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Minnesota Legislature

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HF 3000

1st Engrossment - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 06/02/2016 08:54am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; clarifying and modifying certain buffer requirements
on public waters and drainage ditches; modifying certain authority to issue
administrative penalty orders; amending Minnesota Statutes 2014, sections
103B.101, subdivision 12; 103E.315, subdivision 8; Minnesota Statutes 2015
Supplement, sections 103B.101, subdivision 12a; 103F.48, subdivisions 1, 3, 4,
7, 8, 10.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 103B.101, subdivision 12, is amended to
read:


Subd. 12.

Authority to issue penalty ordersnew text begin; generallynew text end.

(a) new text beginExcept as provided
under subdivision 12a,
new text endthe board may issue an order requiring violations to be corrected and
administratively assessing monetary penalties of up to $10,000 per violation for violations
of this chapter and chapters 103C, 103D, 103E, 103F, and 103G, any rules adopted under
those chapters, and any standards, limitations, or conditions established by the board.

(b) Administrative penalties issued new text beginby the board new text endunder paragraph (a) new text beginor subdivision
12a,
new text endmay be appealed according to section 116.072, if the recipient of the penalty requests
a hearing by notifying the commissioner in writing within 30 days after receipt of the
order. For the purposes of this section, the terms "commissioner" and "agency" as used in
section 116.072 mean the board. If a hearing is not requested within the 30-day period, the
order becomes a final order not subject to further review.

(c) Administrative penalty orders issued under paragraph (a) new text beginor subdivision 12a,
new text endmay be enforced under section 116.072, subdivision 9. Penalty amounts must be remitted
within 30 days of issuance of the order.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 103B.101, subdivision 12a,
is amended to read:


Subd. 12a.

Authority to issue penalty ordersnew text begin; riparian protection requirementsnew text end.

(a) A county or watershed district with jurisdiction or the Board of Water and Soil
Resources may issue an order requiring violations of the water resources riparian
protection requirements under sections 103F.415, 103F.421, and 103F.48 to be corrected
and administratively assessing monetary penalties up to $500 for noncompliance
commencing on day one of the 11th month after the noncompliance notice was issued.
deleted text beginOne-half ofdeleted text end The proceeds collected from an administrative penalty order issued under this
section must be remitted to the county or watershed district with jurisdiction over the
noncompliant sitenew text begin, or otherwise remitted to the Board of Water and Soil Resourcesnew text end.

new text begin (b) Before exercising this authority, the Board of Water and Soil Resources must
adopt a plan containing procedures for the issuance of administrative penalty orders by
local governments and the board as authorized in this subdivision. The plan, and any
subsequent amendments, becomes effective 30 days after being published in the State
Register. The initial plan must be published in the State Register no later than July 1, 2017.
new text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end Administrative penalties may be reissued and appealed under paragraph (a)
according to section 103F.48, subdivision 9.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 103E.315, subdivision 8, is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Extent of damages.

new text begin(a) new text endDamages to be paid may include:

(1) the fair market value of the property required for the channel of an open ditch
and the permanent strip of perennial vegetation under section 103E.021;

(2) the diminished value of a farm due to severing a field by an open ditch;

(3) loss of crop production during drainage project construction;

(4) the diminished productivity or land value from increased overflow; and

(5) costs to restore a perennial vegetative cover or structural practice existing
under a federal or state conservation program adjacent to the permanent drainage system
right-of-way and damaged by the drainage project.

new text begin (b) When damages are determined to acquire or otherwise provide compensation for
buffer strips or alternative riparian water quality practices previously installed as required
by section 103F.48, subdivision 3, the viewers and drainage authority shall consider the
land use prior to buffer strip or alternative practice installation in determining the fair
market value of the property under paragraph (a), clause (1).
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 103F.48, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms
have the meanings given them.

(b) "Board" means the Board of Water and Soil Resources.

(c) "Buffer" means an area consisting of perennial vegetation, excluding invasive
plants and noxious weeds, adjacent to all bodies of water within the state and that protects
the water resources of the state from runoff pollution; stabilizes soils, shores, and banks;
and protects or provides riparian corridors.

(d) "Buffer protection map" means buffer maps established and maintained by the
commissioner of natural resources.

