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SF 4265

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/11/2020 04:23pm

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to clean water; establishing soil and water conservation district grant
program; appropriating money; amending Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter
2, article 2, sections 2, subdivision 1; 7; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 103C.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [103C.333] SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT GRANTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Creation. new text end

new text begin The Board of Water and Soil Resources must establish a soil
and water conservation district grant program to provide support to soil and water
conservation districts.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Distribution of grants. new text end

new text begin Money appropriated for grants to soil and water
conservation districts under this section must be distributed as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) one-third must be distributed equally as a base grant to each soil and water
conservation district;
new text end

new text begin (2) one-third must be distributed equally to soil and water conservation districts with a
total estimated market value of taxable property in the bottom ... percent of the state; and
new text end

new text begin (3) one-third must be distributed as competitive grants based on soil and water
conservation district performance and the merits of a project's environmental outcomes.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 2, article 2, section 2, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Total Appropriation

$
134,518,000
$
deleted text begin 126,743,000
deleted text end new text begin 123,743,000
new text end

The amounts that may be spent for each
purpose are specified in the following sections.

Sec. 3.

Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 2, article 2, section 7, is amended to read:


Sec. 7. BOARD OF WATER AND SOIL
RESOURCES

$
71,950,000
$
deleted text begin 66,484,000
deleted text end new text begin 63,484,000
new text end

(a) $13,591,000 the first year and $13,375,000
the second year are for performance-based
grants with multiyear implementation plans
to local government units. The grants may be
used to implement projects that protect,
enhance, and restore surface water quality in
lakes, rivers, and streams; protect groundwater
from degradation; and protect drinking water
sources. Projects must be identified in a
comprehensive watershed plan developed
under the One Watershed, One Plan or
metropolitan surface water management
frameworks or groundwater plans. Grant
recipients must identify a nonstate match and
may use other legacy funds to supplement
projects funded under this paragraph.

(b) $16,000,000 the first year and $16,000,000
the second year are for grants to local
government units to protect and restore surface
water and drinking water; to keep water on
the land; to protect, enhance, and restore water
quality in lakes, rivers, and streams; and to
protect groundwater and drinking water,
including feedlot water quality and subsurface
sewage treatment system projects and stream
bank, stream channel, shoreline restoration,
and ravine stabilization projects. The projects
must use practices demonstrated to be
effective, be of long-lasting public benefit,
include a match, and be consistent with total
maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation
plans, watershed restoration and protection
strategies (WRAPS), or local water
management plans or their equivalents. A
portion of this money may be used to seek
administrative efficiencies through shared
resources by multiple local governmental
units. Up to 20 percent of this appropriation
is available for land-treatment projects and
practices that benefit drinking water.

(c) $4,000,000 the first year and $4,000,000
the second year are for accelerated
implementation, local resource protection,
enhancement grants, statewide analytical
targeting tools that fill an identified gap,
program enhancements for technical
assistance, citizen and community outreach,
compliance, and training and certification.

(d) $1,000,000 the first year and $1,000,000
the second year are to provide state oversight
and accountability, evaluate and communicate
results, provide implementation tools, and
measure the value of conservation program
implementation by local governments,
including submitting to the legislature by
March 1 each even-numbered year a biennial
report prepared by the board, in consultation
with the commissioners of natural resources,
health, agriculture, and the Pollution Control
Agency, detailing the recipients, the projects
funded under this section, and the amount of
pollution reduced.

(e) $2,500,000 the first year and $2,500,000
the second year are to provide assistance,
oversight, and grants for supporting local
governments in implementing and complying
with riparian protection and excessive soil loss
requirements.

(f) $4,750,000 the first year and $4,750,000
the second year are to purchase, restore, or
preserve riparian land adjacent to lakes, rivers,
streams, and tributaries, by easements or
contracts, to keep water on the land to decrease
sediment, pollutant, and nutrient transport;
reduce hydrologic impacts to surface waters;
and increase infiltration for groundwater
recharge. Up to $507,000 is for deposit in a
monitoring and enforcement account.

(g) $2,000,000 the first year and $2,000,000
the second year are for permanent
conservation easements on wellhead protection
areas under Minnesota Statutes, section
103F.515, subdivision 2, paragraph (d), or for
grants to local units of government for fee title
acquisition to permanently protect
groundwater supply sources on wellhead
protection areas or for otherwise ensuring
long-term protection of groundwater supply
sources as described under alternative
management tools in the Department of
Agriculture's Nitrogen Fertilizer Management
Plan, including low-nitrogen cropping systems
or implementing nitrogen fertilizer best
management practices. Priority must be placed
on land that is located where the vulnerability
of the drinking water supply is designated as
high or very high by the commissioner of
health, where drinking water protection plans
have identified specific activities that will
achieve long-term protection, and on lands
with expiring Conservation Reserve Program
contracts. Up to $182,000 is for deposit in a
monitoring and enforcement account.

