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SF 83

1st Engrossment - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to natural resources; simplifying and 
  1.3             consolidating wetland regulation; amending Minnesota 
  1.4             Statutes 1998, sections 103G.005, subdivisions 14, 15, 
  1.5             and 19; 103G.201; 103G.222; 103G.2241, subdivision 2; 
  1.6             103G.2372; 103G.2373; 103G.245, subdivisions 2 and 3; 
  1.7             and 645.44, by adding a subdivision; proposing coding 
  1.8             for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103G. 
  1.10     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.005, 
  1.11  subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
  1.12     Subd. 14.  [ORDINARY HIGH WATER LEVEL.] "Ordinary high 
  1.13  water level" means the boundary of waterbasins, 
  1.14  watercourses, and public waters, and public waters wetlands, and:
  1.15     (1) the ordinary high water level is an elevation 
  1.16  delineating the highest water level that has been maintained for 
  1.17  a sufficient period of time to leave evidence upon the 
  1.18  landscape, commonly the point where the natural vegetation 
  1.19  changes from predominantly aquatic to predominantly terrestrial; 
  1.20     (2) for watercourses, the ordinary high water level is the 
  1.21  elevation of the top of the bank of the channel; and 
  1.22     (3) for reservoirs and flowages, the ordinary high water 
  1.23  level is the operating elevation of the normal summer pool.  
  1.24     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.005, 
  1.25  subdivision 15, is amended to read: 
  1.26     Subd. 15.  [PUBLIC WATERS.] (a) "Public waters" means:  
  1.27     (1) waterbasins assigned a shoreland management 
  2.1   classification by the commissioner under sections 103F.201 to 
  2.2   103F.221, except wetlands less than 80 acres in size that are 
  2.3   classified as natural environment lakes or waterbasins 
  2.4   reclassified under section 103G.201; 
  2.5      (2) waters of the state that have been finally determined 
  2.6   to be public waters or navigable waters by a court of competent 
  2.7   jurisdiction; 
  2.8      (3) meandered lakes, excluding lakes that have been legally 
  2.9   drained; 
  2.10     (4) waterbasins previously designated by the commissioner 
  2.11  for management for a specific purpose such as trout lakes and 
  2.12  game lakes pursuant to applicable laws; 
  2.13     (5) waterbasins designated as scientific and natural areas 
  2.14  under section 84.033; 
  2.15     (6) waterbasins located within and totally surrounded by 
  2.16  publicly owned lands; 
  2.17     (7) waterbasins where the state of Minnesota or the federal 
  2.18  government holds title to any of the beds or shores, unless the 
  2.19  owner declares that the water is not necessary for the purposes 
  2.20  of the public ownership; 
  2.21     (8) waterbasins where there is a publicly owned and 
  2.22  controlled access that is intended to provide for public access 
  2.23  to the waterbasin; 
  2.24     (9) natural and altered watercourses with a total drainage 
  2.25  area greater than two square miles; 
  2.26     (10) natural and altered watercourses designated by the 
  2.27  commissioner as trout streams; and 
  2.28     (11) public waters wetlands, unless the statute expressly 
  2.29  states otherwise. 
  2.30     (b) Public waters are not determined exclusively by the 
  2.31  proprietorship of the underlying, overlying, or surrounding land 
  2.32  or by whether it is a body or stream of water that was navigable 
  2.33  in fact or susceptible of being used as a highway for commerce 
  2.34  at the time this state was admitted to the union.  
  2.35     Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.005, 
  2.36  subdivision 19, is amended to read: 
  3.1      Subd. 19.  [WETLANDS.] (a) "Wetlands" means lands 
  3.2   transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the 
  3.3   water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is 
  3.4   covered by shallow water.  For purposes of this definition, 
  3.5   wetlands must have the following three attributes:  
  3.6      (1) have a predominance of hydric soils; 
  3.7      (2) are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water 
  3.8   at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence 
  3.9   of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in 
  3.10  saturated soil conditions; and 
  3.11     (3) under normal circumstances support a prevalence of such 
  3.12  vegetation. 
  3.13     (b) For the purposes of chapter 103G, wetlands does not 
  3.14  include public waters wetlands as defined in subdivision 15a.  
  3.15     Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.201, is 
  3.16  amended to read: 
  3.17     103G.201 [PUBLIC WATERS INVENTORY.] 
