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S.F. No. 1764 - Environment, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Appropriations (First Engrossment)
 
Author: Senator David J. Tomassoni
 
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
 
Date: April 24, 2015



 

ARTICLE 1

AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS

Section 1 [Agriculture appropriations] provides the technical language on how the appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 in this article are treated.

Section 2 [Department of Agriculture] appropriates approximately $91.6 million in direct appropriations to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).  The appropriations do not include any statutory appropriations to the department from the agricultural fund and other funds.

Section 3 [Board of Animal Health] appropriates approximately $10.7 million in direct appropriations to the Board of Animal Health.

Section 4 [Agricultural Utilization Research Institute] appropriates approximately $5.3 million in direct appropriations to the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI).  This does not include $2 million in statutory appropriations to AURI.

 ARTICLE 2

AGRICULTURE STATUTORY CHANGES

Section 1 [Technical] relates to the repeal of the shared savings loan program in this article.

Section 2 [Pilot Urban agriculture development grants] contains the pilot urban agriculture grant program from SF 534, as amended (Hawj).

Sections 3 to 5 [Structural pest control applicators; pesticide law] clarify that a person will only need to have a structural pest control license to purchase restricted use pesticides or to apply pesticides to a structure for hire.

Sections 6 and 7 [Commercial pesticide application] clarify that a person will need to have a commercial applicator license to purchase restricted use pesticides or to apply pesticides for hire.

Sections 8 and 9 [Phytosanitary inspections] provides MDA with more flexibility in providing phytosanitary inspections.

Sections 10 to 13 [Nursery stock certification] clarifies nursery stock regulation, including a clarification that it does not include sod or any seeds.

Sections 14 to 29 [Industrial hemp enforcement] provide for enforcement of the industrial hemp provisions in the bill through the existing enforcement authority of the Commissioner of Agriculture.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 30 [Controlled substance offenses] specify that prosecution of industrial hemp violations by the Commissioner of Agriculture does not preclude prosecution for controlled substances.

Section 31 [Citation] cites the new chapter 18K of Minnesota Statutes as the “Industrial Hemp Development Act.”  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 32 [Definitions] provides the definitions for the new chapter 18K.  This section defines “commissioner,” “industrial hemp,” and “marijuana.”  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 33 [Pilot program and research authorization]

Subd. 1 [Authorized activity] allows the Commissioner of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes, and to authorize educational institutions to grow or cultivate industrial hemp as part of a pilot program or for research purposes.

Subd. 2 [Site registration] requires annual site registration with the Commissioner of Agriculture before growing or cultivating industrial hemp as allowed under this section.

Subd. 3 [Rulemaking] authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to adopt rules that govern the pilot program under this section pursuant to provisions in the 2014 federal farm law.

Section 34 [Industrial hemp possession] allows a person to possess industrial hemp that is grown pursuant to the new Minnesota Statutes, chapter 18K.

This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 35 [Licensing]

Subd. 1 [Requirements] requires a license issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture before growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes.  The applicant must pay the license fee established by the commissioner to be issued the license.  A license holder is presumed to be growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes.

Subd. 2 [Background check; data classification] provides for a background check from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for a first-time applicant for a license under this section.  The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the applicant.  The criminal history records are private data on individuals under the Data Practices Act.

Subd. 3 [Federal requirements] requires applicants under this section to comply with all federal requirements for industrial hemp.

This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 36 [Annual report; sales notification] provides for an annual report from licensees to the Commissioner of Agriculture on seeds planted and contracts.  This section also requires notification to the commissioner on sales within 30 days of the sale.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 37 [Rulemaking] authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to adopt rules related to the purpose of carrying out the new Minnesota Statutes, chapter 18K.  The rules must be consistent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement administration on industrial hemp.  This section is not effective until the federal government authorizes the commercial production of hemp.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 38 [Fees] provides that any fees paid under the new Minnesota Statutes, chapter 18K, shall be deposited in an industrial hemp account.  Money in the account is appropriated to the Commissioner of Agriculture to implement and enforce the chapter.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 39 [Defense for the possession of marijuana] provides an affirmative defense for prosecution of marijuana possession laws if the person possesses industrial hemp grown as allowed under state and federal law.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 40 [“Address” definition; Minnesota Seed Law] provides a definition of “address” for the purposes of the Minnesota Seed Law.

Section 41 [“Total viable” definition; