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HF 1806

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 04/06/2021 12:47pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to health; establishing a program to test private residential water supply
wells for contaminants and make payments for costs to remediate contaminated
wells; authorizing rulemaking; classifying certain data; requiring reports;
establishing penalties; appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in
Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103I.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1. new text beginTITLE.
new text end

new text begin This act may be cited as the Minnesota Private Residential Well Testing and Remediation
Act.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginPURPOSE.
new text end

new text begin The purpose of this act is to ensure that owners and users of private residential water
supply wells are able to secure safe drinking water from these wells by:
new text end

new text begin (1) establishing an expedited, efficient process to test water from private residential
water supply wells for nitrates, arsenic, or other contaminants to determine if contaminants
exceed applicable public health standards;
new text end

new text begin (2) providing funding to test water from private residential water supply wells for
contaminants;
new text end

new text begin (3) for private residential wells that are contaminated, providing state payments for the
cost of treatment equipment necessary to remediate contaminant levels and for the cost of
reconstructing existing private residential wells or drilling new private residential wells and
sealing existing wells; and
new text end

new text begin (4) making an adequate supply of free, safe drinking water available to users of private
residential wells that are contaminated.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [103I.25] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Applicability. new text end

new text begin The terms defined in this section apply to sections 103I.25
to 103I.255 unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Accredited laboratory. new text end

new text begin "Accredited laboratory" means a laboratory accredited
by the commissioner under section 144.98 to test water for contaminants.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Claimant. new text end

new text begin "Claimant" means one of the following persons eligible to submit
an application for payment under section 103I.253: an owner or lessee of the property on
which a contaminated private residential well is located; or the spouse, a dependent, or a
legal representative of the owner or lessee.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Contaminated. new text end

new text begin "Contaminated" means:
new text end

new text begin (1) containing one or more substances of public health concern in excess of the maximum
contaminant level established for that substance in Code of Federal Regulations, title 40,
chapter 141; or
new text end

new text begin (2) containing one or more substances of public health concern in excess of the health
risk limit established for that substance in Minnesota Rules, parts 4717.7500 to 4717.7900.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Groundwater. new text end

new text begin "Groundwater" has the meaning given in section 115.01,
subdivision 6.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Local unit of government. new text end

new text begin "Local unit of government" means the governing
body of a county, statutory city, or home rule charter city.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Point of entry treatment. new text end

new text begin "Point of entry treatment" means full-service water
treatment applied to water entering a house or building for the purpose of reducing
contaminants in the water distributed throughout the house or building. In point of entry
treatment, outside faucets may be excluded from treatment.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Point of use treatment. new text end

new text begin "Point of use treatment" means water treatment applied
to a single tap for the purpose of reducing contaminants in water at one or more outlets.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Private residential water supply well or private residential well. new text end

new text begin "Private
residential water supply well" or "private residential well" means a water supply well that
is used to supply water for human consumption and that is not a public water supply well,
as that term is defined in Minnesota Rules, part 4725.0100, subpart 37a.
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [103I.251] TESTING PROGRAM AND REMEDIATION PAYMENT
PROGRAM FOR PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL WATER SUPPLY WELLS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Programs established. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall establish and administer
a program to test private residential water supply wells in the state for contaminants and a
program to make payments for remediation costs for private residential water supply wells
in the state that are contaminated.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Rulemaking. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may adopt rules to implement sections 103I.25
to 103I.255. In adopting any rules under this subdivision, the commissioner must consult
with licensed water conditioning contractors, the Plumbing Board, and the Advisory Council
on Wells and Borings.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [103I.252] GRANT PROGRAM; TESTING PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL
WATER SUPPLY WELLS FOR CONTAMINANTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Program established. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall administer a program to
test private residential water supply wells for contaminants. In administering the program,
the commissioner must:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide grants to local units of government and tribal governments to fund tests of
private residential wells in the jurisdiction of the local unit of government or tribal
government;
new text end

new text begin (2) establish minimum standards for local and tribal well testing programs, including
standards for the collection of water samples, personnel collecting samples, laboratory
analyses, and follow-up services after testing, and oversee local and tribal well testing
programs that receive grants under this section to ensure compliance with these minimum
standards;
new text end

new text begin (3) provide technical assistance to local units of government and tribal governments
operating a local or tribal well testing program;
new text end

new text begin (4) educate the public about the local and tribal well testing programs available in the
state and the importance of testing private residential wells for contaminants; and
new text end

new text begin (5) specify contaminants for which all local and tribal well testing programs must test
and specify additional contaminants for which local and tribal well testing programs may
test.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Application. new text end

new text begin A local unit of government or tribal government seeking a grant
under this section shall apply to the commissioner at a time and in a manner established by
the commissioner. In its application, a local unit of government or tribal government must
specify how the local unit of government or tribal government will notify owners and users
of private residential wells about the availability of testing services, the contaminants for
which the wells will be tested, how water samples will be collected, and follow-up services
provided to owners and users of private residential wells tested under this section. Two or
more local units of government or tribal governments may jointly file a single application
for a grant under this section and may jointly operate a single well testing program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Grant awards. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall determine grant award amounts
and shall award grants to applicants in the following order of priority:
new text end

new text begin (1) applicants in regions of the state in which the commissioner determines that a
statistically significant number of private residential wells are contaminated;
new text end

new text begin (2) applicants in regions of the state in which the commissioner determines that a
statistically significant number of private residential wells contain coliform bacteria; and
new text end

new text begin (3) other applicants.
new text end

new text begin (b) Grants shall be awarded annually.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Contract. new text end

new text begin A local unit of government or tribal government may contract with
a third party, such as a licensed water conditioning contractor, to operate the local or tribal
well testing program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Testing by local and tribal well testing programs. new text end

new text begin Within the limits of
available funding, a local or tribal well testing program receiving a grant must provide
testing for a private residential well when testing is requested by the owner or user of the
private residential well. A local unit of government or tribal government may limit the
number of tests performed on a single private residential well or the frequency with which
a single private residential well is tested in a specific time period.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Tests performed by accredited laboratory. new text end

new text begin A local or tribal well testing
program receiving a grant must ensure that all tests of water samples are performed by an
accredited laboratory.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Reporting. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may require local units of government and tribal
governments receiving a grant to report to the commissioner information necessary for the
commissioner to evaluate the grant program.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [103I.253] REMEDIATION; ELIGIBILITY FOR PAYMENT AND
PAYMENT PROCEDURES.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Program established. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall administer a program to
provide payments to claimants for eligible costs to remediate a contaminated private
residential water supply well. In administering the program, the commissioner must:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide information to the public about the program and how to apply for a payment
under the program;
new text end

new text begin (2) assist claimants in submitting applications for a payment;
new text end

new text begin (3) establish procedures for the submission of applications, review of applications, and
decisions on applications; and
new text end

new text begin (4) issue payments.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Eligibility for payment. new text end

new text begin (a) To be eligible for a payment under this section,
an owner or lessee of the property on which the contaminated private residential well is
located must have an annual family income of less than $100,000.
new text end

new text begin (b) For purposes of paragraph (a), an owner's or lessee's annual family income means
the aggregate amount of the adjusted gross income of each individual member of the owner's
or lessee's household. The aggregate amount of adjusted gross income for the owner's or
lessee's household shall be determined using monthly pay stubs or an alternative means of
proof of income as determined by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (c) In consultation with the commissioner of revenue, the commissioner may establish
additional reporting requirements that the commissioner determines are necessary to
administer paragraphs (a) and (b), including reporting requirements that the commissioner
determines are necessary to accurately estimate, project, or otherwise determine an owner's
or lessee's annual family income.
new text end

new text begin (d) The following entities are not eligible for a payment under this section:
new text end

new text begin (1) the state of Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (2) an office, department, division, bureau, board, commission, authority, district, or
agency of the state;
new text end

new text begin (3) a public or private institution of higher education;
new text end

new text begin (4) a county, town, statutory city, or home rule charter city;
new text end

new text begin (5) a federal agency, department, or instrumentality; or
new text end

new text begin (6) an interstate agency.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Application. new text end

new text begin (a) An application for payment must be submitted at a time and
in a manner established by the commissioner. In the application, the claimant must provide:
new text end

new text begin (1) test results of water from the private residential well that comply with subdivision
4, paragraph (a);
new text end

new text begin (2) an application fee in an amount determined by the commissioner;
new text end

new text begin (3) a statement specifying the proposed remediation as recommended by a licensed water
conditioning contractor or other qualified professional; and
new text end

new text begin (4) any other information required by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (b) By submitting an application under this section, a claimant consents to the
commissioner or an agent of the commissioner entering the property where the private
residential well is located to perform any investigations or tests needed to verify information
in the application.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall consolidate all applications for an award if more than one
claimant submits an application related to the same private residential well.
new text end

new text begin (d) A claimant may submit an application regardless of when the contamination of the
private residential well is or could have been discovered.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Determining contamination. new text end

