Citizen Boards as Regulatory Agencies

Urban Lawyer, Vol. 22, No. 3, p. 451, 1990

37 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2010

See all articles by Marcia Gelpe

Marcia Gelpe

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Date Written: 1990


The author of this article served as a member of a citizen board for five years prior to writing this article. A citizen board is comprised of nine part-time, unspecialized citizen members, and is the decision-making body for one of the most powerful administrative agencies in the state, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The MPCA makes the rules in the environmental area, issues pollution discharge permits, and enforces the environmental laws. All of these important, far-reaching decisions that touch the lives of every state resident are made by a board of lay citizens, acting with little training and minimal compensation. This article is the product of six years of observation, discussion, and thorough about the workings of a citizen board. It sets out the strengths and weaknesses of such a board, identifies the areas in which they are best used, and discusses ways to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

Keywords: citizen board, Minnesota pollution control agency, agency decision, citizen board decision

Suggested Citation

Gelpe, Marcia, Citizen Boards as Regulatory Agencies (1990). Urban Lawyer, Vol. 22, No. 3, p. 451, 1990, Available at SSRN:

Marcia Gelpe (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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