(e) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of natural resources.

(f) "Executive director" means the executive director of the Board of Water and
Soil Resources.

(g) "Local water management authority" means a watershed district, metropolitan
water management organization, or county operating separately or jointly in its role as
local water management authority under chapter 103B or 103D.

(h) "Normal water level" means the level evidenced by the long-term presence of
surface water as indicated directly by hydrophytic plants or hydric soils or indirectly
determined via hydrological models or analysis.

(i) "Public waters" has the meaning given in section 103G.005, subdivision 15.new text begin The
term public waters as used in this section applies to waters that are on the public waters
inventory as provided in section 103G.201.
new text end

new text begin (j) "With jurisdiction" means a board determination that the county or watershed
district has adopted a rule, ordinance, or official controls providing procedures for the
issuance of administrative penalty orders, enforcement, and appeals for purposes of this
section and section 103B.101, subdivision 12a.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 103F.48, subdivision 3, is
amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Water resources riparian protection requirements on public waters
and public drainage systems.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), landowners
owning property adjacent to a water body identified and mapped on a buffer protection
map must maintain a buffer to protect the state's water resources as follows:

(1) for all public waters, the more restrictive of:

(i) a 50-foot average width, 30-foot minimum width, continuous buffer of
perennially rooted vegetation; or

(ii) the state shoreland standards and criteria adopted by the commissioner under
section 103F.211; and

(2) for public drainage systems established under chapter 103E, a 16.5-foot
minimum width continuous buffer deleted text beginof perennially rooted vegetation on ditches within the
benefited area of public drainage systems
deleted text endnew text begin as provided in section 103E.021, subdivision 1.
The buffer vegetation must not impede future maintenance of the ditch
new text end.

(b) A landowner owning property adjacent to a water body identified in a buffer
protection map and whose property is used for cultivation farming may meet the
requirements under paragraph (a) by adopting an alternative riparian water quality
practice, or combination of structural, vegetative, and management practices, based on the
Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office Technical Guide or other practices
approved by the board, that provide water quality protection comparable to the buffer
protection for the water body that the property abuts.new text begin Included in these practices are
retention ponds and alternative measures that prevent overland flow to the water resource.
new text end

(c) The width of a buffer new text beginon public waters new text end must be measured from the top or crown
of the bank. Where there is no defined bank, measurement must be from the edge of the
normal water level.new text begin The width of the buffer on public drainage systems must be measured
as provided in section 103E.021, subdivision 1.
new text end

(d) Upon request by a landowner or authorized agent or operator of a landowner,
a technical professional employee or contractor of the soil and water conservation
district or its delegate may issue a validation of compliance with the requirements of
this subdivision. The soil and water conservation district validation may be appealed to
the board as described in subdivision 9.

(e) Buffers or alternative water quality practices required under paragraph (a) or
(b) must be in place on or before:

(1) November 1, 2017, for public waters; and

(2) November 1, 2018, for public drainage systems.

new text begin (f) Nothing in this section limits the eligibility of a landowner or authorized agent or
operator of a landowner to participate in federal or state conservation programs, including
enrolling or reenrolling in federal conservation programs.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 103F.48, subdivision 4, is
amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Local water resources riparian protection.

new text beginIn consultation with local
water management authorities,
new text endon or before July 1, 2017, the soil and water conservation
district shall develop, adopt, and submit to each local water management authority within
its boundary a summary of watercourses for inclusion in the local water management
authority's plan. A local water management authority that receives a summary of
watercourses identified under this subdivision must deleted text beginrevisedeleted text endnew text begin incorporate an addendum tonew text end its
comprehensive local water management plan or comprehensive watershed management
plan to deleted text beginincorporatedeleted text endnew text begin includenew text end the soil and water conservation district recommendationsnew text begin by
July 1, 2018. The incorporation to include the summary of watercourses provided by the
soil and water conservation district does not require a plan amendment as long as a copy
of the included information is distributed to all agencies, organizations, and individuals
required to receive a copy of the plan changes. A local water management authority
that receives a summary of watercourses identified under this subdivision must address
implementation of the soil and water conservation district recommendations when revising
its comprehensive local water management plan as part of a regularly scheduled update
to its comprehensive local water management plan or development of a comprehensive
watershed management plan under section 103B.801
new text end.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 103F.48, subdivision 7, is
amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Corrective actions.

