103F.518 REINVEST IN MINNESOTA CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAM.
Subdivision 1. Establishment of program.
(a) The board, in consultation with the technical
committee established in subdivision 11, shall establish and administer a reinvest in Minnesota
(RIM) clean energy program that is in addition to the program under section
of land for the clean energy program must be based on its potential benefits for bioenergy
crop production, water quality, soil health, reduction of chemical inputs, soil carbon storage,
biodiversity, and wildlife habitat.
(b) For the purposes of this section, "diverse native prairie" means a prairie planted from a
mix of local Minnesota native prairie species. A selection from all available native prairie species
may be made so as to match species appropriate to local site conditions.
Subd. 2. Eligible land.
Eligible land under this section must:
(1) be owned by the landowner, or a parent or other blood relative of the landowner, for at
least one year before the date of application;
(2) be at least five acres in size;
(3) not be currently set aside, enrolled, or diverted under another federal or state government
(4) have been in agricultural use, as defined in section
17.81, subdivision 4
, or have been
set aside, enrolled, or diverted under another federal or state program for at least two of the
last five years before the date of application.
Subd. 3. Designation of project areas.
The board shall develop a process to designate
defined project areas. The designation process shall prioritize projects that include coordinated
cooperation of a cellulosic biofuel facility or a bioenergy production facility, target impaired
waters, or support other state or local natural resource plans, goals, or objectives.
Subd. 4. Easements.
The board may acquire, or accept by gift or donation, easements on
eligible land. An easement may be permanent or of limited duration. An easement of limited
duration may not be acquired if it is for a period less than 20 years. The negotiation and
acquisition of easements authorized by this section are exempt from the contractual provisions
of chapters 16B and 16C.
Subd. 5. Nature of property rights acquired.
(a) An easement must prohibit:
(1) agricultural crop production, unless approved by the board for energy production
(2) spraying with chemicals, except as necessary to comply with noxious weed control laws,
emergency pest control necessary to protect public health, or as needed to establish a productive
planting as determined by the technical committee under subdivision 11.
(b) An easement is subject to the terms of the agreement provided in subdivision 6.
(c) Agricultural crop production and harvest are limited to native, perennial bioenergy crops.
Harvest shall occur outside of bird nesting season.
(d) An easement must allow repairs, improvements, and inspections necessary to maintain
public drainage systems provided the easement area is restored to the condition required by
the terms of the easement.
(e) An easement may allow nonnative perennial prairie or pasture established by September
1, 2007, that meet the other objectives outlined in subdivision 7.
(f) An easement may allow grazing of livestock only if practiced under a plan, approved by
the board, that protects water quality, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity.
Subd. 6. Agreements by landowner.
The board may enroll eligible land in the reinvest in
Minnesota clean energy program by signing an agreement in recordable form with a landowner in
which the landowner agrees:
(1) to convey to the state an easement that is not subject to any prior title, lien, or
(2) to seed the land subject to the easement, as specified in the agreement, at seeding
rates determined by the board, or carry out other long-term capital improvements approved by
the board; and
(3) that the easement duration may be lengthened through mutual agreement with the board.
Subd. 7. Payments for easements.
The board must develop a tiered payment system for
easements partially based on the benefits of the bioenergy crop production for water quality, soil
health, reduction in chemical inputs, soil carbon storage, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat using
cash rent or a similar system as may be determined by the board. The payment system must
provide that the highest per-acre payment is for diverse native prairie and perennials.
Subd. 8. Easement renewal.
When an easement of limited duration expires, a new easement
and agreement for an additional period of not less than 20 years may be acquired by agreement
of the board and the landowner under the terms of this section. The board may adjust payment
rates as a result of renewing an agreement and easement only after examining the condition of the
established plantings, conservation practices, and land values.
Subd. 9. Correction of easement boundary lines.
To correct errors in legal descriptions for
easements that affect the ownership interest in the state and adjacent landowners, the board may,
in the name of the state, with the approval of the attorney general, convey, without consideration,
interests of the state necessary to correct legal descriptions of boundaries. The conveyance must
be by quitclaim deed or release in a form approved by the attorney general.
Subd. 10. Enforcement and damages.
(a) A landowner who violates the term of an
easement or agreement under this section, or induces, assists, or allows another to do so, is liable
to the state for treble damages if the trespass is willful, but liable for double damages only if the
trespass is not willful. The amount of damages is the amount needed to make the state whole or
the amount the landowner has gained due to the violation, whichever is greater.
(b) Upon the request of the board, the attorney general may commence an action for specific
performances, injunctive relief, damages, including attorney fees, and any other appropriate relief
to enforce this section in district court in the county where all or part of the violation is alleged to
have been committed, or where the landowner resides or has a principal place of business.
Subd. 11. Technical committee.
To ensure that public benefits, including water quality,
soil health, reduction of chemical inputs, soil carbon storage, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat
are secured along with bioenergy crop production, the Board of Water and Soil Resources
shall appoint a technical committee consisting of one representative from the Departments
of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Commerce and the Pollution Control Agency; two
farm organizations; one sustainable agriculture farmer organization; three rural economic
development organizations; three environmental organizations; and three conservation or wildlife
organizations. The board and technical committee shall consult with private sector organizations
and University of Minnesota researchers involved in biomass establishment and bioenergy or
biofuel conversion. The technical committee is to develop program guidelines and standards, as
appropriate to ensure that reinvest in Minnesota clean energy program contracts provide public
benefits commensurate with the public investment. The technical committee shall review and
make recommendations on the guidelines and standards every five years.
History: 2007 c 57 art 1 s 119