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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 312-S.F.No. 2269 
                  An act relating to water; clarifying provisions 
                  relating to hearings of the board of water and soil 
                  resources; increasing the level of exempted bids for 
                  watershed districts; modifying the public review 
                  period for wetland replacement plans; providing for 
                  notice of local wetland plan development to the 
                  commissioner of agriculture; requiring approval of 
                  certain wetland replacements; requiring a report on 
                  wetland law consolidation; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1996, sections 103B.231, subdivision 9; 103D.105; 
                  103D.641; and 103G.2242, subdivision 8; Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 103G.2243, 
                  subdivision 1. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 103B.231, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [APPROVAL BY THE BOARD.] After completion of the 
        review under subdivision 8, the board of water and soil 
        resources shall review the plan as provided in sections 103D.401 
        and 103D.405.  The board shall review the plan for conformance 
        with the requirements of sections 103B.205 to 103B.255, and 
        chapter 103D.  The board shall not prescribe a plan, but may 
        disapprove all or parts of a plan which it determines is not in 
        conformance with the requirements of sections 103B.205 to 
        103B.255, and chapter 103D.  If the capital improvement program 
        is the subject of a dispute between counties, the board of water 
        and soil resources shall make a final decision on the issue.  
        The decision shall be binding on the organization and the 
        counties involved.  The board shall complete its review under 
        this section within 90 days. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 103D.105, is 
        amended to read: 
           103D.105 [BOARD HEARINGS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROCEDURE.] (a) A rulemaking hearing must 
        be conducted under chapter 14.  
           (b) A hearing in a proceeding to establish or terminate a 
        watershed district must be conducted. 
           (b) Notwithstanding chapter 14, other hearings under this 
        chapter, except hearings under paragraph (a), shall be conducted 
        by the board under this section.  The board may refer the 
        hearing to one or more members of the board or an administrative 
        law judge to hear evidence and make findings of fact and report 
        them to the board.  
           Subd. 2.  [PROCEDURE FOR NONCONTROVERSIAL PLANS OR 
        PETITIONS.] (a) If the board finds that a watershed management 
        plan or petition that would be given a hearing under subdivision 
        1, paragraph (c) (b), is noncontroversial, the board may, except 
        in a proceeding to establish or terminate a watershed district, 
        proceed under this subdivision.  
           (b) The board must give notice that the watershed 
        management plan or petition has been filed.  The notice must be 
        made:  
           (1) by publication in a legal newspaper in each county 
        affected by the watershed district; 
           (2) by mail to the auditor of each county affected by the 
        watershed management plan or petition; and 
           (3) by mail to the chief executive officer of each city 
        affected.  
           (c) The notice must: 
           (1) describe the actions proposed by the plan or petition; 
           (2) invite written comments on the plan or petition for 
        consideration by the board; 
           (3) state that a person who objects to the actions proposed 
        in the plan or petition may submit a written request for hearing 
        to the board within 30 days of the last publication of the 
        notice of filing of the plan or petition; and 
           (4) state that if a timely request for hearing is not 
        received, the board may make a decision on the plan or petition 
        at a future meeting of the board. 
           (d) If one or more timely requests for hearing are 
        received, the board must hold a hearing on the plan or petition. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 103D.641, is 
        amended to read: 
           103D.641 [WORK WITHOUT BID.] 
           If the managers find that the estimated cost of repair, 
        including all fees and costs incurred for proceedings relating 
        to it, is less than $20,000 $25,000, it may have the work done 
        by contract without advertising for bids. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD.] Except for activities 
        impacting less than 10,000 square feet of wetland, before 
        approval or denial of a replacement plan under this section, 
        comments may be made by the public to the local government unit 
        for a period of 30 days of 15 days or more, as determined by the 
        local government unit. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        103G.2243, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL REQUIREMENTS; NOTICE AND 
        PARTICIPATION.] (a) As an alternative to the rules adopted under 
        section 103G.2242, subdivision 1, and the public value criteria 
        established or approved under section 103B.3355, a comprehensive 
        wetland protection and management plan may be developed by a 
        local government unit, or one or more local government units 
        operating under a joint powers agreement, provided that: 
           (1) a notice is made at the beginning of the planning 
        process to the board, the commissioner of natural resources, the 
        pollution control agency, the commissioner of agriculture, local 
        government units, and local citizens to actively participate in 
        the development of the plan; and 
           (2) the plan is implemented by ordinance as part of the 
        local government's official controls under chapter 394, for a 
        county; chapter 462, for a city; chapter 366, for a town; and by 
        rules adopted under chapter 103D, for a watershed district; and 
        chapter 103B, for a watershed management organization. 
           (b) An organization that is invited to participate in the 
        development of the local plan, but declines to do so and fails 
        to participate or to provide written comments during the local 
        review process, waives the right during board review to submit 
        comments, except comments concerning consistency of the plan 
        with laws and rules administered by that agency.  In determining 
        the merit of an agency comment, the board shall consider the 
        involvement of the agency in the development of the local plan. 
           Sec. 6.  [MINELAND RECLAMATION PERMITS.] 
           Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.222, 
        subdivision 1, the commissioner of natural resources shall 
        approve the location of wetland replacements, through mineland 
        reclamation permits authorized pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 93.481, for projects where replacement was begun prior 
        to January 1, 1997, in accordance with individual permits issued 
        by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 
        of the federal Clean Water Act, United States Code, title 33, 
        section 1344. 
           Sec. 7.  [WETLAND LAW CONSOLIDATION REPORT.] 
           By March 1, 1999, the commissioner of natural resources, in 
        conjunction with the executive director of the board of water 
        and soil resources, shall submit a report to the house and 
        senate environment and natural resources committees regarding 
        the simplification of wetland law by consolidating public waters 
        wetlands laws with the wetlands conservation act.  The report 
        shall include a discussion of the problems and benefits of a 
        consolidation. 
           Presented to the governor March 19, 1998 
           Signed by the governor March 23, 1998, 10:45 a.m.