new text begin (a) As part of the application submitted under
subdivision 3, a claimant must provide evidence that the private residential well is
contaminated by submitting results of tests performed in a manner that assures the validity
of the results. The tests must have been conducted by an accredited laboratory.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner may reject tests that are not sufficiently recent, according to
standards established by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner, at the commissioner's expense, may test additional samples from
any private residential well for which an application for payment is submitted.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Payment procedures. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall issue payments for remediation
costs in the order in which the commissioner receives completed applications, and shall
make determinations on applications and issue payments within 30 days after the
commissioner receives the completed application.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Eligible costs and issuance of payments. new text end

new text begin (a) Upon determinations by the
commissioner that the claimant's private residential well is contaminated and that the claimant
meets the requirements in this section and rules for a payment, the commissioner shall issue
a payment to the claimant for eligible costs of remediation.
new text end

new text begin (b) The following items constitute eligible costs of remediation procedures and
installations:
new text end

new text begin (1) the cost of equipment and installation to treat and remove contaminants from the
water;
new text end

new text begin (2) the cost of reconstructing the existing private residential well, including the cost of
purchasing and installing a pump if necessary;
new text end

new text begin (3) the cost of constructing a new private residential well, including the cost of purchasing
and installing a pump if necessary, and sealing the existing private residential well;
new text end

new text begin (4) the cost of obtaining an alternate water supply; and
new text end

new text begin (5) notwithstanding subdivision 8, paragraph (a), clause (3), the cost of testing water
samples for contaminants, if that cost was originally paid for by the claimant.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall issue payments without regard to fault. Contributory
negligence shall not be a bar to recovery, and no award shall be decreased due to negligence
attributable to the claimant or to any person who is entitled to submit a claim.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner shall by rule determine the usual and customary cost for each
eligible cost specified in paragraph (b). In determining the usual and customary costs, the
commissioner shall consider the range of costs resulting from differences in costs of
construction, labor, equipment, and supplies throughout the state; soil and bedrock conditions;
sizes and depths of wells; types of well construction; and other factors that may affect costs.
The commissioner shall determine payment amounts for individual claimants based on the
usual and customary costs established under this paragraph, subject to the limitations in
subdivision 7.
new text end

new text begin (e) If the commissioner issues a payment for reconstruction of the existing private
residential well or construction of a new private residential well, the reconstructed or new
well must:
new text end

new text begin (1) comply with the requirements for such a well in this chapter and Minnesota Rules,
chapter 4725; and
new text end

new text begin (2) be constructed or reconstructed by a well contractor licensed under this chapter.
new text end

new text begin (f) If the commissioner issues a payment for installation of a water treatment device, the
water treatment device must:
new text end

new text begin (1) be installed in accordance with Minnesota Rules, chapter 4714, by a water
conditioning contractor licensed under chapter 326B or a plumber licensed under chapter
326B;
new text end

new text begin (2) comply with Minnesota Rules, part 4714.0611;
new text end

new text begin (3) be generally accepted as an appropriate technology to address the contaminant
identified in the testing; and
new text end

new text begin (4) be labeled under Minnesota Rules, part 4714.0611, UPS section 611.1.3 as an
appropriate technology to address the contaminant identified in the testing.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Limitations on payments. new text end

new text begin (a) The payment amount to a claimant shall not be
greater than 75 percent of the eligible costs of remediation and shall not be greater than
$10,000.
new text end

new text begin (b) If the contamination can be remedied by point of use treatment, point of entry
treatment, reconstruction of the private residential well, or construction of a new private
residential well, the commissioner shall issue a payment for the least expensive means of
remedying the contamination.
new text end

new text begin (c) Payment for obtaining an alternate water supply shall be limited to the amount
necessary to provide drinking water for a one-year period.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Denial of application for payment. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall deny a
claimant's application for payment if:
new text end

new text begin (1) the application does not comply with this section and rules;
new text end

new text begin (2) the application is fraudulent;
new text end

new text begin (3) the application requests payment for eligible costs incurred before the commissioner
determined the application was complete;
new text end

new text begin (4) one or more of the contaminants on which the claim is based were introduced into
the private residential well through the plumbing connected to the well;
new text end

new text begin (5) one or more of the contaminants on which the claim is based were introduced into
the private residential well intentionally by a claimant or by a person who would directly
benefit by a payment under this section;
new text end

new text begin (6) within the past ten years, the commissioner issued a payment under this section for
a private residential well located on the parcel of land on which the private residential well
in the claimant's application is located; or
new text end

new text begin (7) the payment amount would be less than $350.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall not issue a payment for the cost of obtaining an alternate
water supply incurred before the commissioner confirmed that the private residential well
was contaminated.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Emergencies. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding subdivision 8, paragraphs (a), clause (3), and
(b), the commissioner may authorize payments for eligible costs incurred before the
commissioner determined the application was complete if the commissioner determines
that an emergency exists. The commissioner shall establish standards and procedures for
determining when an emergency exists and issuing payments in an emergency.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin New claims. new text end