  3.18     The commissioner shall prepare a public waters inventory 
  3.19  map of each county that shows the waters of this state that are 
  3.20  designated as public waters under the public waters inventory 
  3.21  and classification procedures prescribed under Laws 1979, 
  3.22  chapter 199.  The public waters inventory map for each county 
  3.23  must be filed with the auditor of the county.  The commissioner 
  3.24  is authorized to revise the list of public waters prescribed 
  3.25  under Laws 1979, chapter 199, to reclassify those type 3, 4, and 
  3.26  5 wetlands previously identified as public waters wetlands under 
  3.27  Laws 1979, chapter 199, as public waters or as wetlands under 
  3.28  section 103G.005, subdivision 19.  The commissioner may only 
  3.29  reclassify public waters wetlands as public waters if: 
  3.30     (1) they are assigned a shoreland management classification 
  3.31  by the commissioner under sections 103F.201 to 103F.22; or 
  3.32     (2) they are classified as lacustrine wetlands according to 
  3.33  Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United 
  3.34  States (Cowardin, et al., 1979 edition).  The commissioner shall 
  3.35  file a copy of these changes with the auditor of the county and 
  3.36  the local government unit.  The reclassification is effective 
  4.1   upon approval by the local government unit.  The commissioner 
  4.2   shall identify the boundary of public waters wetlands using the 
  4.3   United States Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual 
  4.4   (January 1987).  
  4.5      Sec. 5.  [103G.2212] [CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY WHEN WORK 
  4.8   DRAIN OR FILL WETLANDS.] An agent or employee of another may not 
  4.9   drain or fill a wetland, wholly or partially, unless the agent 
  4.10  or employee has: 
  4.11     (1) obtained a signed statement from the property owner 
  4.12  stating that the wetland replacement plan required for the work 
  4.13  has been obtained or that a replacement plan is not required; 
  4.14  and 
  4.15     (2) mailed a copy of the statement to the local government 
  4.16  unit with jurisdiction over the wetland. 
  4.17     Subd. 2.  [VIOLATION IS SEPARATE OFFENSE.] Violation of 
  4.18  this section is a separate and independent offense from other 
  4.19  violations of sections 103G.2212 to 103G.237. 
  4.21  board shall develop a form to be distributed to contractors' 
  4.22  associations, local government units, and soil and water 
  4.23  conservation districts to comply with this section.  The form 
  4.24  must include: 
  4.25     (1) a listing of the activities for which a replacement 
  4.26  plan is required; 
  4.27     (2) a description of the penalties for violating sections 
  4.28  103G.2212 to 103G.237; 
  4.29     (3) the telephone number to call for information on the 
  4.30  responsible local government unit; 
  4.31     (4) a statement that national wetland inventory maps are on 
  4.32  file with the soil and water conservation district office; and 
  4.33     (5) spaces for a description of the work and the names, 
  4.34  mailing addresses, and telephone numbers of the person 
  4.35  authorizing the work and the agent or employee proposing to 
  4.36  undertake it. 
  5.1      Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.222, is 
  5.2   amended to read: 
  5.4   WETLANDS.] 
  5.5      Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENTS.] (a) Wetlands must not be 
  5.6   drained or filled, wholly or partially, unless replaced by 
  5.7   restoring or creating wetland areas of at least equal public 
  5.8   value under a replacement plan approved as provided in section 
  5.9   103G.2242, a replacement plan under a local governmental unit's 
  5.10  comprehensive wetland protection and management plan approved by 
  5.11  the board under section 103G.2243, or, if a permit to mine is 
  5.12  required under section 93.481, under a mining reclamation plan 
  5.13  approved by the commissioner under the permit to mine.  Mining 
  5.14  reclamation plans shall apply the same principles and standards 
  5.15  for replacing wetlands by restoration or creation of wetland 
  5.16  areas that are applicable to mitigation plans approved as 
  5.17  provided in section 103G.2242.  Public value must be determined 
  5.18  in accordance with section 103B.3355 or a comprehensive wetland 
  5.19  protection and management plan established under section 
  5.20  103G.2243.  Public waters wetlands must be replaced as provided 
  5.21  in this section and sections 103G.221 and 103G.245. 
