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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1637

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/20/2019 03:39pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; establishing pilot program for drinking water
protection; appropriating money.

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

Section 1. new text beginWORKING LANDS; PILOT PROGRAM FOR DRINKING WATER
PROTECTION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Goal. new text end

new text begin It is the goal of the state to develop a market-driven strategy for
enhancing clean water and conservation outcomes by using perennial crops and cover crops
that can yield multiple benefits for water quality, soil health, carbon storage, habitat, and
Minnesota's rural economy.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Program. new text end

new text begin (a) In selected areas, to protect sources of drinking water, the Board
of Water and Soil Resources must develop and implement a working lands pilot program
that includes:
new text end

new text begin (1) criteria and a process for selecting drinking water supply management areas that are
expected to result in the greatest water quality improvements and that exhibit readiness to
participate in the program;
new text end

new text begin (2) criteria for screening landowners and operators interested in participating in the
program;
new text end

new text begin (3) outreach to local governments, interest groups, and individual farmers on the economic
and environmental benefits of perennial and cover crops;
new text end

new text begin (4) coordination with soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, public
water suppliers, cities, counties, and other local government entities to develop and participate
in the program;
new text end

new text begin (5) agronomic assistance to growers in establishing and maintaining the selected crops,
in coordination with the Forever Green Initiative and the University of Minnesota extension
programs;
new text end

new text begin (6) contract terms that provide flexibility for participating growers to establish a variety
of crops, crop rotations, and livestock enterprises that provide a high level of living cover
throughout the year and that can provide economic return;
new text end

new text begin (7) coordination with end users to establish off take agreements and delivery supply
chains for harvested crops;
new text end

new text begin (8) coordination with One Watershed, One Plan and other watershed-scale planning
efforts;
new text end

new text begin (9) coordination with initiatives related to protecting groundwater and drinking water,
soil health, and habitat;
new text end

new text begin (10) evaluation of current conditions and measurable water quality improvements under
the program; and
new text end

new text begin (11) efforts to use federal funds for assistance to establish perennial and cover crops to
the greatest extent possible.
new text end

new text begin (b) The board must coordinate developing the working lands pilot program with
stakeholders and the commissioners of health, natural resources, agriculture, and the Pollution
Control Agency and the University of Minnesota. The board must submit annual progress
reports by January 1 and a final report assessing program results by June 30, 2024. All
reports must be submitted to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative
committees and divisions with jurisdiction over agriculture, natural resources, and
environment policy and finance and to the Clean Water Council.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Appropriation. new text end

new text begin $4,250,000 in fiscal year 2020 and $4,250,000 in fiscal year
2021 are appropriated from the general fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to
establish the pilot program under this section.
new text end