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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1910

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/28/2019 03:30pm

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

Current Version - as introduced

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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.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103F.48, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Riparian protection; requirements on public waters and public drainage

(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
103F.211; and

(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 are
deleted text endnew text begin The board must approve usingnew text end retention pondsnew text begin, diverting water to a new
or existing wetland in a manner that does not harm the wetland,
new text end and deleted text beginalternativedeleted text endnew text begin othernew text end
measures that prevent overland flow to the water resourcenew text begin as alternative practices under this
new 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.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103F.48, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

Subd. 10.

Landowner deleted text beginfinancial assistancedeleted text end and public drainage system deleted text beginproceduredeleted text endnew text begin
new text end.

(a) new text beginEach soil and water conservation district must proactively provide
landowners and drainage authorities in the district with information about approved
alternative practices and how to apply for local, state, or federal cost-share grants, contracts,
loans, or related forms of assistance. Additionally,
new text enda landowner or drainage authority may
contact the soil and water conservation district for information onnew text begin approved alternative
practices and
new text end how to apply for local, state, or federal cost-share grants, contracts, deleted text beginordeleted text end loansnew text begin,
or related forms of assistance
new text end that are available to establish buffers or other water resource
protection measures.

(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).

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103G.2242, subdivision 12, is amended to read:

Subd. 12.

Replacement credits.

(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 begin; and
new text end

new text begin (6) wetlands created or restored as part of implementing an alternative practice under
section 103F.48, subdivision 3.
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 end

new text begin The Board of Water and Soil Resources must identify the benefits or potential benefits
to a landowner or drainage authority of adopting each alternative practice approved under
Minnesota Statutes, section 103F.48, subdivision 3. The benefits identified must be in
addition to those described in Minnesota Statutes, section 103F.48, subdivision 2. Beginning
March 1, 2020, all guidance and publications of the board describing implementation of
alternative practices must include information about the benefits or potential benefits
identified under this section.
new text end