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

                             CHAPTER 382-S.F.No. 83 
                  An act relating to natural resources; simplifying and 
                  consolidating wetland regulation; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1998, sections 103G.005, subdivisions 15 and 
                  19; 103G.201; 103G.222; 103G.2241, subdivisions 1, 3, 
                  and 9; 103G.2242, subdivisions 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, and by 
                  adding a subdivision; 103G.2372; 103G.2373; 103G.245, 
                  subdivision 5; and 645.44, by adding a subdivision; 
                  proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
                  chapter 103G. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.005, 
        subdivision 15, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 15.  [PUBLIC WATERS.] (a) "Public waters" means:  
           (1) waterbasins assigned a shoreland management 
        classification by the commissioner under sections 103F.201 to 
        103F.221, except wetlands less than 80 acres in size that are 
        classified as natural environment lakes; 
           (2) waters of the state that have been finally determined 
        to be public waters or navigable waters by a court of competent 
        jurisdiction; 
           (3) meandered lakes, excluding lakes that have been legally 
        drained; 
           (4) waterbasins previously designated by the commissioner 
        for management for a specific purpose such as trout lakes and 
        game lakes pursuant to applicable laws; 
           (5) waterbasins designated as scientific and natural areas 
        under section 84.033; 
           (6) waterbasins located within and totally surrounded by 
        publicly owned lands; 
           (7) waterbasins where the state of Minnesota or the federal 
        government holds title to any of the beds or shores, unless the 
        owner declares that the water is not necessary for the purposes 
        of the public ownership; 
           (8) waterbasins where there is a publicly owned and 
        controlled access that is intended to provide for public access 
        to the waterbasin; 
           (9) natural and altered watercourses with a total drainage 
        area greater than two square miles; 
           (10) natural and altered watercourses designated by the 
        commissioner as trout streams; and 
           (11) public waters wetlands, unless the statute expressly 
        states otherwise. 
           (b) Public waters are not determined exclusively by the 
        proprietorship of the underlying, overlying, or surrounding land 
        or by whether it is a body or stream of water that was navigable 
        in fact or susceptible of being used as a highway for commerce 
        at the time this state was admitted to the union.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.005, 
        subdivision 19, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 19.  [WETLANDS.] (a) "Wetlands" means lands 
        transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the 
        water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is 
        covered by shallow water.  For purposes of this definition, 
        wetlands must have the following three attributes:  
           (1) have a predominance of hydric soils; 
           (2) are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water 
        at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence 
        of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in 
        saturated soil conditions; and 
           (3) under normal circumstances support a prevalence of such 
        vegetation. 
           (b) For the purposes of regulation under this chapter, the 
        term wetlands does not include public waters wetlands as defined 
        in subdivision 15a.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.201, is 
        amended to read: 
           103G.201 [PUBLIC WATERS INVENTORY.] 
           (a) The commissioner shall prepare a public waters 
        inventory map of each county that shows the waters of this state 
        that are designated as public waters under the public waters 
        inventory and classification procedures prescribed under Laws 
        1979, chapter 199.  The public waters inventory map for each 
        county must be filed with the auditor of the county.  
           (b) The commissioner is authorized to revise the list of 
        public waters established under Laws 1979, chapter 199, to 
        reclassify those type 3, 4, and 5 wetlands previously identified 
        as public waters wetlands under Laws 1979, chapter 199, as 
        public waters or as wetlands under section 103G.005, subdivision 
        19.  The commissioner may only reclassify public waters wetlands 
        as public waters if: 
           (1) they are assigned a shoreland management classification 
        by the commissioner under sections 103F.201 to 103F.22; or 
           (2) they are classified as lacustrine wetlands according to 
        Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United 
        States (Cowardin, et al., 1979 edition). 
           (c) The commissioner must provide notice of the 
        reclassification to the local government unit, the county board, 
        the watershed district, if one exists for the area, and the soil 
        and water conservation district.  Within 60 days of receiving 
        notice from the commissioner, a party required to receive the 
        notice may provide a resolution stating objections to the 
        reclassification.  If the commissioner receives an objection 
        from a party required to receive the notice, the 
        reclassification is not effective.  If the commissioner does not 
        receive an objection from a party required to receive the 
        notice, the reclassification of a wetland under paragraph (b) is 
        effective 60 days after the notice is received by all of the 
        parties. 
           (d) The commissioner shall give priority to the 
        reclassification of public waters wetlands that are or have the 
        potential to be affected by public works projects. 
