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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2973

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

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; providing for sustainable water use; requiring conservation
rate structures; requiring drinking water emergency ordinance; requiring sharing
groundwater information; creating Pollution Control Agency ombudsman for
groundwater pollution education and assistance; increasing certain fees; requiring
conservation pricing for industrial and commercial users; requiring a report;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 103G.101, subdivision 1; 103G.291,
by adding a subdivision; 144.3831, subdivision 1; 444.075, subdivisions 1, 3,
3a; Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 103G.291, subdivision 3;
proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 103G; 103H; 116.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103G.101, subdivision 1, is amended to
read:


Subdivision 1.

Development.

The commissioner shall develop a water resources
conservation program for the state. The program must include conservation, allocation,
and development of waters of the state deleted text beginfor the best interests of the peopledeleted text endnew text begin to ensure
sustainable water use
new text end.new text begin "Sustainable water use" means use of water resources that maintains
or enhances the current economic and community well-being while protecting and
restoring the natural environment. Sustainable water use meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 103G.291, subdivision 3, is
amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Water supply plans; demand reduction.

(a) Every public water supplier
serving more than 1,000 people must submit a water supply plan to the commissioner
for approval by January 1, 1996. In accordance with guidelines developed by the
commissioner, the plan must address projected demands, adequacy of the water supply
system and planned improvements, existing and future water sources, natural resource
impacts or limitations, emergency preparedness, water conservation, supply and demand
reduction measures, and allocation priorities that are consistent with section 103G.261.
Public water suppliers must update their plan and, upon notification, submit it to the
commissioner for approval every ten years.

(b) The water supply plan in paragraph (a) is required for all communities in the
metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, with a municipal water supply system
and is a required element of the local comprehensive plan required under section 473.859.
Water supply plans or updates submitted after December 31, 2008, must be consistent
with the metropolitan area master water supply plan required under section 473.1565,
subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2).

(c) Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must employ water
use demand reduction measuresnew text begin, including a conservation rate structure, as defined in
subdivision 4, paragraph (a), unless exempted under subdivision 4, paragraph (c),
new text end before
requesting approval from the commissioner of health under section 144.383, paragraph
(a)
, to construct a public water supply well or requesting an increase in the authorized
volume of appropriation. Demand reduction measures must include deleted text beginevaluation of
conservation rate structures and
deleted text end a public education program that may include a toilet
and showerhead retrofit program.

(d) Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must submit records
that indicate the number of connections and amount of use by customer category and
volume of water unaccounted for with the annual report of water use required under
section 103G.281, subdivision 3.

(e) For the purposes of this deleted text beginsubdivisiondeleted text endnew text begin sectionnew text end, "public water supplier" means
an entity that owns, manages, or operates a public water supply, as defined in section
144.382, subdivision 4.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 103G.291, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Conservation rate structure required. new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of this
section, "conservation rate structure" means a rate structure that encourages conservation
by increasing the rate the higher the level of use or during certain time periods and may
include inverted block rates, seasonal rates, time of use rates, individualized goal rates,
or excess use rates.
new text end

new text begin (b) To encourage conservation, a public water supplier serving more than 1,000
people in the metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, shall use
a conservation rate structure by January 1, 2010. All remaining public water suppliers
serving more than 1,000 people shall use a conservation rate structure by January 1, 2013.
new text end

new text begin (c) A public water supplier without the proper measuring equipment to track the
amount of water used by its users is exempt from this subdivision and the conservation
rate structure requirement under subdivision 3, paragraph (c).
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [103G.292] DRINKING WATER EMERGENCY ORDINANCE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Model ordinance. new text end

new text begin The commissioner of natural resources, in
cooperation with the commissioners of health and the Pollution Control Agency, shall
develop a model drinking water emergency ordinance that can be adapted for use by cities
and counties to meet the requirement in subdivision 2. The model ordinance must address
procedures during a drinking water emergency or other emergency that would affect
drinking water supplies, such as a water shortage or contamination, natural disaster, or
pandemic, and must include procedures for:
new text end

new text begin (1) the use of alternative supplies of water;
new text end

new text begin (2) the use of alternative water treatment options;
new text end

new text begin (3) prioritization of water use;
new text end

new text begin (4) implementation of conservation measures;
new text end

new text begin (5) communication responsibilities and procedures so that public communication
during emergency situations is accomplished in a timely and efficient manner;
new text end

new text begin (6) identification of local, state, and federal responsibilities; and
new text end

new text begin (7) coordination between local, state, and federal authorities.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Ordinance required. new text end

new text begin By January 1, 2011, all counties and statutory and
home rule charter cities shall adopt an emergency drinking water ordinance that addresses
the procedures listed in subdivision 1 and submit the ordinance to the commissioner
of natural resources.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [103H.176] GROUNDWATER INFORMATION STANDARD.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of health, in cooperation with the commissioners of natural
resources, agriculture, and the Pollution Control Agency, shall develop a standardized
format for groundwater information. The format must allow easy transfer of information
between state and local units of government and include a means for collecting and
transferring information collected from wells, including well location, such as a well's
global positioning system coordinates, and the unique well number.
new text end

new text begin (b) A state or local unit of government collecting groundwater information shall
share the information, upon request, with other state and local units of government.
new text end

new text begin (c) A state or local unit of government is considered a "person" under chapter 13 for
purposes of bringing an action against a responsible authority or political subdivision to
obtain groundwater information.
new text end

new text begin (d) For the purposes of this section, a "local unit of government" is a county,
statutory or home rule charter city, or town exercising powers under chapter 368 and
located in the metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [116.20] OMBUDSMAN FOR GROUNDWATER POLLUTION
EDUCATION AND ASSISTANCE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Appointment. new text end