  5.22     (b) Replacement of wetlands and public waters wetlands must 
  5.23  be guided by the following principles in descending order of 
  5.24  priority: 
  5.25     (1) avoiding the direct or indirect impact of the activity 
  5.26  that may destroy or diminish the wetland or public waters 
  5.27  wetland; 
  5.28     (2) minimizing the impact by limiting the degree or 
  5.29  magnitude of the wetland or public waters wetland activity and 
  5.30  its implementation; 
  5.31     (3) rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or 
  5.32  restoring the affected wetland or public waters wetland 
  5.33  environment; 
  5.34     (4) reducing or eliminating the impact over time by 
  5.35  preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the 
  5.36  activity; 
  6.1      (5) compensating for the impact by restoring a wetland or 
  6.2   public waters wetland; and 
  6.3      (6) compensating for the impact by replacing or providing 
  6.4   substitute wetland or public waters wetland resources or 
  6.5   environments. 
  6.6      For a project involving the draining or filling of wetlands 
  6.7   in an amount not exceeding 10,000 square feet more than the 
  6.8   applicable amount in section 103G.2241, subdivision 9, paragraph 
  6.9   (a), the local government unit may make an on-site sequencing 
  6.10  determination without a written alternatives analysis from the 
  6.11  applicant. 
  6.12     (c) If a wetland is located in a cultivated field, then 
  6.13  replacement must be accomplished through restoration only 
  6.14  without regard to the priority order in paragraph (b), provided 
  6.15  that a deed restriction is placed on the altered wetland 
  6.16  prohibiting nonagricultural use for at least ten years.  
  6.17     (d) Restoration and replacement of wetlands and public 
  6.18  waters wetlands must be accomplished in accordance with the 
  6.19  ecology of the landscape area affected. 
  6.20     (e) Replacement shall be within the same watershed or 
  6.21  county as the impacted wetlands and public waters wetlands, as 
  6.22  based on the wetland evaluation in section 103G.2242, 
  6.23  subdivision 2, except that a greater than 80 percent area may 
  6.24  accomplish replacement in less than 50 percent areas.  
  6.25  Wetlands and public waters wetlands impacted by public 
  6.26  transportation projects may be replaced statewide, except that 
  6.27  wetlands and public waters wetlands impacted in a less than 50 
  6.28  percent area must be replaced in a less than 50 percent area, 
  6.29  and wetlands and public waters wetlands impacted in the 
  6.30  seven-county twin cities metropolitan area by public highways 
  6.31  must be replaced: 
  6.32     (1) in the affected county, or, if no restoration 
  6.33  opportunities exist in the county; 
  6.34     (2) in another seven-county twin cities metropolitan area 
  6.35  county. 
  6.36     The board must maintain a public list of restoration 
  7.1   opportunities within the metropolitan area.  Disputes about 
  7.2   restoration opportunities for wetland and public waters wetland 
  7.3   replacement in a watershed or county may be appealed to the 
  7.4   board's committee for dispute resolution.  Replacement of 
  7.5   wetlands and public waters wetlands may be accomplished under 
  7.6   the rules for wetland banking as provided for under section 
  7.7   103G.2242. 
  7.8      (f) Except as provided in paragraph (g), for a wetland or 
  7.9   public waters wetland located on nonagricultural land, 
  7.10  replacement must be in the ratio of two acres of replaced 
  7.11  wetland or public waters wetland for each acre of drained or 
  7.12  filled wetland or public waters wetland. 
  7.13     (g) For a wetland or public waters wetland located on 
  7.14  agricultural land or in a greater than 80 percent area, 
  7.15  replacement must be in the ratio of one acre of replaced wetland 
  7.16  or public waters wetland for each acre of drained or filled 
  7.17  wetland or public waters wetland.  
  7.18     (h) Wetlands and public waters wetlands that are restored 
  7.19  or created as a result of an approved replacement plan are 
  7.20  subject to the provisions of this section for any subsequent 
  7.21  drainage or filling. 
  7.22     (i) Except in a greater than 80 percent area, only wetlands 
  7.23  that have been restored from previously drained or filled 
  7.24  wetlands, wetlands created by excavation in nonwetlands, 
  7.25  wetlands created by dikes or dams along public or private 
  7.26  drainage ditches, or wetlands created by dikes or dams 
  7.27  associated with the restoration of previously drained or filled 
  7.28  wetlands may be used in a statewide banking program established 
  7.29  in rules adopted under section 103G.2242, subdivision 1.  
  7.30  Modification or conversion of nondegraded naturally occurring 
  7.31  wetlands from one type to another are not eligible for 
  7.32  enrollment in a statewide wetlands bank. 
