as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/28/2019 03:30pm
A bill for an act
relating to waters; requiring approval of certain alternatives to riparian buffers;
requiring certain information about benefits of alternatives; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2018, sections 103F.48, subdivisions 3, 10; 103G.2242, subdivision 12.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2018, 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 waters, 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, 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, common alternative practices
adopted and published by the board, other practices approved by the board, or practices
based on local conditions approved by the local soil and water conservation district that are
consistent with the Field Office Technical Guide, that provide water quality protection
comparable to the buffer protection for the water body that the property abuts. deleted text beginIncluded in
these practices aredeleted text endnew text beginnew text end retention pondsnew text beginnew text end and deleted text beginalternativedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end
measures that prevent overland flow to the water resourcenew text beginnew text end.
(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, 2017, for public waters; and
(2) November 1, 2018, 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.
(g) After May 31, 2017, a person planting buffers or water quality protection practices
to meet the requirements in paragraph (a) must use only seed mixes verified by the
Department of Agriculture as consistent with chapter 18G or 21 to prevent contamination
with Palmer amaranth or other noxious weed seeds.
Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103F.48, subdivision 10, is amended to read:
(a) new text beginnew text enda landowner or drainage authority may
contact the soil and water conservation district for information onnew text beginnew text end how to apply for local, state, or federal cost-share grants, contracts, deleted text beginordeleted text end loansnew text beginnew text end that are available to establish buffers or other water resource
(b) The provisions of sections 103E.011, subdivision 5; 103E.021; and 103E.715 may
be used in advance or retroactively to acquire or provide compensation for all or part of the
buffer strip establishment or alternative riparian water quality practices as required under
subdivision 3, paragraph (a) or (b).
Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103G.2242, subdivision 12, is amended to read:
(a) No public or private wetland restoration,
enhancement, or construction may be allowed for replacement unless specifically designated
for replacement and paid for by the individual or organization performing the wetland
restoration, enhancement, or construction.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a wetland whose owner has paid back with interest
the individual or organization restoring, enhancing, or constructing the wetland.
(c) Notwithstanding section 103G.222, subdivision 1, paragraph (i), the following actions,
and others established in rule, that are consistent with criteria in rules adopted by the board
in conjunction with the commissioners of natural resources and agriculture, are eligible for
replacement credit as determined by the local government unit or the board, including
enrollment in a statewide wetlands bank:
(1) reestablishment of permanent native, noninvasive vegetative cover on a wetland on
agricultural land that was planted with annually seeded crops, was in a crop rotation seeding
of pasture grasses or legumes, or was in a land retirement program during the past ten years;
(2) buffer areas of permanent native, noninvasive vegetative cover established or
preserved on upland adjacent to replacement wetlands;
(3) wetlands restored for conservation purposes under terminated easements or contracts;
(4) water quality treatment ponds constructed to pretreat storm water runoff prior to
discharge to wetlands, public waters, or other water bodies, provided that the water quality
treatment ponds must be associated with an ongoing or proposed project that will impact a
wetland and replacement credit for the treatment ponds is based on the replacement of
wetland functions and on an approved storm water management plan for the local
government; deleted text beginand
deleted text end
(5) in a greater than 80 percent area, restoration and protection of streams and riparian
buffers that are important to the functions and sustainability of aquatic resourcesdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text beginnew text end
new text begin new text end
(d) Notwithstanding section 103G.222, subdivision 1, paragraphs (f) and (g), the board
may establish by rule different replacement ratios for restoration projects with exceptional
natural resource value.
new text begin new text end