(h) $84,000 the first year and $84,000 the
second year are for a technical evaluation
panel to conduct ten restoration evaluations
under Minnesota Statutes, section 114D.50,
subdivision 6
.

(i) $2,000,000 the first year and $2,000,000
the second year are for assistance, oversight,
and grants to local governments to transition
local water management plans to a watershed
approach as provided for in Minnesota
Statutes, chapters 103B, 103C, 103D, and
114D.

(j) $850,000 the first year and $850,000 the
second year are for technical assistance and
grants for the conservation drainage program
in consultation with the Drainage Work Group,
coordinated under Minnesota Statutes, section
103B.101, subdivision 13, that includes
projects to improve multipurpose water
management under Minnesota Statutes, section
103E.015.

(k) $11,250,000 the first year and $6,000,000
the second year are to purchase and restore
permanent conservation sites via easements
or contracts to treat and store water on the land
for water quality improvement purposes and
related technical assistance. This work may
be done in cooperation with the United States
Department of Agriculture with a first-priority
use to accomplish a conservation reserve
enhancement program, or equivalent, in the
state. Up to $397,000 is for deposit in a
monitoring and enforcement account.

(l) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000
the second year are to purchase permanent
conservation easements to protect lands
adjacent to public waters with good water
quality but threatened with degradation. Up
to $338,000 is for deposit in a monitoring and
enforcement account.

(m) $425,000 the first year and $425,000 the
second year are for grants or contracts for a
program to systematically collect data and
produce county, watershed, and statewide
estimates of soil erosion caused by water and
wind along with tracking adoption of
conservation measures, including cover crops,
to address erosion. Up to $700,000 is available
for grants to or contracts with the University
of Minnesota to complete this work.

(n) $12,000,000 the first year and deleted text begin$12,000,000deleted text endnew text begin
$9,000,000
new text end the second year are for payments
to soil and water conservation districts for the
purposes of Minnesota Statutes, sections
103C.321 and 103C.331. From this
appropriation, each soil and water
conservation district shall receive an increase
in its base funding of $100,000 deleted text beginper yeardeleted text endnew text begin in
fiscal year 2020 and $75,000 in fiscal year
2021
new text end. Money remaining after the base increase
is available for grants to soil and water
conservation districts as determined by the
board based on county allocations to soil and
water conservation districts and amount of
private land and public waters. The board and
other agencies may reduce the amount of
grants to a county by an amount equal to any
reduction in the county's allocation to a soil
and water conservation district from the
county's previous year allocation when the
board determines that the reduction was
disproportionate. The board may use up to one
percent for the administration of payments.

(o) The board must contract for delivery of
services with Conservation Corps Minnesota
for restoration, maintenance, and other
activities under this section for up to $500,000
the first year and up to $500,000 the second
year.

(p) The board may shift grant, cost-share, or
easement funds in this section and may adjust
the technical and administrative assistance
portion of the funds to leverage federal or
other nonstate funds or to address oversight
responsibilities or high-priority needs
identified in local water management plans.

(q) The board must require grantees to specify
the outcomes that will be achieved by the
grants before any grant awards.

(r) The appropriations in this section are
available until June 30, 2024, except grant
funds are available for five years after the date
a grant is executed, unless the commissioner
of administration determines that a longer
duration is in the best interest of the state
according to Minnesota Statutes, section
16B.98. Returned grant funds must be
regranted consistent with the purposes of this
section.

Sec. 4. new text beginCLEAN WATER COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS; SOIL AND WATER
CONSERVATION DISTRICTS.
new text end

new text begin The Clean Water Council must include in its recommendations to the governor and
legislature required under Minnesota Statutes, section 114D.30, subdivision 6, the following
recommendations for funding to soil and water conservation districts to provide base grants
and other support to supplement general fund appropriations for these purposes:
new text end

new text begin (1) $6,000,000 to soil and water conservation districts in fiscal year 2022; and
new text end

new text begin (2) $3,000,000 to soil and water conservation districts in fiscal year 2023.
new text end

Sec. 5. new text beginSOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS; APPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $4,500,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general fund to the Board of
Water and Soil Resources for grants to soil and water conservation districts under Minnesota
Statutes, section 103C.333. The base for this appropriation is $9,000,000 in fiscal year 2022,
$15,000,000 in fiscal year 2023, and $18,000,000 in fiscal year 2024 and thereafter.
new text end