new text begin A claimant who receives a payment under this section to remediate
contaminants through the use of water treatment solutions, construction of a new private
residential well, or reconstruction of the existing private residential well may subsequently
submit a new application for payment if:
new text end

new text begin (1) new contamination is present and the previous well remediation was properly
performed; or
new text end

new text begin (2) the previous remediation did not eliminate the previous contamination and the
previous well remediation was properly performed. A claimant may only submit one
additional application for payment under this clause within ten years after issuance of an
initial payment under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Penalties. new text end

new text begin (a) A claimant who intentionally contaminates or exacerbates the
contamination of a private residential well for the purpose of obtaining a payment under
this section, or who submits a fraudulent claim under this section, must:
new text end

new text begin (1) pay a penalty to the commissioner in an amount established by the commissioner,
not to exceed $1,000; and
new text end

new text begin (2) repay to the commissioner any payment received under this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) All money received by the commissioner under this subdivision shall be deposited
in the state treasury and credited to the general fund.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [103I.254] DATA COLLECTION, SHARING, AND AVAILABILITY.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin For purposes of this section:
new text end

new text begin (1) "nonpublic data" has the meaning given in section 13.02, subdivision 9;
new text end

new text begin (2) "private data on individuals" has the meaning given in section 13.02, subdivision
12; and
new text end

new text begin (3) "summary data" has the meaning given in section 13.02, subdivision 19.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Test results. new text end

new text begin (a) A local or tribal well testing program shall report to the
commissioner the results for all private residential well tests funded with grant funds under
section 103I.252. Test results must be reported to the commissioner no later than three
months after the test results are communicated to the owner or user of the private residential
well and must be reported in a format and manner specified by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner may use the addresses associated with the test results only to track
the results of multiple tests for the same private residential well.
new text end

new text begin (c) Test results reported to the commissioner under this subdivision are classified as
private data on individuals or nonpublic data. The commissioner may use the test results to
study and track the water quality of private residential wells across the state and to complete
the biennial report under section 103I.255. The commissioner may only publish summary
data derived from the test results.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Remediation payment program. new text end

new text begin Data collected or created by the commissioner
under section 103I.253 related to the operation of the remediation payment program are
classified as private data on individuals or nonpublic data. The commissioner may use this
data to study and track water quality of private residential wells across the state and to
complete the biennial report under section 103I.255. The commissioner may only publish
summary data derived from this data.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [103I.255] BIENNIAL REPORT.
new text end

new text begin By February 1 of each odd-numbered year, the commissioner shall report to the chairs
and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over public
health policy and finance and water policy, on the operation of the testing program and
remediation payment program for private residential water supply wells under sections
103I.25 to 103I.255. In each report, the commissioner must at least:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide the following data for the previous two-year period, broken out by county:
number of private residential wells tested, contaminants tested for, test results, amount spent
on testing, number of private residential well owners or users who received payment for
eligible costs of remediating a contaminated well, type of remediation funded, and average
payment amount;
new text end

new text begin (2) specify the common contaminants of private residential wells in each region of the
state;
new text end

new text begin (3) identify new contaminants that are being found in water from private residential
wells and that are of public health concern; and
new text end

new text begin (4) make recommendations on changes to the operation or funding of the testing program
and remediation payment program for private residential wells to increase testing of private
residential wells, decrease exposure to contaminants, and better protect the public health.
new text end

Sec. 9.

new text begin [103I.503] DISCIPLINARY ACTION FOR SUBMISSION OF FALSE
INFORMATION IN CONTAMINATION REMEDIATION APPLICATIONS.
new text end

new text begin The commissioner may suspend, revoke, or impose limitations or conditions on a license
or registration of a well contractor or certified representative of a well contractor if the
commissioner determines that the well contractor or certified representative of a well
contractor knowingly submits false information in a claimant's application for payment
under section 103I.253 to remediate a contaminated private residential water supply well.
new text end

Sec. 10. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS.
new text end

new text begin $....... in fiscal year 2022 and $....... in fiscal year 2023 are appropriated from the general
fund to the commissioner of health for purposes of Minnesota Statutes, sections 103I.25 to
103I.255. Of these amounts:
new text end

new text begin (1) $....... in fiscal year 2022 and $....... in fiscal year 2023 are for grants to local units
of government and tribal governments to test private residential water supply wells for
contaminants under Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.252; and
new text end

new text begin (2) $....... in fiscal year 2022 and $....... in fiscal year 2023 are for the remediation payment
program under Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.253.
new text end