103B.255 GROUNDWATER PLANS.
Subdivision 1. Authority.
A metropolitan county may prepare and adopt groundwater
plans in accordance with this section.
Subd. 2. Responsible units.
The county may prepare and adopt the plan or, upon request of a
soil and water conservation district, the county may delegate to the soil and water conservation
district the preparation and adoption of all or part of a plan and the performance of other county
responsibilities regarding the plan under this section and section
Subd. 3. Local coordination.
To assure the coordination of efforts of all units of government
during the preparation and implementation of watershed and groundwater plans, the county shall
conduct meetings with local units of government and watershed management organizations
and may enter into agreements with local units of government and watershed management
organizations establishing the responsibilities during the preparation and implementation of
the water plans.
Subd. 4. Assistance.
The county may contract with the Minnesota Geological Survey, the
United States Geological Survey, a soil and water conservation district, or other public or private
agencies or persons for services in performing the county's responsibilities regarding the plan
under this section and section
. Counties may enter into agreements with other counties
or local units of government under section
for the performance of these responsibilities. To
assist in the development of the groundwater plan, the county shall seek the advice of the advisory
committee, the Minnesota Geological Survey, the Departments of Health and Natural Resources,
the Pollution Control Agency, and other appropriate local, state, and federal agencies.
Subd. 5. Advisory committees.
(a) The county shall name an advisory committee of
15 members. The committee must include representatives of various interests, including
construction, agriculture, hydrogeology, and well drilling. At least four members of the committee
must be from the public at large with no direct pecuniary interest in any project involving
groundwater protection. At least seven members must be appointed from watershed management
organizations, statutory and home rule charter cities, and towns, and these local government
representatives must be geographically distributed so that at least one is appointed from each
county commissioner district.
(b) The county shall consult the advisory committee on the development, content, and
implementation of the plan, including the relationship of the groundwater plan and existing
watershed and local water management plans, the effect of the groundwater plan on the other
plans, and the allocation of costs and governmental authority and responsibilities during
Subd. 6. General standards.
(a) The groundwater plan must specify the period covered by
the plan and must extend at least five years but no more than ten years from the date the board
approves the plan. The plan must contain the elements required by subdivision 7. Each element
must be set out in the degree of detail and prescription necessary to accomplish the purposes of
, considering the character of existing and anticipated physical and
hydrogeologic conditions, land use, and development and the severity of existing and anticipated
groundwater management problems in the county.
(b) To the fullest extent possible in a manner consistent with groundwater protection, a
county shall make maximum use of existing and available data and studies in preparing the
groundwater plan and incorporate into its groundwater plan relevant data from existing plans
and studies and the relevant provisions of existing plans adopted by watershed management
organizations having jurisdiction wholly or partly within the county.
Subd. 7. Contents.
A groundwater plan must:
(1) cover the entire area within the county;
(2) describe existing and expected changes to the physical environment, land use, and
development in the county;
(3) summarize available information about the groundwater and related resources in the
county, including existing and potential distribution, availability, quality, and use;
(4) state the goals, objectives, scope, and priorities of groundwater protection in the county;
(5) contain standards, criteria, and guidelines for the protection of groundwater from
pollution and for various types of land uses in environmentally sensitive areas, critical areas,
or previously contaminated areas;
(6) describe relationships and possible conflicts between the groundwater plan and the
plans of other counties, local government units, and watershed management organizations in
the affected groundwater system;
(7) set forth standards, guidelines, and official controls for implementation of the plan by
watershed management organizations and local units of government; and
(8) include procedures and timelines for amending the groundwater plan.
Subd. 8. Review of the draft plan.
(a) Upon completion of the groundwater plan but before
final adoption by the county, the county shall submit the draft plan for a 60-day review and
comment period to adjoining counties, the Metropolitan Council, the state review agencies, the
Board of Water and Soil Resources, each soil and water conservation district, town, statutory
and home rule charter city, and watershed management organization having territory within the
county. The county also shall submit the plan to any other county or watershed management
organization or district in the affected groundwater system that could affect or be affected by
implementation of the plan. Any political subdivision or watershed management organization that
expects that substantial amendment of its plans would be necessary in order to bring them into
conformance with the county groundwater plan shall describe as specifically as possible, within
its comments, the amendments that it expects would be necessary and the cost of amendment and
implementation. Reviewing entities have 60 days to review and comment. Differences among
local governmental agencies regarding the plan must be mediated. Notwithstanding sections
, the council shall review the plan in the same manner and with
the same authority and effect as provided in section
for review of the comprehensive
plans of local government units. The council shall comment on the apparent conformity
with metropolitan system plans of any anticipated amendments to watershed plans and local
comprehensive plans. The council shall advise the board of water and soil resources on whether
the plan conforms with the management objectives stated in the council's water resources plan
and shall recommend changes in the plan that would satisfy the council's plan.
(b) The county must respond in writing to any concerns expressed by the reviewing agencies
within 30 days of receipt thereof.
(c) The county shall hold a public hearing on the draft plan no sooner than 30 days and no
later than 45 days after the 60-day review period of the draft plan.
Subd. 9. Review by Metropolitan Council and state agencies.
After completion of the
review under subdivision 8, the draft plan, any amendments thereto, all written comments
received on the plan, a record of the public hearing, and a summary of changes incorporated
as part of the review process must be submitted to the Metropolitan Council, the state review
agencies, and the Board of Water and Soil Resources for final review. The state review agencies
shall review and comment on the consistency of the plan with state laws and rules relating to
water and related land resources. The state review agencies shall forward their comments to the
board within 45 days after they receive the final review draft of the plan. A state review agency
may request and receive up to a 30-day extension of this review period from the board.
Subd. 10. Approval by board.
After completion of the review under subdivision 9, the
Board of Water and Soil Resources shall review the plan as provided in section
board shall review the plan for conformance with the requirements of sections
, and chapter 103D. The board may 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
, and chapter 103D.
Subd. 11. Adoption and implementation.
The county shall adopt and implement its
groundwater plan within 120 days after approval of the plan by the Board of Water and Soil
Subd. 12. Amendments.
To the extent and in the manner required by the adopted plan, all
amendments to the adopted plan must be submitted to the towns, cities, counties, the Metropolitan
Council, the state review agencies, and the Board of Water and Soil Resources for review in
accordance with the provisions of subdivisions 8 to 10.
Subd. 13. Property tax levies.
A metropolitan county may levy amounts necessary to
administer and implement an approved and adopted groundwater plan. A county may levy
amounts necessary to pay the reasonable increased costs to soil and water conservation districts
and watershed management organizations of administering and implementing priority programs
identified in the county's groundwater plan.
History: 1990 c 391 art 2 s 16; 1992 c 511 art 2 s 3; 1995 c 184 s 18-23