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SF 622

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/30/2021 09:53am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; modifying certain conditions on water appropriations
and wells; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections 103G.271, subdivision 7,
by adding a subdivision; 103G.287, subdivisions 4, 5; 103G.289.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 103G.271, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Transferring permit.

new text begin(a) new text endA water-use permit may be transferred to a successive
owner of real property if the permittee conveys the real property where the source of water
is located. The new owner must notify the commissioner immediately after the conveyance
and request transfer of the permit. The commissioner must not deny the transfer of a permit
if the permittee is in compliance with all permit conditions and the permit meets the
requirements of sections 103G.255 to 103G.301.

new text begin (b) When transferring a permit, the commissioner must not require additional conditions
on the permit, reduce the appropriation, reduce the term, or require any testing.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 103G.271, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Management plans; economic impacts. new text end

new text begin Before a management plan for
appropriating water is prepared, the commissioner must provide estimates of the economic
impact of any new restriction or policy on existing and future groundwater users and local
governments in the affected area. Strategies to address economic impacts must be included
in the plan.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 103G.287, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Groundwater management areas.

(a) The commissioner may designate
groundwater management areas and limit total annual water appropriations and uses within
a designated area to ensure sustainable use of groundwater that protects ecosystems, water
quality, and the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Water appropriations
and uses within a designated management area must be consistent with a groundwater
management area plan approved by the commissioner that addresses water conservation
requirements and water allocation priorities established in section 103G.261. new text beginDuring
development of a groundwater management area plan, the commissioner and employees
and agents of the department may disseminate information related to the timing, location,
and agendas of meetings related to the plan, but must otherwise limit public information
related to the groundwater management area plan to direct factual responses to public and
media inquires.
new text endAt least 30 days prior to implementing or modifying a groundwater
management area plan under this subdivision, the commissioner shall consult with the
advisory team established in paragraph (c).

(b) Notwithstanding section 103G.271, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), and Minnesota
Rules, within designated groundwater management areas, the commissioner may require
general permits as specified in section 103G.271, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), for water
users using less than 10,000 gallons per day or 1,000,000 gallons per year and water suppliers
serving less than 25 persons for domestic purposes. The commissioner may waive the
requirements under section 103G.281 for general permits issued under this paragraph, and
the fee specified in section 103G.301, subdivision 2, paragraph (c), does not apply to general
permits issued under this paragraph.

(c) When designating a groundwater management area, the commissioner shall assemble
an advisory team to assist in developing a groundwater management area plan for the area.
The advisory team members shall be selected from public and private entities that have an
interest in the water resources affected by the groundwater management area. A majority
of the advisory team members shall be public and private entities that currently hold water-use
permits for water appropriations from the affected water resources. The commissioner shall
consult with the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the
Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, and the Minnesota Association of Townships
in appointing the local government representatives to the advisory team. The advisory team
may also include representatives from the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota State
Colleges and Universities, other institutions of higher learning in Minnesota, political
subdivisions with jurisdiction over water issues, nonprofits with expertise in water, and
federal agencies.

new text begin (d) Before designating a groundwater management area, the commissioner must provide
estimates of the economic effect of any new restriction or policy on existing and future
groundwater users and local governments in the affected area. Strategies to address economic
impacts must be included in any plan.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 103G.287, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Sustainability standard.

new text begin(a) new text endThe commissioner may issue water-use permits
for appropriation from groundwater only if the commissioner determines that the groundwater
use is sustainable to supply the needs of future generations and the proposed use will not
harm ecosystems, degrade water, or reduce water levels beyond the reach of public water
supply and private domestic wells constructed according to Minnesota Rules, chapter 4725.

new text begin (b) For the purposes of this subdivision and subdivision 4, "sustainable" means a change
in hydrologic regime of 20 percent or less relative to the August median stream flow.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 103G.289, is amended to read:


103G.289 WELL INTERFERENCE; deleted text beginWELL SEALINGdeleted text endnew text begin VALIDATION;
CONTESTED CASE
new text end.

new text begin (a) new text endThe commissioner shall not validate a new text beginclaim for new text endwell interference deleted text beginclaimdeleted text end if the affected
well has been sealed prior to the completion of the commissioner's investigation of the
complaint. If the well is sealed prior to completion of the investigation, the commissioner
must dismiss the complaint.

new text begin (b) When validating a claim for well interference, the commissioner must take into
account the condition of the affected well.
new text end

new text begin (c) Within 30 days after the commissioner's decision on a claim for well interference, a
party ordered by the commissioner to contribute to an affected well owner may petition for
a contested case hearing under sections 14.57 to 14.62. The commissioner must grant the
petitioner a contested case hearing on the commissioner's decision.
new text end