           Sec. 4.  [103G.2212] [CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY WHEN WORK 
        DRAINS OR FILLS WETLANDS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CONDITIONS FOR EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS TO 
        DRAIN OR FILL WETLANDS.] An agent or employee of another may not 
        drain or fill a wetland, wholly or partially, unless the agent 
        or employee has: 
           (1) obtained a signed statement from the property owner 
        stating that the wetland replacement plan required for the work 
        has been obtained or that a replacement plan is not required; 
        and 
           (2) mailed a copy of the statement to the local government 
        unit with jurisdiction over the wetland. 
           Subd. 2.  [VIOLATION IS SEPARATE OFFENSE.] Violation of 
        this section is a separate and independent offense from other 
        violations of sections 103G.2212 to 103G.237. 
           Subd. 3.  [FORM FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION.] The 
        board shall develop a form to be distributed to contractors' 
        associations, local government units, and soil and water 
        conservation districts to comply with this section.  The form 
        must include: 
           (1) a listing of the activities for which a replacement 
        plan is required; 
           (2) a description of the penalties for violating sections 
        103G.2212 to 103G.237; 
           (3) the telephone number to call for information on the 
        responsible local government unit; 
           (4) a statement that national wetland inventory maps are on 
        file with the soil and water conservation district office; and 
           (5) spaces for a description of the work and the names, 
        mailing addresses, and telephone numbers of the person 
        authorizing the work and the agent or employee proposing to 
        undertake it. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.222, is 
        amended to read: 
           103G.222 [REPLACEMENT OF WETLANDS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENTS.] (a) Wetlands must not be 
        drained or filled, wholly or partially, unless replaced by 
        restoring or creating wetland areas of at least equal public 
        value under a replacement plan approved as provided in section 
        103G.2242, a replacement plan under a local governmental unit's 
        comprehensive wetland protection and management plan approved by 
        the board under section 103G.2243, or, if a permit to mine is 
        required under section 93.481, under a mining reclamation plan 
        approved by the commissioner under the permit to mine.  Mining 
        reclamation plans shall apply the same principles and standards 
        for replacing wetlands by restoration or creation of wetland 
        areas that are applicable to mitigation plans approved as 
        provided in section 103G.2242.  Public value must be determined 
        in accordance with section 103B.3355 or a comprehensive wetland 
        protection and management plan established under section 
        103G.2243.  Sections 103G.221 to 103G.2372 also apply to 
        excavation in permanently and semipermanently flooded areas of 
        type 3, 4, and 5 wetlands. 
           (b) Replacement must be guided by the following principles 
        in descending order of priority: 
           (1) avoiding the direct or indirect impact of the activity 
        that may destroy or diminish the wetland; 
           (2) minimizing the impact by limiting the degree or 
        magnitude of the wetland activity and its implementation; 
           (3) rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or 
        restoring the affected wetland environment; 
           (4) reducing or eliminating the impact over time by 
        preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the 
        activity; 
           (5) compensating for the impact by restoring a wetland; and 
           (6) compensating for the impact by replacing or providing 
        substitute wetland resources or environments. 
           For a project involving the draining or filling of wetlands 
        in an amount not exceeding 10,000 square feet more than the 
        applicable amount in section 103G.2241, subdivision 9, paragraph 
        (a), the local government unit may make an on-site sequencing 
        determination without a written alternatives analysis from the 
        applicant. 
           (c) If a wetland is located in a cultivated field, then 
        replacement must be accomplished through restoration only 
        without regard to the priority order in paragraph (b), provided 
        that a deed restriction is placed on the altered wetland 
        prohibiting nonagricultural use for at least ten years.  
           (d) Restoration and replacement of wetlands must be 
        accomplished in accordance with the ecology of the landscape 
        area affected. 
           (e) Replacement shall be within the same watershed or 
        county as the impacted wetlands, as based on the wetland 
        evaluation in section 103G.2242, subdivision 2, except that a 
        greater than 80 percent area may accomplish replacement in less 
        than 50 percent areas.  Wetlands impacted by public 
        transportation projects may be replaced statewide, except that 
        wetlands impacted in a less than 50 percent area must be 
        replaced in a less than 50 percent area, and wetlands impacted 
        in the seven-county twin cities metropolitan area by public 
        highways must be replaced: 
           (1) in the affected county, or, if no restoration 
        opportunities exist in the county; 
           (2) in another seven-county twin cities metropolitan area 
        county. 
           The board must maintain a public list of restoration 
        opportunities within the metropolitan area.  Disputes about 
        restoration opportunities for wetland replacement in a watershed 
        or county may be appealed to the board's committee for dispute 
        resolution.  Replacement of wetlands may be accomplished under 
        the rules for wetland banking as provided for under section 
        103G.2242. 
           (f) Except as provided in paragraph (g) (f), for a 
        wetland or public waters wetland located on nonagricultural 
        land, replacement must be in the ratio of two acres of replaced 
        wetland for each acre of drained or filled wetland. 