  7.33     (j) The technical evaluation panel established under 
  7.34  section 103G.2242, subdivision 2, shall ensure that sufficient 
  7.35  time has occurred for the wetland to develop wetland 
  7.36  characteristics of soils, vegetation, and hydrology before 
  8.1   recommending that the wetland be deposited in the statewide 
  8.2   wetland bank.  If the technical evaluation panel has reason to 
  8.3   believe that the wetland characteristics may change 
  8.4   substantially, the panel shall postpone its recommendation until 
  8.5   the wetland has stabilized. 
  8.6      (k) This section and sections 103G.223 to 103G.2242, 
  8.7   103G.2364, and 103G.2365 apply to the state and its departments 
  8.8   and agencies. 
  8.9      (l) For projects involving draining or filling of 
  8.10  wetlands or public waters wetlands associated with a new public 
  8.11  transportation project in a greater than 80 percent area, public 
  8.12  transportation authorities, other than the state department of 
  8.13  transportation, may purchase credits from the state wetland bank 
  8.14  established with proceeds from Laws 1994, chapter 643, section 
  8.15  26, subdivision 3, paragraph (c).  Wetland banking credits may 
  8.16  be purchased at the least of the following, but in no case shall 
  8.17  the purchase price be less than $400 per acre:  (1) the cost to 
  8.18  the state to establish the credits; (2) the average estimated 
  8.19  market value of agricultural land in the township where the road 
  8.20  project is located, as determined by the commissioner of 
  8.21  revenue; or (3) the average value of the land in the immediate 
  8.22  vicinity of the road project as determined by the county 
  8.23  assessor.  Public transportation authorities in a less than 80 
  8.24  percent area may purchase credits from the state at the cost to 
  8.25  the state to establish credits. 
  8.26     (m) A replacement plan for wetlands is not required for 
  8.27  individual projects that result in the filling or draining of 
  8.28  wetlands for the repair, rehabilitation, reconstruction, or 
  8.29  replacement of a currently serviceable existing state, city, 
  8.30  county, or town public road necessary, as determined by the 
  8.31  public transportation authority, to meet state or federal design 
  8.32  or safety standards or requirements, excluding new roads or 
  8.33  roads expanded solely for additional traffic capacity lanes.  
  8.34  This paragraph only applies to authorities for public 
  8.35  transportation projects that: 
  8.36     (1) minimize the amount of wetland filling or draining 
  9.1   associated with the project and consider mitigating important 
  9.2   site-specific wetland functions on-site; and 
  9.3      (2) submit annual reports by January 15 to the board and 
  9.4   members of the public requesting a copy that indicate the 
  9.5   location, amount, and type of wetlands that have been filled or 
  9.6   drained during the previous year and a projection of the 
  9.7   location, amount, and type of wetlands to be filled or drained 
  9.8   during the upcoming year. 
  9.9      The technical evaluation panel shall review minimization 
  9.10  and delineation decisions made by the public transportation 
  9.11  authority and provide recommendations regarding on-site 
  9.12  mitigation if requested to do so by the local government unit, a 
  9.13  contiguous landowner, or a member of the technical evaluation 
  9.14  panel. 
  9.15     Except for state public transportation projects, for which 
  9.16  the state department of transportation is responsible, the board 
  9.17  must replace the wetlands or public waters wetlands drained or 
  9.18  filled by public transportation projects on existing roads in 
  9.19  critical rural and urban watersheds. 
  9.20     Public transportation authorities at their discretion may 
  9.21  deviate from federal and state design standards on existing road 
  9.22  projects when practical and reasonable to avoid wetland or 
  9.23  public waters wetland filling or draining, provided that public 
  9.24  safety is not unreasonably compromised.  The local road 
  9.25  authority and its officers and employees are exempt from 
  9.26  liability for any tort claim for injury to persons or property 
  9.27  arising from travel on the highway and related to the deviation 
  9.28  from the design standards for construction or reconstruction 
  9.29  under this paragraph.  This paragraph does not preclude an 
  9.30  action for damages arising from negligence in construction or 
  9.31  maintenance on a highway. 
  9.32     (n) If a landowner seeks approval of a replacement plan 
  9.33  after the proposed project has already impacted the wetland, the 
  9.34  local government unit may require the landowner to replace the 
  9.35  impacted wetland at a ratio not to exceed twice the replacement 
  9.36  ratio otherwise required. 