new text begin The Pollution Control Agency shall appoint an
ombudsman for groundwater pollution education and assistance in the classified service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Duties. new text end

new text begin The ombudsman's duties include, but are not limited to:
new text end

new text begin (1) providing education and assistance to the general public on any aspect of
groundwater pollution;
new text end

new text begin (2) disseminating information on the financing and program funding sources for
cleanup and restoration of groundwater pollution;
new text end

new text begin (3) monitoring, reviewing, and providing comments and recommendations to
federal, state, and local groundwater quality authorities on laws and regulations;
new text end

new text begin (4) providing information to federal, state, and local groundwater quality authorities
and the public on the requirements of the Clean Water Act;
new text end

new text begin (5) disseminating information concerning proposed state groundwater quality
regulations, control technologies, and other information to small businesses, property
owners, and other interested parties;
new text end

new text begin (6) participating in and sponsoring meetings and conferences concerning
groundwater quality laws and regulations with state and local regulatory officials, industry
groups, and the public;
new text end

new text begin (7) investigating and assisting in the resolution of complaints and disputes from the
public against state or local groundwater quality authorities or responsible parties;
new text end

new text begin (8) arranging for and assisting in the preparation of groundwater quality program
guideline documents to ensure that the language is readily understandable by the lay
person;
new text end

new text begin (9) establishing cooperative programs with trade associations and small businesses
to promote and achieve voluntary compliance with federal and state groundwater quality
laws and regulations; and
new text end

new text begin (10) performing the ombudsman's duties in cooperation and coordination with
governmental entities and private organizations as appropriate so as to eliminate overlap
and duplication to the extent practicable.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Independence of action. new text end

new text begin In carrying out the duties under this section,
the ombudsman may act independently of the Pollution Control Agency in providing
testimony to the legislature, contacting and making periodic reports to federal and state
officials as necessary to carry out the duties under this section, and addressing problems
of concern to the public.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Qualifications. new text end

new text begin The ombudsman must be knowledgeable about federal
and state water quality laws and regulations, control technologies, and federal and state
legislative and regulatory processes. The ombudsman must be experienced in dealing
with both private enterprise and governmental entities, arbitration and negotiation,
interpretation of laws and regulations, investigation, record keeping, report writing, public
speaking, and management.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Office support. new text end

new text begin The Pollution Control Agency shall provide the
ombudsman with the necessary office space, supplies, equipment, and clerical support to
effectively perform the duties under this section.
new text end

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 144.3831, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Fee setting.

The commissioner of health may assess an annual fee
of deleted text begin$6.36deleted text endnew text begin $.......new text end for every service connection to a public water supply that is owned or
operated by a home rule charter city, a statutory city, a city of the first class, or a town.
The commissioner of health may also assess an annual fee for every service connection
served by a water user district defined in section 110A.02.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 444.075, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

The definitions in this subdivision apply in this section.

(a) "Municipality" means a home rule charter or statutory city or a town that is not in
an orderly annexation process on October 3, 1989.

(b) "Governing body" means the town board with respect to towns.

(c) "Waterworks" means waterworks systems, including mains, valves, hydrants,
service connections, wells, pumps, reservoirs, tanks, treatment plants, and other
appurtenances of a waterworks system.

(d) "Sanitary sewer" means sanitary sewer systems, including sewage treatment
works, disposal systems, and other facilities for disposing of sewage, industrial waste, or
other wastes.

(e) "Storm sewer" means storm sewer systems, including mains, holding areas
and ponds, and other appurtenances and related facilities for the collection and disposal
of storm water.

(f) "Facilities" means and includes waterworks, sanitary sewer and storm sewer
systems, or any portion or portions thereof.

new text begin (g) "Conservation rate structure" means a rate structure that encourages conservation
by increasing the rate the higher the level of use or during certain time periods and may
include inverted block rates, seasonal rates, time of use rates, individualized goal rates,
or excess use rates.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 444.075, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Charges; net revenues.

(a) To pay for the construction, reconstruction,
repair, enlargement, improvement, or other obtainment, the maintenance, operation and
use of the facilities, and of obtaining and complying with permits required by law, the
governing body of a municipality or county may impose just and equitable charges for
the use and for the availability of the facilities and for connections with them and make
contracts for the charges as provided in this section. The charges may be imposed with
respect to facilities made available by agreement with other municipalities, counties
or private corporations or individuals, as well as those owned and operated by the
municipality or county itself.

(b) Charges made for service rendered shall be as nearly as possible proportionate to
the cost of furnishing the servicenew text begin, except as provided under subdivision 3anew text end.

new text begin new text end

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 444.075, subdivision 3a, is amended to read:


Subd. 3a.

Sanitary sewer charges.

new text begin(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), new text endsanitary
sewer charges may be fixed:

(1) on the basis of water consumed; or

(2) by reference to a reasonable classification of the types of premises to which
service is furnished; or

(3) by reference to the quantity, pollution qualities and difficulty of disposal of
sewage produced; or

(4) on any other equitable basis including any combination of equitable bases
referred to in clauses (1) to (3), but specifically excluding use of the basis referred to in
subdivision 3b, clause (1); and otherwise without limit.

new text begin (b) Sanitary sewer charges for commercial and industrial users shall follow a
conservation rate structure by January 1, 2010.
new text end

Sec. 11. new text beginWATER AND SEWER PRICING REPORT REQUIRED.
new text end

new text begin By January 15, 2009, the commissioner of natural resources, in cooperation with the
Metropolitan Council, shall submit a written report to the legislature, in compliance with
Minnesota Statutes, sections 3.195 and 3.197, on decoupling or separation of revenues
from changes in use of water and sewer services. The purpose of the decoupling must be
to reduce the disincentive for water suppliers and sewer systems to promote conservation.
new text end