           (g) (f) For a wetland or public waters wetland located on 
        agricultural land or in a greater than 80 percent area, 
        replacement must be in the ratio of one acre of replaced wetland 
        for each acre of drained or filled wetland.  
           (h) (g) Wetlands that are restored or created as a result 
        of an approved replacement plan are subject to the provisions of 
        this section for any subsequent drainage or filling. 
           (i) (h) Except in a greater than 80 percent area, only 
        wetlands that have been restored from previously drained or 
        filled wetlands, wetlands created by excavation in nonwetlands, 
        wetlands created by dikes or dams along public or private 
        drainage ditches, or wetlands created by dikes or dams 
        associated with the restoration of previously drained or filled 
        wetlands may be used in a statewide banking program established 
        in rules adopted under section 103G.2242, subdivision 1.  
        Modification or conversion of nondegraded naturally occurring 
        wetlands from one type to another are not eligible for 
        enrollment in a statewide wetlands bank. 
           (j) (i) The technical evaluation panel established under 
        section 103G.2242, subdivision 2, shall ensure that sufficient 
        time has occurred for the wetland to develop wetland 
        characteristics of soils, vegetation, and hydrology before 
        recommending that the wetland be deposited in the statewide 
        wetland bank.  If the technical evaluation panel has reason to 
        believe that the wetland characteristics may change 
        substantially, the panel shall postpone its recommendation until 
        the wetland has stabilized. 
           (k) (j) This section and sections 103G.223 to 103G.2242, 
        103G.2364, and 103G.2365 apply to the state and its departments 
        and agencies. 
           (l) (k) For projects involving draining or filling of 
        wetlands associated with a new public transportation project in 
        a greater than 80 percent area, public transportation 
        authorities, other than the state department of transportation, 
        may purchase credits from the state wetland bank established 
        with proceeds from Laws 1994, chapter 643, section 26, 
        subdivision 3, paragraph (c).  Wetland banking credits may be 
        purchased at the least of the following, but in no case shall 
        the purchase price be less than $400 per acre:  (1) the cost to 
        the state to establish the credits; (2) the average estimated 
        market value of agricultural land in the township where the road 
        project is located, as determined by the commissioner of 
        revenue; or (3) the average value of the land in the immediate 
        vicinity of the road project as determined by the county 
        assessor.  Public transportation authorities in a less than 80 
        percent area may purchase credits from the state at the cost to 
        the state to establish credits. 
           (m) (l) A replacement plan for wetlands is not required for 
        individual projects that result in the filling or draining of 
        wetlands for the repair, rehabilitation, reconstruction, or 
        replacement of a currently serviceable existing state, city, 
        county, or town public road necessary, as determined by the 
        public transportation authority, to meet state or federal design 
        or safety standards or requirements, excluding new roads or 
        roads expanded solely for additional traffic capacity lanes.  
        This paragraph only applies to authorities for public 
        transportation projects that: 
           (1) minimize the amount of wetland filling or draining 
        associated with the project and consider mitigating important 
        site-specific wetland functions on-site; and 
           (2) except as provided in clause (3), submit annual 
        project-specific reports by January 15 to the board, the 
        technical evaluation panel, the commissioner of natural 
        resources, and members of the public requesting a copy at least 
        30 days prior to construction that indicate the location, 
        amount, and type of wetlands that have been filled or drained 
        during the previous year and a projection of the location, 
        amount, and type of wetlands to be filled or drained by the 
        project or, alternatively, convene an annual meeting of the 
        parties required to receive notice to review projects to be 
        commenced during the upcoming year; and 
           (3) for minor and emergency maintenance work impacting less 
        than 10,000 square feet, submit project-specific reports, within 
        30 days of commencing the activity, to the board that indicate 
        the location, amount, and type of wetlands that have been filled 
        or drained. 
           Those required to receive notice of public transportation 
        projects may appeal minimization, delineation, and on-site 
        mitigation decisions made by the public transportation authority 
        to the board according to the provisions of section 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 9.  The technical evaluation panel shall review 
        minimization and delineation decisions made by the public 
        transportation authority and provide recommendations regarding 
        on-site mitigation if requested to do so by the local government 
        unit, a contiguous landowner, or a member of the technical 
        evaluation panel. 
           Except for state public transportation projects, for which 
        the state department of transportation is responsible, the board 
        must replace the wetlands, and wetland areas of public waters if 
        authorized by the commissioner or a delegated authority, drained 
        or filled by public transportation projects on existing roads in 
        critical rural and urban watersheds. 