(a) If the soil and water conservation district
determines a landowner is not in compliance with this section, the district must notify the
county or watershed district with jurisdiction over the noncompliant sitenew text begin and the boardnew text end.
The county or watershed district new text beginwith jurisdiction or the board new text endmust provide the landowner
with a list of corrective actions needed to come into compliance and a practical timeline to
meet the requirements in this section. The county or watershed district with jurisdiction
must provide a copy of the corrective action notice to the board.

new text begin (b) A county or watershed district exercising jurisdiction under this subdivision and
the enforcement authority granted in section 103B.101, subdivision 12a, shall affirm the
county's or district's jurisdiction and identify the ordinance, rule, or other official controls
to carry out the compliance provisions of this section and section 103B.101, subdivision
12a, by notice to the board before March 31, 2017. A county or watershed district must
provide notice to the board at least 60 days before the effective date of a subsequent
decision on the county's or district's jurisdiction.
new text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end If the landowner does not comply with the list of actions and timeline
provided, the county or watershed district may enforce this section under the authority
granted in section 103B.101, subdivision 12anew text begin, or by rule of the watershed district or
ordinance or other official control of the county
new text end. Before exercising deleted text beginthisdeleted text endnew text begin administrative
penalty
new text end authority, a county or watershed district must adopt a plan new text beginconsistent with the plan
adopted by the board
new text end containing procedures for the issuance of administrative penalty
orders and may issue orders beginning November 1, 2017. If a county or watershed
district with jurisdiction over the noncompliant site has not adopted a plannew text begin, rule, ordinance,
or official control
new text end under this paragraph, the board deleted text beginmaydeleted text end new text beginmustnew text end enforce this section under the
authority granted in section 103B.101, subdivision 12a.

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end If the county, watershed district, or board determines that sufficient steps have
been taken to fully resolve noncompliance, all or part of the penalty may be forgiven.

deleted text begin (d)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end An order issued under paragraph deleted text begin(b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end may be appealed to the board as
provided under subdivision 9.

deleted text begin (e)deleted text endnew text begin (f)new text end A corrective action is not required for conditions resulting from a flood or
other act of nature.

deleted text begin (f)deleted text endnew text begin (g)new text end A landowner agent or operator of a landowner may not remove or willfully
degrade a riparian buffer or water quality practice, wholly or partially, unless the agent
or operator has obtained a signed statement from the property owner stating that the
permission for the work has been granted by the unit of government authorized to
approve the work in this section or that a buffer or water quality practice is not required
as validated by the soil and water conservation district. Removal or willful degradation
of a riparian buffer or water quality practice, wholly or partially, by an agent or operator
is a separate and independent offense and may be subject to the corrective actions and
penalties in this subdivision.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 103F.48, subdivision 8, is
amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Funding subject to withholding.

The deleted text beginstatedeleted text endnew text begin boardnew text end may withhold funding
from a local water management authority new text beginwith jurisdiction new text end or a soil and water conservation
district that fails to implement this sectionnew text begin or from a local water management authority
that fails to implement subdivision 4
new text end. deleted text beginFunding subject to withholding includes soil and
water program aid, a natural resources block grant, and other project or program funding.
deleted text end
Funding may be restored upon the board's approval of a corrective action plan.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 103F.48, subdivision 10, is
amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Landowner financial assistance and public drainage system procedure.

(a) A landowner or drainage authority may contact the soil and water conservation district
for information on how to apply for local, state, or federal cost-share grants, contracts, or
loans that are available to establish buffers or other water resource protection measures.

(b) The provisions of sections 103E.011, subdivision 5; 103E.021deleted text begin, subdivision 6deleted text end; and
103E.715 may be used in advance or retroactively to acquire or provide compensation for
all or part of the buffer strip establishment or alternative riparian water quality practices as
required under subdivision 3, paragraph (a)deleted text begin, within the benefited area of a public drainage
system
deleted text endnew text begin or (b)new text end. deleted text beginImplementation of this subdivision is not subject to limitation of project
costs to the current benefits adopted for the drainage system.
deleted text end