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Legislative Session number- 81

Bill Name: SF0083

E Simplifying and consolidating wetlands regulations; removing the exception of
certain wetlands classified as natural environment lakes from the definition of
public waters under the water law; authorizing the commissioner of natural
resources (DNR) to revise the list of public waters for certain public waters
wetlands reclassification purposes, restrictions, requiring a reclassification
priority for wetlands affected by public works projects, requiring the
commissioner to provide notice of reclassifications to local government units,
county boards and watershed and soil and water conservation districts for
objections purposes, objection to negate the reclassification; specifying
certain conditions for the draining or filling of wetlands by employees or
agents of contractors, violations to be a separate offense, requiring the board
of water and soil resources (BOWSR) to develop a form to be distributed to
contractors associations, local government units and soil and water conservation
districts for compliance purposes, specifying certain form content requirements;
applying wetlands regulations to excavations in permanently and semipermanently
flooded areas of certain types of wetlands; eliminating the requirements for
replacement within the same watershed or county as the impacted wetlands and for
the board to maintain a public list of restoration opportunities in the
metropolitan area and the authority of the board committee for dispute
resolution to hear disputes relating to restoration opportunities for wetland
replacement; including public waters wetlands under certain restoration and
replacement requirements; modifying certain provisions regulating the filling or
draining of wetlands for certain public road or transportation projects and
certain restoration projects priority requirements; establishing a priority
order for siting wetland replacement; modifying the replacement plan exemption
for agricultural activities in wetlands located on agricultural land, expanding
the exemptions to certain activities authorized under the federal clean water or
rivers and harbors acts and modifying the de minimis exemption, eliminating the
requirement to contact the board for information on minimizing wetland impacts;
requiring the board to adopt rules governing approval of public waters work
permits affecting public waters wetlands; modifying membership requirements and
expanding certain duties of technical evaluation panels; exempting persons
conducting wetlands or public waters boundary delineations or type
determinations from state licensing requirements and requiring the board in
consultation with the Minnesota association of professional soil scientists, the
university of Minnesota and the wetland delineators association to by a certain
date submit a plan to the legislature for a professional wetland delineator
certification program; authorizing and providing for landowners to apply for
wetland boundary or type determinations from local government units; authorizing
local government units and soil and water conservation districts to charge fees
for technical and administrative assistance to landowners in processing wetland
projects applications; providing for appeal of wetland banking and wetland
boundary or type determination decisions and expanding the authority of the
board to deny petitions; sunsetting the wetland heritage advisory committee;
requiring the commissioner to be responsible for public waters preservation and
protection, authorizing the commissioner to waive the requirements for public
waters work permits and local government units to waive the requirements for
replacement plans under certain conditions; defining wetlands for interpretation
of statutes purposes; requiring the board and the commissioner to provide a
joint report to the legislature by a certain date on further technical changes
to the wetland conservation act and rules to provide for an improved regulatory
consolidation process and to adopt or amend certain rules (mk, ja)