           Public transportation authorities at their discretion may 
        deviate from federal and state design standards on existing road 
        projects when practical and reasonable to avoid wetland filling 
        or draining, provided that public safety is not unreasonably 
        compromised.  The local road authority and its officers and 
        employees are exempt from liability for any tort claim for 
        injury to persons or property arising from travel on the highway 
        and related to the deviation from the design standards for 
        construction or reconstruction under this paragraph.  This 
        paragraph does not preclude an action for damages arising from 
        negligence in construction or maintenance on a highway. 
           (n) (m) If a landowner seeks approval of a replacement plan 
        after the proposed project has already impacted affected the 
        wetland, the local government unit may require the landowner to 
        replace the impacted affected wetland at a ratio not to exceed 
        twice the replacement ratio otherwise required. 
           (o) (n) A local government unit may request the board to 
        reclassify a county or watershed on the basis of its percentage 
        of presettlement wetlands remaining.  After receipt of 
        satisfactory documentation from the local government, the board 
        shall change the classification of a county or watershed.  If 
        requested by the local government unit, the board must assist in 
        developing the documentation.  Within 30 days of its action to 
        approve a change of wetland classifications, the board shall 
        publish a notice of the change in the Environmental Quality 
        Board Monitor. 
           (p) (o) One hundred citizens who reside within the 
        jurisdiction of the local government unit may request the local 
        government unit to reclassify a county or watershed on the basis 
        of its percentage of presettlement wetlands remaining.  In 
        support of their petition, the citizens shall provide 
        satisfactory documentation to the local government unit.  The 
        local government unit shall consider the petition and forward 
        the request to the board under paragraph (o) (n) or provide a 
        reason why the petition is denied. 
           Subd. 2.  [ROAD CREDIT FUNDING.] At least 50 percent of 
        money appropriated for road repair wetland replacement credit 
        under this section must be used for wetland restoration in the 
        seven-county metropolitan area. 
           The board shall give priority to restoration projects that 
        will: 
           (1) intensify will encourage land use that leads to more 
        compact development or redevelopment; 
           (2) will encourage public or private infrastructure 
        investments which connect urban neighborhoods and suburban 
        ecosystems and communities, attract private sector investment in 
        commercial or residential properties adjacent to the public 
        improvement; or 
           (3) complement projects receiving funding under section 
        473.253 are located in critical rural and urban watersheds. 
           Subd. 3.  [WETLAND REPLACEMENT SITING.] (a) Siting wetland 
        replacement must follow this priority order: 
           (1) on site or in the same minor watershed as the affected 
        wetland; 
           (2) in the same watershed as the affected wetland; 
           (3) in the same county as the affected wetland; 
           (4) in an adjacent watershed or county to the affected 
        wetland; and 
           (5) statewide, only for wetlands affected in greater than 
        80 percent areas and for public transportation projects, except 
        that wetlands affected in less than 50 percent areas must be 
        replaced in less than 50 percent areas, and wetlands affected in 
        the seven-county metropolitan area must be replaced in the 
        affected county or, if no restoration opportunities exist in the 
        county, in another seven-county metropolitan area county. 
           (b) The exception in paragraph (a), clause (5), does not 
        apply to replacement completed using wetland banking credits 
        established by a person who submitted a complete wetland banking 
        application to a local government unit by April 1, 1996. 
           (c) When reasonable, practicable, and environmentally 
        beneficial replacement opportunities are not available in siting 
        priorities listed in paragraph (a), the applicant may seek 
        opportunities at the next level. 
           (d) For the purposes of this section, "reasonable, 
        practicable, and environmentally beneficial replacement 
        opportunities" are defined as opportunities that: 
           (1) take advantage of naturally occurring 
        hydrogeomorphological conditions and require minimal landscape 
        alteration; 
           (2) have a high likelihood of becoming a functional wetland 
        that will continue in perpetuity; 
           (3) do not adversely affect other habitat types or 
        ecological communities that are important in maintaining the 
        overall biological diversity of the area; and 
           (4) are available and capable of being done after taking 
        into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics 
        consistent with overall project purposes. 