 10.1      (o) A local government unit may request the board to 
 10.2   reclassify a county or watershed on the basis of its percentage 
 10.3   of presettlement wetlands remaining.  After receipt of 
 10.4   satisfactory documentation from the local government, the board 
 10.5   shall change the classification of a county or watershed.  If 
 10.6   requested by the local government unit, the board must assist in 
 10.7   developing the documentation.  Within 30 days of its action to 
 10.8   approve a change of wetland classifications, the board shall 
 10.9   publish a notice of the change in the Environmental Quality 
 10.10  Board Monitor. 
 10.11     (p) One hundred citizens who reside within the jurisdiction 
 10.12  of the local government unit may request the local government 
 10.13  unit to reclassify a county or watershed on the basis of its 
 10.14  percentage of presettlement wetlands remaining.  In support of 
 10.15  their petition, the citizens shall provide satisfactory 
 10.16  documentation to the local government unit.  The local 
 10.17  government unit shall consider the petition and forward the 
 10.18  request to the board under paragraph (o) or provide a reason why 
 10.19  the petition is denied. 
 10.20     Subd. 2.  [ROAD CREDIT FUNDING.] At least 50 percent of 
 10.21  money appropriated for road repair wetland or public waters 
 10.22  wetland replacement credit under this section must be used for 
 10.23  wetland restoration in the seven-county metropolitan area. 
 10.24     The board shall give priority to restoration projects that 
 10.25  will: 
 10.26     (1) intensify land use that leads to more compact 
 10.27  development or redevelopment; 
 10.28     (2) encourage public infrastructure investments which 
 10.29  connect urban neighborhoods and suburban communities, attract 
 10.30  private sector investment in commercial or residential 
 10.31  properties adjacent to the public improvement; or 
 10.32     (3) complement projects receiving funding under section 
 10.33  473.253. 
 10.34     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2241, 
 10.35  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 10.36     Subd. 2.  [DRAINAGE.] (a) For the purposes of this 
 11.1   subdivision, "public drainage system" means a drainage system as 
 11.2   defined in section 103E.005, subdivision 12, and any ditch or 
 11.3   tile lawfully connected to the drainage system. 
 11.4      (b) A replacement plan is not required for draining of type 
 11.5   1 wetlands, or up to five acres of type 2 or 6 wetlands, in an 
 11.6   unincorporated area on land that has been assessed drainage 
 11.7   benefits for a public drainage system, provided that: 
 11.8      (1) during the 20-year period that ended January 1, 1992: 
 11.9      (i) there was an expenditure made from the drainage system 
 11.10  account for the public drainage system; 
 11.11     (ii) the public drainage system was repaired or maintained 
 11.12  as approved by the drainage authority; or 
 11.13     (iii) no repair or maintenance of the public drainage 
 11.14  system was required under section 103E.705, subdivision 1, as 
 11.15  determined by the public drainage authority; and 
 11.16     (2) the wetlands are not drained for conversion to: 
 11.17     (i) platted lots; 
 11.18     (ii) planned unit, commercial, or industrial developments; 
 11.19  or 
 11.20     (iii) any development with more than one residential unit 
 11.21  per 40 acres. 
 11.22  If wetlands drained under this paragraph are converted to uses 
 11.23  prohibited under clause (2) during the ten-year period following 
 11.24  drainage, the wetlands must be replaced under section 103G.222. 
 11.25     (c) A replacement plan is not required for draining or 
 11.26  filling of wetlands, except for draining types 3, 4, and 5 
 11.27  wetlands that have been in existence for more than 25 years, 
 11.28  resulting from maintenance and repair of existing public 
 11.29  drainage systems. 
 11.30     (d) A replacement plan is not required for draining or 
 11.31  filling of wetlands, except for draining wetlands that have been 
 11.32  in existence for more than 25 years, resulting from maintenance 
 11.33  and repair of existing drainage systems other than public 
 11.34  drainage systems. 
 11.35     (e) A replacement plan is not required for draining or 
 11.36  filling of wetlands resulting from activities conducted as part 
 12.1   of a public drainage system improvement project that received 
 12.2   final approval from the drainage authority before July 1, 1991, 
 12.3   and after July 1, 1986, if: 
 12.4      (1) the approval remains valid; 
 12.5      (2) the project remains active; and 
 12.6      (3) no additional drainage will occur beyond that 
 12.7   originally approved. 
 12.8      (f) The public drainage authority may, as part of the 
 12.9   repair, install control structures, realign the ditch, construct 
 12.10  dikes along the ditch, or make other modifications as necessary 
 12.11  to prevent drainage of the wetland. 
