2nd Engrossment - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
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 15 and 1.5 19; 103G.201; 103G.2242, subdivision 2; 103G.2372; 1.6 103G.2373; and 645.44, by adding a subdivision; 1.7 proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 1.8 chapter 103G. 1.9 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.10 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.005, 1.11 subdivision 15, is amended to read: 1.12 Subd. 15. [PUBLIC WATERS.] (a) "Public waters" means: 1.13 (1) waterbasins assigned a shoreland management 1.14 classification by the commissioner under sections 103F.201 to 1.15 103F.221
, except wetlands less than 80 acres in size that are1.16 classified as natural environment lakesor waterbasins 1.17 reclassified under section 103G.201; 1.18 (2) waters of the state that have been finally determined 1.19 to be public waters or navigable waters by a court of competent 1.20 jurisdiction; 1.21 (3) meandered lakes, excluding lakes that have been legally 1.22 drained; 1.23 (4) waterbasins previously designated by the commissioner 1.24 for management for a specific purpose such as trout lakes and 1.25 game lakes pursuant to applicable laws; 1.26 (5) waterbasins designated as scientific and natural areas 1.27 under section 84.033; 2.1 (6) waterbasins located within and totally surrounded by 2.2 publicly owned lands; 2.3 (7) waterbasins where the state of Minnesota or the federal 2.4 government holds title to any of the beds or shores, unless the 2.5 owner declares that the water is not necessary for the purposes 2.6 of the public ownership; 2.7 (8) waterbasins where there is a publicly owned and 2.8 controlled access that is intended to provide for public access 2.9 to the waterbasin; 2.10 (9) natural and altered watercourses with a total drainage 2.11 area greater than two square miles; 2.12 (10) natural and altered watercourses designated by the 2.13 commissioner as trout streams; and 2.14 (11) public waters wetlands, unless the statute expressly 2.15 states otherwise. 2.16 (b) Public waters are not determined exclusively by the 2.17 proprietorship of the underlying, overlying, or surrounding land 2.18 or by whether it is a body or stream of water that was navigable 2.19 in fact or susceptible of being used as a highway for commerce 2.20 at the time this state was admitted to the union. 2.21 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.005, 2.22 subdivision 19, is amended to read: 2.23 Subd. 19. [WETLANDS.] (a) "Wetlands" means lands 2.24 transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the 2.25 water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is 2.26 covered by shallow water. For purposes of this definition, 2.27 wetlands must have the following three attributes: 2.28 (1) have a predominance of hydric soils; 2.29 (2) are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water 2.30 at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence 2.31 of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in 2.32 saturated soil conditions; and 2.33 (3) under normal circumstances support a prevalence of such 2.34 vegetation. 2.35 (b) For the purposes of chapter 103G, wetlands does not 2.36 include public waters wetlands as defined in subdivision 15a. 3.1 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.201, is 3.2 amended to read: 3.3 103G.201 [PUBLIC WATERS INVENTORY.] 3.4 The commissioner shall prepare a public waters inventory 3.5 map of each county that shows the waters of this state that are 3.6 designated as public waters under the public waters inventory 3.7 and classification procedures prescribed under Laws 1979, 3.8 chapter 199. The public waters inventory map for each county 3.9 must be filed with the auditor of the county. The commissioner 3.10 is authorized to revise the list of public waters prescribed 3.11 under Laws 1979, chapter 199, to reclassify those type 3, 4, and 3.12 5 wetlands previously identified as public waters wetlands under 3.13 Laws 1979, chapter 199, as public waters or as wetlands under 3.14 section 103G.005, subdivision 19. The commissioner may only 3.15 reclassify public waters wetlands as public waters if: 3.16 (1) they are assigned a shoreland management classification 3.17 by the commissioner under sections 103F.201 to 103F.22; or 3.18 (2) they are classified as lacustrine wetlands according to 3.19 Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United 3.20 States (Cowardin, et al., 1979 edition). The commissioner shall 3.21 file a copy of these changes with the auditor of the county and 3.22 the local government unit. The reclassification is effective 3.23 upon approval by the local government unit. 3.24 Sec. 4. [103G.2212] [CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY WHEN WORK 3.25 DRAINS OR FILLS WETLANDS.] 3.26 Subdivision 1. [CONDITIONS FOR EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS TO 3.27 DRAIN OR FILL WETLANDS.] An agent or employee of another may not 3.28 drain or fill a wetland, wholly or partially, unless the agent 3.29 or employee has: 3.30 (1) obtained a signed statement from the property owner 3.31 stating that the wetland replacement plan required for the work 3.32 has been obtained or that a replacement plan is not required; 3.33 and 3.34 (2) mailed a copy of the statement to the local government 3.35 unit with jurisdiction over the wetland. 3.36 Subd. 2. [VIOLATION IS SEPARATE OFFENSE.] Violation of 4.1 this section is a separate and independent offense from other 4.2 violations of sections 103G.2212 to 103G.237. 