           (e) Regulatory agencies, local government units, and other 
        entities involved in wetland restoration shall collaborate to 
        identify potential replacement opportunities within their 
        jurisdictional areas. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2241, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES.] (a) A 
        replacement plan for wetlands is not required for: 
           (1) activities in a wetland that was planted with annually 
        seeded crops, was in a crop rotation seeding of pasture grass or 
        legumes, or was required to be set aside to receive price 
        support or other payments under United States Code, title 7, 
        sections 1421 to 1469, in six of the last ten years prior to 
        January 1, 1991; 
           (2) activities in a wetland that is or has been enrolled in 
        the federal conservation reserve program under United States 
        Code, title 16, section 3831, that: 
           (i) was planted with annually seeded crops, was in a crop 
        rotation seeding, or was required to be set aside to receive 
        price support or payment under United States Code, title 7, 
        sections 1421 to 1469, in six of the last ten years prior to 
        being enrolled in the program; and 
           (ii) has not been restored with assistance from a public or 
        private wetland restoration program; 
           (3) activities in a wetland that has received a commenced 
        drainage determination provided for by the federal Food Security 
        Act of 1985, that was made to the county agricultural 
        stabilization and conservation service office prior to September 
        19, 1988, and a ruling and any subsequent appeals or reviews 
        have determined that drainage of the wetland had been commenced 
        prior to December 23, 1985; 
           (4) activities in a type 1 wetland on agricultural land, 
        except for bottomland hardwood type 1 wetlands, and activities 
        in a type 2 or type 6 wetland that is less than two acres in 
        size and located on agricultural land; 
           (5) aquaculture activities including pond excavation and 
        construction and maintenance of associated access roads and 
        dikes authorized under, and conducted in accordance with, a 
        permit 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, but not including construction or 
        expansion of buildings; 
           (6) wild rice production activities, including necessary 
        diking and other activities authorized under a permit 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; 
           (7) normal agricultural practices to control noxious or 
        secondary weeds as defined by rule of the commissioner of 
        agriculture, in accordance with applicable requirements under 
        state and federal law, including established best management 
        practices; and 
           (8) agricultural activities in a wetland that is on 
        agricultural land: 
           (i) annually enrolled in the federal Food, Agricultural, 
        Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, United States Code, title 
        16, section 3821, subsection (a), clauses (1) to (3), as 
        amended, Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 and is 
        subject to sections 1421 to 1424 of the federal act United 
        States Code, title 16, sections 3821 to 3823, in effect on 
        January 1, 1991, except that 2000; or 
           (ii) subject to subsequent federal farm program 
        restrictions that meet minimum state standards under this 
        chapter and sections 103A.202 and 103B.3355 and that have been 
        approved by the board of water and soil resources, the 
        commissioners of natural resources and agriculture, and the 
        pollution control agency. 
           (b) Land enrolled in a federal farm program under paragraph 
        (a), clause (8), is eligible for easement participation for 
        those acres not already compensated under a federal program. 
           (b) (c) The exemption under paragraph (a), clause (4), may 
        be expanded to additional acreage, including types 1, 2, and 6 
        wetlands that are part of a larger wetland system, when the 
        additional acreage is part of a conservation plan approved by 
        the local soil and water conservation district, the additional 
        draining or filling is necessary for efficient operation of the 
        farm, the hydrology of the larger wetland system is not 
        adversely affected, and wetlands other than types 1, 2, and 6 
        are not drained or filled. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2241, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [FEDERAL APPROVALS.] A replacement plan for 
        wetlands is not required for: 
           (1) activities exempted from federal regulation under 
        United States Code, title 33, section 1344(f), as in effect on 
        January 1, 1991; 
           (2) activities authorized under, and conducted in 
        accordance with, an applicable general permit 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, except the nationwide permit in Code of Federal 
        Regulations, title 33, section 330.5, paragraph (a), clauses 
        (14), limited to when a new road crosses a wetland, and (26), as 
        in effect on January 1, 1991; or 
           (3) activities authorized under the federal Clean Water 
        Act, section 404, or the Rivers and Harbors Act, section 10, 
        regulations that meet minimum state standards under this chapter 
        and sections 103A.202 and 103B.3355 and that have been approved 
        by the board of water and soil resources, the commissioners of 
        natural resources and agriculture, and the pollution control 
        agency. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2241, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [DE MINIMIS.] (a) Except as provided in 
        paragraphs (b), and (c), and (d), a replacement plan for 
        wetlands is not required for draining or filling the following 
        amounts of wetlands as part of a project, regardless of the 
        total amount of wetlands filled as part of a project: 
           (1) 10,000 square feet of type 1, 2, 6, or 7 wetland, 
        excluding white cedar and tamarack wetlands, outside of the 
        shoreland wetland protection zone in a greater than 80 percent 
        area; 
           (2) 5,000 square feet of type 1, 2, 6, or 7 wetland, 
        excluding white cedar and tamarack wetlands, outside of the 
        shoreland wetland protection zone in a 50 to 80 percent area; 
           (3) 2,000 square feet of type 1, 2, or 6 wetland, outside 
        of the shoreland wetland protection zone in a less than 50 
        percent area; 
           (4) 400 square feet of wetland types not listed in clauses 
        (1) to (3) outside of shoreland wetland protection zones in all 
        counties; or 
           (5) 400 square feet of type 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 
        wetland, in the shoreland wetland protection zone, except that 
        in a greater than 80 percent area, the local government unit may 
        increase the de minimis amount up to 1,000 square feet in the 
        shoreland protection zone in areas beyond the building setback 
        if the wetland is isolated and is determined to have no direct 
        surficial connection to the public water.  To the extent that a 
        local shoreland management ordinance is more restrictive than 
        this provision, the local shoreland ordinance applies. 
