abuse of our land is termed by many as the ultimate problem of pollution" (quoted in "Reports of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, 1972-2003," p. 2, see link below in Reports section).

1975 Minn. Laws Chap. 271 Sec. 3 changed the name of the Environmental Quality Council to Environmental Quality Board.


As of 2013, the 15 members of the board are the commissioner of administration, the commissioner of commerce, the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency, the commissioner of natural resources, the commissioner of agriculture, the commissioner of health, the commissioner of employment and economic development, the commissioner of transportation, the chair of the Board of Water and Soil Resources, and a representative of the governor's office designated by the governor. The governor shall appoint five members from the general public to the board, subject to the advice and consent of the senate. At least two of the five public members must have knowledge of and be conversant in water management issues in the state.

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Office memorandum: Legislation authorizing EQB permits for pipeline routing. From Special Assistant Attorney General to Executive Director of the EQB, 2/17/1987.
Office memorandum: Legislation authorizing EQB permits for pipeline routing. From Special Assistant Attorney General to Executive Director of the EQB, 1/27/1987.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1972-2019.
Record last updated: 10/17/2018

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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