4.3 Subd. 3. [FORM FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION.] The 4.4 board shall develop a form to be distributed to contractors' 4.5 associations, local government units, and soil and water 4.6 conservation districts to comply with this section. The form 4.7 must include: 4.8 (1) a listing of the activities for which a replacement 4.9 plan is required; 4.10 (2) a description of the penalties for violating sections 4.11 103G.2212 to 103G.237; 4.12 (3) the telephone number to call for information on the 4.13 responsible local government unit; 4.14 (4) a statement that national wetland inventory maps are on 4.15 file with the soil and water conservation district office; and 4.16 (5) spaces for a description of the work and the names, 4.17 mailing addresses, and telephone numbers of the person 4.18 authorizing the work and the agent or employee proposing to 4.19 undertake it. 4.20 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2242, 4.21 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 4.22 Subd. 2. [EVALUATION.] (a) Questions concerning the public 4.23 value, location, size, or type of a wetland shall be submitted 4.24 to and determined by a technical evaluation panel after an 4.25 on-site inspection. The technical evaluation panel shall be 4.26 composed of a technical professional employee of the board, a 4.27 technical professional employee of the local soil and water 4.28 conservation district or districts, and a technical professional 4.29 with expertise in water resources management appointed by the 4.30 local government unit. The panel shall use the "United States 4.31 Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual" (January 4.32 1987), "Wetlands of the United States" (United States Fish and 4.33 Wildlife Service Circular 39, 1971 edition), and "Classification 4.34 of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States" (1979 4.35 edition). The panel shall provide the wetland determination to 4.36 the local government unit that must approve a replacement plan 5.1 under this section, and may recommend approval or denial of the 5.2 plan. The authority must consider and include the decision of 5.3 the technical evaluation panel in their approval or denial of a 5.4 plan. 5.5 (b) Until August 1, 2001, persons conducting wetlands or 5.6 public waters determinations or boundary delineations using the 5.7 "United States Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation 5.8 Manual" (January 1987), including any of its subsequent 5.9 amendments, are exempt from the requirements of sections 326.02 5.10 to 326.15. By February 1, 2001, the board of water and soil 5.11 resources, in consultation with the Minnesota association of 5.12 professional soil scientists and the wetland delineators 5.13 association, shall submit a report to the house and senate 5.14 environment and natural resources committees regarding the costs 5.15 and benefits of establishing a professional wetland delineator 5.16 certification program. 5.17 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2372, is 5.18 amended to read: 5.19 103G.2372 [ENFORCEMENT.] 5.20 Subdivision 1. [COMMISSIONER OF NATURAL RESOURCES.] The 5.21 commissioner of natural resources, conservation officers, and 5.22 peace officers shall enforce laws preserving and protecting 5.23 wetlands and public waters. The commissioner of natural 5.24 resources, a conservation officer, or a peace officer may issue 5.25 a cease and desist order to stop any illegal activity adversely 5.26 affecting a wetland or public waters. In the order, or by 5.27 separate order, the commissioner, conservation officer, or peace 5.28 officer may require restoration or replacement of the wetland or 5.29 public waters, as determined by the local soil and water 5.30 conservation district for wetlands and the commissioner of 5.31 natural resources for public waters. 5.32 Subd. 2. [MISDEMEANOR.] A violation of an order issued 5.33 under subdivision 1 is a misdemeanor and must be prosecuted by 5.34 the county attorney where the wetland or public water is located 5.35 or the illegal activity occurred. 5.36 Subd. 3. [RESTITUTION.] The court may, as part of 6.1 sentencing, require a person convicted under subdivision 2 to 6.2 restore or replace the wetland or public waters, as determined 6.3 by the local soil and water conservation district for wetlands 6.4 and the commissioner of natural resources for public waters. 6.5 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2373, is 6.6 amended to read: 6.7 103G.2373 [ANNUAL WETLANDS AND PUBLIC WATERS WETLANDS 6.8 REPORT.] 6.9 By March 1 of each year, the commissioner of natural 6.10 resources and the board of water and soil resources shall 6.11 jointly report to the committees of the legislature with 6.12 jurisdiction over matters relating to agriculture, the 6.13 environment, and natural resources on: 6.14 (1) the status of implementation of state laws and programs 6.15 relating to wetlands and public waters wetlands; 6.16 (2) the quantity, quality, acreage, types, and public value 6.17 of wetlands and public waters wetlands in the state; and 6.18 (3) changes in the items in clause (2). 6.19 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 645.44, is 6.20 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 6.21 Subd. 13a. [WETLANDS.] "Wetlands" means lands transitional 6.22 between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is 6.23 usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow 6.24 water. For purposes of this definition, wetlands must have the 6.25 following three attributes: 6.26 (1) have a predominance of hydric soils; 6.27 (2) are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water 6.28 at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence 6.29 of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in 6.30 saturated soil conditions; and 6.31 (3) under normal circumstances support a prevalence of such 6.32 vegetation. 6.33 Sec. 9. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 6.34 Section 5 is effective on the day following final enactment.