           (b) The amounts listed in paragraph (a), clauses (1) to 
        (5), may not be combined on a project. 
           (c) This exemption no longer applies to a landowner's 
        portion of a wetland when the cumulative area drained or filled 
        of the landowner's portion since January 1, 1992, is the 
        greatest of: 
           (1) the applicable area listed in paragraph (a), if the 
        landowner owns the entire wetland; 
           (2) five percent of the landowner's portion of the wetland; 
        or 
           (3) 400 square feet. 
           (d) Persons proposing to conduct an activity under this 
        subdivision shall contact the board at a toll-free number to be 
        provided for information on minimizing wetland impacts.  Failure 
        to call by the person does not constitute a violation of this 
        subdivision. 
           (e) This exemption may not be combined with another 
        exemption in this section on a project. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [RULES.] (a) The board, in consultation 
        with the commissioner, shall adopt rules governing the approval 
        of wetland value replacement plans under this section and public 
        waters work permits affecting public waters wetlands under 
        section 103G.245.  These rules must address the criteria, 
        procedure, timing, and location of acceptable replacement of 
        wetland values; may address the state establishment and 
        administration of a wetland banking program for public and 
        private projects, which may include provisions allowing monetary 
        payment to the wetland banking program for alteration of 
        wetlands on agricultural land; the administrative, monitoring, 
        and enforcement procedures to be used; and a procedure for the 
        review and appeal of decisions under this section.  In the case 
        of peatlands, the replacement plan rules must consider the 
        impact on carbon balance described in the report required by 
        Laws 1990, chapter 587, and include the planting of trees or 
        shrubs. 
           (b) After the adoption of the rules, a replacement plan 
        must be approved by a resolution of the governing body of the 
        local government unit, consistent with the provisions of the 
        rules or a comprehensive wetland protection and management plan 
        approved under section 103G.2243. 
           (c) If the local government unit fails to apply the rules, 
        or fails to implement a local comprehensive wetland protection 
        and management plan established under section 103G.2243, the 
        government unit is subject to penalty as determined by the board.
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [EVALUATION.] (a) Questions concerning the public 
        value, location, size, or type of a wetland shall be submitted 
        to and determined by a technical evaluation panel after an 
        on-site inspection.  The technical evaluation panel shall be 
        composed of a technical professional employee of the board, a 
        technical professional employee of the local soil and water 
        conservation district or districts, and a technical professional 
        with expertise in water resources management appointed by the 
        local government unit, and a technical professional employee of 
        the department of natural resources for projects affecting 
        public waters or wetlands adjacent to public waters.  The panel 
        shall use the "United States Army Corps of Engineers Wetland 
        Delineation Manual" (January 1987), including updates, 
        supplementary guidance, and replacements, if any, "Wetlands of 
        the United States" (United States Fish and Wildlife Service 
        Circular 39, 1971 edition), and "Classification of Wetlands and 
        Deepwater Habitats of the United States" (1979 edition).  The 
        panel shall provide the wetland determination and 
        recommendations on other technical matters to the local 
        government unit that must approve a replacement plan under this 
        section, wetland banking plan, exemption determination, no-loss 
        determination, or wetland boundary or type determination and may 
        recommend approval or denial of the plan.  The authority must 
        consider and include the decision of the technical evaluation 
        panel in their approval or denial of a plan or determination. 
           (b) Persons conducting wetland or public waters boundary 
        delineations or type determinations are exempt from the 
        requirements of chapter 326.  By January 15, 2001, the board, in 
        consultation with the Minnesota Association of Professional Soil 
        Scientists, the University of Minnesota, and the Wetland 
        Delineators' Association, shall submit a plan for a professional 
        wetland delineator certification program to the legislature. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2242, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [WETLAND BOUNDARY OR TYPE DETERMINATION.] (a) A 
        landowner may apply for a wetland boundary or type determination 
        from the local government unit.  The landowner applying for the 
        determination is responsible for submitting proof necessary to 
        make the determination, including, but not limited to, wetland 
        delineation field data, observation well data, topographic 
        mapping, survey mapping, and information regarding soils, 
        vegetation, hydrology, and groundwater both within and outside 
        of the proposed wetland boundary. 
           (b) A local government unit that receives an application 
        under paragraph (a) may seek the advice of the technical 
        evaluation panel as described in subdivision 2, and, if 
        necessary, expand the technical evaluation panel.  The local 
        government unit may delegate the decision authority for wetland 
        boundary or type determinations with the zoning administrator, 
        or establish other procedures it considers appropriate. 
           (c) The local government unit decision must be made in 
        compliance with section 15.99.  Within ten calendar days of the 
        decision, the local government unit decision must be mailed to 
        the landowner, members of the technical evaluation panel, the 
        watershed district or watershed management organization, if one 
        exists, and individual members of the public who request a copy. 
           (d) The local government unit decision is valid for three 
        years unless the technical evaluation panel determines that 
        natural or artificial changes to the hydrology, vegetation, or 
        soils of the area have been sufficient to alter the wetland 
        boundary or type. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [PROCESSING FEE.] The local government unit and 
        soil and water conservation district may charge processing fees 
        in amounts not greater than are necessary to cover the 
        reasonable costs of implementing the rules adopted under 
        subdivision 1 and for technical and administrative assistance to 
        landowners in processing other applications for projects 
        affecting wetlands.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [APPEAL.] (a) Appeal of a replacement plan, 
        exemption, wetland banking, wetland boundary or type 
        determination, or no-loss decision may be obtained by mailing a 
        petition and payment of a filing fee of $200, which shall be 
        retained by the board to defray administrative costs, to the 
        board within 15 days after the postmarked date of the mailing 
        specified in subdivision 7.  If appeal is not sought within 15 
        days, the decision becomes final.  The local government unit may 
        require the petitioner to post a letter of credit, cashier's 
        check, or cash in an amount not to exceed $500.  If the petition 
        for hearing is accepted, the amount posted must be returned to 
        the petitioner.  Appeal may be made by: 
           (1) the wetland owner, by; 
           (2) any of those to whom notice is required to be mailed 
        under subdivision 7,; or by 
           (3) 100 residents of the county in which a majority of the 
        wetland is located.  
           (b) Within 30 days after receiving a petition, the board 
        shall decide whether to grant the petition and hear the appeal.  
        The board shall grant the petition unless the board finds that: 
           (1) the appeal is meritless, trivial, or brought solely for 
        the purposes of delay; that 
           (2) the petitioner has not exhausted all local 
        administrative remedies; 
           (3) expanded technical review is needed; 
           (4) the local government unit's record is not adequate; or 
        that 
           (5) the petitioner has not posted a letter of credit, 
        cashier's check, or cash if required by the local government 
        unit.  
           (c) In determining whether to grant the appeal, the board 
        shall also consider the size of the wetland, other factors in 
        controversy, any patterns of similar acts by the local 
        government unit or petitioner, and the consequences of the delay 
        resulting from the appeal.  
           (d) All appeals must be heard by the committee for dispute 
        resolution of the board, and a decision made within 60 days of 
        the appeal.  The decision must be served by mail on the parties 
        to the appeal, and is not subject to the provisions of chapter 
        14.  A decision whether to grant a petition for appeal and a 
        decision on the merits of an appeal must be considered the 
        decision of an agency in a contested case for purposes of 
        judicial review under sections 14.63 to 14.69. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 11.  [WETLAND HERITAGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE.] The 
        governor shall establish a wetland heritage advisory committee 
        consisting of a balanced diversity of interests including 
        agriculture, environmental, and sporting organizations, land 
        development organizations, local government organizations, and 
        other agencies.  The committee must consist of nine members 
        including the commissioner of agriculture, or a designee of the 
        commissioner, the commissioner of natural resources, and seven 
        members appointed by the governor.  The governor's appointees 
        must include one county commissioner, one representative each 
        from a statewide sporting organization, a statewide conservation 
        organization, an agricultural commodity group, one faculty 
        member of an institution of higher education with expertise in 
        the natural sciences, and one member each from two statewide 
        farm organizations.  The committee shall advise the board on the 
        development of rules under this section and, after rule 
        adoption, shall meet at least twice a year to review 
        implementation of the program, to identify strengths and 
        weaknesses, and to recommend changes to the rules and the law to 
        improve the program.  The committee expires on July 1, 2000. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2372, is 
        amended to read: 
           103G.2372 [ENFORCEMENT.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSIONER OF NATURAL RESOURCES.] The 
        commissioner of natural resources, conservation officers, and 
        peace officers shall enforce laws preserving and protecting 
        wetlands and public waters.  The commissioner of natural 
        resources, a conservation officer, or a peace officer may issue 
        a cease and desist order to stop any illegal activity adversely 
        affecting a wetland or public waters.  In the order, or by 
        separate order, the commissioner, conservation officer, or peace 
        officer may require restoration or replacement of the wetland or 
        public waters, as determined by the local soil and water 
        conservation district for wetlands and the commissioner of 
        natural resources for public waters. 
           Subd. 2.  [MISDEMEANOR.] A violation of an order issued 
        under subdivision 1 is a misdemeanor and must be prosecuted by 
        the county attorney where the wetland is or public waters are 
        located or the illegal activity occurred. 
           Subd. 3.  [RESTITUTION.] The court may, as part of 
        sentencing, require a person convicted under subdivision 2 to 
        restore or replace the wetland or public waters, as determined 
        by the local soil and water conservation district for wetlands 
        and the commissioner of natural resources for public waters.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.2373, is 
        amended to read: 
           103G.2373 [ANNUAL WETLANDS AND PUBLIC WATERS WETLANDS 
        REPORT.] 
           By March 1 of each year, the commissioner of natural 
        resources and the board of water and soil resources shall 
        jointly report to the committees of the legislature with 
        jurisdiction over matters relating to agriculture, the 
        environment, and natural resources on: 
           (1) the status of implementation of state laws and programs 
        relating to wetlands and public waters wetlands; 
           (2) the quantity, quality, acreage, types, and public value 
        of wetlands and public waters wetlands in the state; and 
           (3) changes in the items in clause (2). 
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103G.245, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [DELEGATION OF PERMIT AUTHORITY TO LOCAL UNITS OF 
        GOVERNMENT.] (a) The commissioner may delegate public waters 
        work permit authority to the appropriate county or municipality 
        or to watershed districts or watershed management organizations 
        that have elected to assert local authority over protected 
        waters.  The public waters work permit authority must be 
        delegated under guidelines of the commissioner and the 
        delegation must be done by agreement with the involved county, 
        municipality, watershed district, or water management 
        organization and in compliance with section 103G.315. 
           (b) For projects affecting public waters wetlands, the 
        commissioner may waive the requirement for a public waters work 
        permit if the local government unit makes a replacement, no-loss 
        or exemption determination in compliance with sections 103A.201, 
        103B.3355, and 103G.222 to 103G.2373, and rules adopted pursuant 
        to these same sections. 
           (c) For projects affecting both public waters and wetlands, 
        the local government unit may, by written agreement with the 
        commissioner, waive the requirement for a replacement plan, 
        no-loss or exemption determination if a public waters work 
        permit is required and the commissioner includes the provisions 
        of sections 103A.201, 103B.3355, and 103G.222 to 103G.2373, and 
        rules adopted pursuant to these same sections in the public 
        waters work permit. 
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 645.44, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 13a.  [WETLANDS.] "Wetlands" means lands transitional 
        between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is 
        usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow 
        water.  For purposes of this definition, wetlands must have the 
        following three attributes: 
           (1) have a predominance of hydric soils; 
           (2) are inundated or saturated by surface water or 
        groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a 
        prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life 
        in saturated soil conditions; and 
           (3) under normal circumstances, support a prevalence of 
        such vegetation. 
           Sec. 19.  [REPORT.] 
           By January 15, 2001, the board of water and soil resources 
        and the commissioner of natural resources shall provide a joint 
        report to the house and the senate committees responsible for 
        agriculture and environmental policy on further technical 
        changes to the Wetland Conservation Act and rules to provide for 
        an improved regulatory consolidation process, public water 
        inventory refinement, and other changes to improve wetland 
        regulatory programs.  The report shall include the language on 
        any recommended draft law and rule changes. 
           Sec. 20.  [EXEMPT RULES.] 
           (a) Within 90 days of the effective date of this section, 
        the board of water and soil resources and the commissioner of 
        natural resources shall adopt rules that amend the rules 
        previously adopted under Minnesota Statutes, sections 103G.2242, 
        subdivision 1; 103B.3355; and 103G.315, subdivision 15, to: 
           (1) provide sequencing and standard of application rules 
        for public waters wetlands and permanently and semipermanently 
        flooded areas of type 3, 4, and 5 wetlands under the Wetland 
        Conservation Act; 
           (2) incorporate changes to the statutes in this act; and 
           (3) other provisions to improve consistency of wetland 
        regulatory processes. 
           (b) The rules authorized under paragraph (a) are exempt 
        from the rulemaking provisions of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 
        14, except that Minnesota Statutes, section 14.386, applies and 
        the proposed rules must be submitted to the members of senate 
        and house environment and natural resource and agriculture 
        policy committees at least 30 days prior to being published in 
        the State Register.  The amended rules are effective for two 
        years from the date of publication of the rules in the State 
        Register unless they are superseded by permanent rules. 
           Sec. 21.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 5, 9 to 10, 14 to 16, and 18 to 20 are 
        effective the day following final enactment. 
           Presented to the governor April 10, 2000 
           Signed by the governor April 13, 2000, 4:58 p.m.

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