Compliance with aquatic invasive species inspection requirements is an express condition of operating or transporting water-related equipment. An inspector may prohibit an individual from placing or operating water-related equipment in waters of the state if the individual refuses to allow an inspection of the individual's water-related equipment or refuses to remove and dispose of aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, and water.
(a) The commissioner shall train and authorize individuals to inspect water-related equipment for aquatic macrophytes, aquatic invasive species, and water. The commissioner may enter into a delegation agreement with a tribal or local government where inspection authority as provided under paragraphs (b), (g), and (h) is delegated to tribal and local governments that assume all legal, financial, and administrative responsibilities for inspection programs on some or all public waters within their jurisdiction.
(b) Inspectors may visually and tactilely inspect watercraft and water-related equipment to determine whether aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, or water is present. If a person transporting watercraft or water-related equipment refuses to take required corrective actions or fails to comply with an order under section 84D.10, subdivision 3, an inspector who is not a licensed peace officer shall refer the violation to a conservation officer or other licensed peace officer.
(c) In addition to paragraph (b), a conservation officer or other licensed peace officer may inspect any watercraft or water-related equipment that is stopped at a water access site, any other public location in the state, or a private location where the watercraft or water-related equipment is in plain view, if the officer determines there is reason to believe that aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, or water is present on the watercraft or water-related equipment.
(d) Conservation officers or other licensed peace officers may utilize check stations in locations, or in proximity to locations, where watercraft or other water-related equipment is placed into or removed from waters of the state. Any check stations shall be operated in a manner that minimizes delays to vehicles, equipment, and their occupants.
(e) Conservation officers or other licensed peace officers may order water-related equipment to be removed from a water body if the commissioner determines such action is needed to implement aquatic invasive species control measures.
(f) The commissioner may require mandatory inspections of water-related equipment before a person places or removes water-related equipment into or out of a water body. Inspection stations may be located at or near public water accesses or in locations that allow for servicing individual or multiple water bodies. The commissioner shall ensure that inspection stations:
(1) have adequate staffing to minimize delays to vehicles and their occupants;
(2) allow for reasonable travel times between public accesses and inspection stations if inspection is required before placing water-related equipment into a water body;
(3) are located so as not to create traffic delays or public safety issues;
(4) have decontamination equipment available to bring water-related equipment into compliance; and
(5) do not reduce the capacity or hours of operation of public water accesses.
(g) The commissioner may authorize tribal and local governments that enter into a delegation agreement with the commissioner to conduct mandatory inspections of water-related equipment at specified locations within a defined area before a person places or removes water-related equipment into or out of a water body. Tribal and local governments that are authorized to conduct inspections under this paragraph must:
(1) assume all legal, financial, and administrative responsibilities for implementing the mandatory inspections, alone or in agreement with other tribal or local governments;
(2) employ inspectors that have been trained and authorized by the commissioner;
(3) conduct inspections and decontamination measures in accordance with guidelines approved by the commissioner;
(4) have decontamination equipment available at inspection stations or identify alternative decontamination equipment locations within a reasonable distance of the inspection station that can bring water-related equipment into compliance;
(5) provide for inspection station locations that do not create traffic delays or public safety issues; and
(6) submit a plan approved by the commissioner according to paragraph (h).
(h) Plans required under paragraph (g) must address:
(1) no reduction in capacity or hours of operation of public accesses and fees that do not discourage or limit use;
(2) reasonable travel times between public accesses and inspection stations;
(3) adequate staffing to minimize wait times and provide adequate hours of operation at inspection stations and public accesses;
(4) adequate enforcement capacity;
(5) measures to address inspections of water-related equipment at public water accesses for commercial entities and private riparian land owners; and
(6) other elements as required by the commissioner to ensure statewide consistency, appropriate inspection and decontamination protocols, and protection of the state's resources, public safety, and access to public waters.
(i) A government unit authorized to conduct inspections under this subdivision must submit an annual report to the commissioner summarizing the results and issues related to implementing the inspection program.
(j) The commissioner may waive the plan requirement in paragraph (g) for inspection programs where authorized inspectors are placed directly at one or more water access sites, with no requirement for a person to travel from the water access for inspection or decontamination, and no local ordinance or other regulation requiring a mandatory inspection before placing watercraft or water-related equipment into a water body or after watercraft or water-related equipment are removed from a water body.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes