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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

8400.4002 DEFINITIONS.

Subpart 1.


For the purpose of parts 8400.4000 to 8400.4080 the terms defined in this part have the meanings given.

Subp. 2.

Agricultural use.

"Agricultural use" means the use of land for the production of livestock, dairy animals, dairy products, poultry or poultry products, fur bearing animals, horticultural or nursery stock, including sod, fruit, vegetables, forage and cash grains, forestry, or bees and apiary products. Wetlands, pasture, and woodlands accompanying land in agricultural use are also defined as an agricultural use.

Subp. 3.


"Board" means the state Board of Water and Soil Resources created under Minnesota Statutes, section 103B.101.

Subp. 4.


"Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture or a designated agent.

Subp. 5.

Conservation plan and time schedule.

"Conservation plan" means a document listing a set of practices that, when implemented, will decrease soil erosion to the soil loss limits on a particular parcel of land. The "time schedule" will set times to implement, make satisfactory progress on, and complete the conservation plan.

Subp. 6.

Conservation practice.

"Conservation practice" means a practice containing a definition, purpose, conditions under which the practice is applied including design requirements, and specifications containing a statement of details required for installing a conservation practice, including necessary kinds, quality, and quantity of work and materials. A conservation practice may be a permanent or temporary, vegetative or structural measure that, when applied to the land, will contribute to the control of wind and water erosion and sedimentation. "Conservation practices" may be used in a development activity area or an agricultural area. Permanent practices are those that have an effective life of ten years or more and include grassed waterways, terraces, field windbreaks, water control structures, grade stabilization structures, sediment retention structures, strip-cropping, water and sediment control basins, and other permanent practices approved by the board. Temporary practices include conservation tillage, contour farming, grasses and legumes in rotation, emergency tillage, fabric filter barriers, filter strips, storm water inlet and outlet protection, and any other cultural practices approved by the board. The field office technical guide or other recognized technical procedures must be used to design, install, and certify practices.

Subp. 7.

Development activity.

"Development activity" means a physical disturbance, excluding agricultural use, of the land associated with activities that may result in sedimentation of adjacent lands or waters. These activities include, but are not limited to, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting, draining, and filling lands. Federal, state, county, and municipal road construction designed and installed according to Department of Transportation standard specifications for construction are not development activities.

Subp. 8.


"District" means a soil and water conservation district organized under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103C.

Subp. 9.


"Erosion" means any process that wears away the surface of the land by the action of water, wind, ice, or gravity. "Erosion" can be accelerated by the activities of people or nature.

Subp. 10.

Excessive soil loss.

"Excessive soil loss" means soil loss that is greater than the soil loss limit or which causes sedimentation on adjoining land or in a body of water, watercourse, or wetland.

Subp. 11.

Field office technical guide.

"Field office technical guide" means the guide developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service and adopted by the soil and water conservation districts containing technical information including methods and procedures by which the various types of erosion can be estimated, and conservation practice standards and specifications required in the application of soil and water conservation practices.

Subp. 12.

Land occupier.

"Land occupier" means a person, firm, corporation, municipality, or other legal entity that owns or possesses land as owner, lessee, renter, tenant, or otherwise. The terms include both the owner and the occupier of the land if they are not the same.

Subp. 13.

Local government.

"Local government" means the elected governing body of a county, home rule charter or statutory city, or town, or their designated agents. Agents may include a soil and water conservation district, water management organization, joint power board, watershed district, or other governmental entity responsible for resource management within the affected jurisdiction.

Subp. 14.


"Sediment" means solid mineral or organic material that is in suspension or motion, being transported or has been moved from its original site by air, water, gravity, or ice.

Subp. 15.


"Sedimentation" means the process or action of depositing sediment that, upon inspection, is determined to have been caused by erosion.

Subp. 16.

Sedimentation control plan; time schedule.

"Sedimentation control plan" means a document listing a set of practices that, when implemented, will decrease sedimentation to the allowable level on a particular parcel of land. A "time schedule" must set times to implement, make satisfactory progress on, and complete the "sedimentation control plan."

Subp. 17.


"Soil" means the unconsolidated mineral and organic material on the immediate surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.

Subp. 18.

Soil loss limits.

"Soil loss limits" means the maximum amount of soil loss from water or wind erosion, expressed in tons per acre per year, that is allowed by local regulations on a particular soil. The local soil loss limits ordinance must use the soil loss tolerance for each soil series described in the Field Office Technical Guide or the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Survey for a particular county, whichever is more current.

Subp. 19.

Soil loss tolerance.

"Soil loss tolerance" means the maximum rate of annual soil erosion that will permit crop productivity to be sustained economically and indefinitely. In Minnesota, "soil loss tolerance" ranges from one to five tons per acre per year depending on the particular soil characteristics. "Soil loss tolerance" values for Minnesota soil series are provided in the Field Office Technical Guide or the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Survey for a particular county.

Statutory Authority:

MS s 40.21; 103F.411


11 SR 742; L 1987 c 358 s 34; 17 SR 1279; L 2015 c 21 art 1 s 109

Published Electronically:

September 30, 2015