1st Engrossment - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 11/09/2017 10:44am
A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; modifying requirements for buffers on public water;
clarifying certain rulemaking for soil loss ordinances; amending Minnesota Statutes
2016, sections 103B.101, subdivision 12a; 103F.411, subdivision 1; 103F.48,
subdivisions 1, 3, 7.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 103B.101, subdivision 12a, is amended to
(a) deleted text beginA county or watershed district with
jurisdiction ordeleted text end 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. The proceeds collected from an administrative penalty order issued under
this section must be remitted to deleted text beginthe county or watershed district with jurisdiction over the
noncompliant site, or otherwise remitted todeleted text end the Board of Water and Soil Resources.
(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 deleted text beginby local
governments and the board as authorized in this subdivisiondeleted text end. This plan, and any subsequent
amendments, will become 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.
(c) Administrative penalties may be reissued and appealed under paragraph (a) according
to section 103F.48, subdivision 9.
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 103F.411, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
The Board of Water and Soil Resources, in consultation with
counties, soil and water conservation districts, and other appropriate agencies, shall adopt
a model ordinance and rules that serve as a guide for local governments new text beginnew text endto implement sections 103F.401 to 103F.455 and provide administrative
procedures for the board for sections 103F.401 to 103F.455.
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 103F.48, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
(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
(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" deleted text beginhas the meaning given in section 103G.005, subdivision 15. The termdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end public waters deleted text beginas used in this section applies to watersdeleted text end that are on the public waters
inventory as provided in section 103G.201new text beginnew text end.
(j) "With jurisdiction" means a board determination that the county or watershed district
has adopted a rule, ordinance, or official controls providing procedures for deleted text beginthe issuance of
deleted text enddeleted text begin administrative penalty orders, enforcement, and appeals for purposes of this section and
deleted text enddeleted text begin section deleted text enddeleted text begin103B.101, subdivision 12adeleted text endnew text beginnew text end.
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 103F.48, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
(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 watersnew text beginnew text end, 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
(2) for public drainage systems established under chapter 103E new text beginnew text end, a 16.5-foot minimum width continuous buffer as
provided in section 103E.021, subdivision 1. The buffer vegetation shall not impede future
maintenance of the ditch.
(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 new text beginnew text endboard, that provide water quality protection comparable
to the buffer protection for the water body that the property abuts. Included in these practices
are retention ponds and alternative measures that prevent overland flow to the water resource.
(c) The width of a buffer on public waters 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. The width of the buffer on public drainage systems must be measured as provided
in section 103E.021, subdivision 1.
(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, deleted text begin2017deleted text endnew text beginnew text end, for public waters; and
(2) November 1, deleted text begin2018deleted text endnew text beginnew text end, for public drainage systems.
(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 begin new text end
new text begin new text end
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 103F.48, subdivision 7, is amended to read:
(a) If the soil and water conservation district determines
a landowner is not in compliance with this section, new text beginnew text endthe district must notify the county or watershed district with jurisdiction over the
noncompliant site and the board. The county or watershed district with jurisdiction or the
board must 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
(b) A county or watershed district exercising jurisdiction under this subdivision deleted text beginand thedeleted text end
deleted text begin enforcement authority granted in section deleted text enddeleted text begin103B.101, subdivision 12adeleted text enddeleted text begin,deleted text end shall affirm their
jurisdiction and identify the ordinance, rule, or other official controls to carry out the
compliance provisions of this section deleted text beginand section deleted text enddeleted text begin103B.101, subdivision 12adeleted text enddeleted text begin,deleted text end by notice to
the board deleted text beginprior to March 31, 2017deleted text end. A county or watershed district must provide notice to
the board at least 60 days prior to the effective date of a subsequent decision on their
(c) If the landowner does not comply with the list of actions and timeline provided, the
county or watershed district may enforce this section deleted text beginunder the authority granted in section
deleted text enddeleted text begin 103B.101, subdivision 12adeleted text enddeleted text begin, ordeleted text end by rule of the watershed district or ordinance or other official
control of the county. deleted text beginBefore exercising administrative penalty authority, a county or
watershed district must adopt a plan consistent with the plan adopted by the board containing
procedures for the issuance of administrative penalty orders and may issue orders beginning
November 1, 2017.deleted text end If a county or watershed district with jurisdiction over the noncompliant
site has not adopted a plan, rule, ordinance, or official control under this paragraph, the
board must enforce this section under the authority granted in section 103B.101, subdivision
(d) 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.
(e) An order issued under paragraph (c) may be appealed to the board as provided under
(f) A corrective action is not required for conditions resulting from a flood or other act
(g) 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.
new text begin new text end