 12.12     (g) Wetlands and public waters wetlands of all types that 
 12.13  would be drained as a part of a public drainage repair project 
 12.14  are eligible for the permanent wetlands preserve under section 
 12.15  103F.516.  The board shall give priority to acquisition of 
 12.16  easements on types 3, 4, and 5 wetlands and public waters 
 12.17  wetlands that have been in existence for more than 25 years on 
 12.18  public drainage systems and other wetlands that have the 
 12.19  greatest risk of drainage from a public drainage repair project. 
 12.20     Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2372, is 
 12.21  amended to read: 
 12.22     103G.2372 [ENFORCEMENT.] 
 12.23     Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSIONER OF NATURAL RESOURCES.] The 
 12.24  commissioner of natural resources, conservation officers, and 
 12.25  peace officers shall enforce laws preserving and protecting 
 12.26  wetlands and public waters.  The commissioner of natural 
 12.27  resources, a conservation officer, or a peace officer may issue 
 12.28  a cease and desist order to stop any illegal activity adversely 
 12.29  affecting a wetland or public waters.  In the order, or by 
 12.30  separate order, the commissioner, conservation officer, or peace 
 12.31  officer may require restoration or replacement of the wetland or 
 12.32  public waters, as determined by the local soil and water 
 12.33  conservation district for wetlands and the commissioner of 
 12.34  natural resources for public waters. 
 12.35     Subd. 2.  [MISDEMEANOR.] A violation of an order issued 
 12.36  under subdivision 1 is a misdemeanor and must be prosecuted by 
 13.1   the county attorney where the wetland or public water is located 
 13.2   or the illegal activity occurred. 
 13.3      Subd. 3.  [RESTITUTION.] The court may, as part of 
 13.4   sentencing, require a person convicted under subdivision 2 to 
 13.5   restore or replace the wetland or public waters, as determined 
 13.6   by the local soil and water conservation district for wetlands 
 13.7   and the commissioner of natural resources for public waters.  
 13.8      Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2373, is 
 13.9   amended to read: 
 13.11  REPORT.] 
 13.12     By March 1 of each year, the commissioner of natural 
 13.13  resources and the board of water and soil resources shall 
 13.14  jointly report to the committees of the legislature with 
 13.15  jurisdiction over matters relating to agriculture, the 
 13.16  environment, and natural resources on: 
 13.17     (1) the status of implementation of state laws and programs 
 13.18  relating to wetlands and public waters wetlands; 
 13.19     (2) the quantity, quality, acreage, types, and public value 
 13.20  of wetlands and public waters wetlands in the state; and 
 13.21     (3) changes in the items in clause (2). 
 13.22     Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.245, 
 13.23  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 13.24     Subd. 2.  [EXCEPTIONS.] (a) Except as provided in paragraph 
 13.25  (b), a public waters work permit is not required for: 
 13.26     (1) work in altered natural watercourses that are part of 
 13.27  drainage systems established under chapter 103D or 103E if the 
 13.28  work in the waters is undertaken according to chapter 103D or 
 13.29  103E; or 
 13.30     (2) a drainage project for a drainage system established 
 13.31  under chapter 103E that does not substantially affect public 
 13.32  waters.  
 13.33     (b) A public waters work permit is required for the repair 
 13.34  or maintenance of a public drainage system that results in the 
 13.35  draining or filling of public waters that have been in existence 
 13.36  for more than 25 years. 
 14.1      Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.245, 
 14.2   subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
 14.3      Subd. 3.  [PERMIT APPLICATION.] (a) Application for a 
 14.4   public waters work permit must be in writing to the commissioner 
 14.5   on forms prescribed by the commissioner.  The commissioner may 
 14.6   issue a state general permit to a governmental subdivision or to 
 14.7   the general public for classes of activities having minimal 
 14.8   impact upon public waters under which more than one project may 
 14.9   be conducted under a single permit. 
 14.10     (b) By August 1, 1999, the commissioner shall issue a 
 14.11  general public waters work permit that applies to public waters 
 14.12  wetlands incorporating provisions from sections 103G.222 and 
 14.13  103G.2242. 
 14.14     Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 645.44, is 
 14.15  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
 14.16     Subd. 13a.  [WETLANDS.] "Wetlands" means lands transitional 
 14.17  between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is 
 14.18  usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow 
 14.19  water.  For purposes of this definition, wetlands must have the 
 14.20  following three attributes: 
 14.21     (1) have a predominance of hydric soils; 
 14.22     (2) are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water 
 14.23  at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence 
 14.24  of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in 
 14.25  saturated soil conditions; and 
 14.26     (3) under normal circumstances support a prevalence of such 
 14.27  vegetation.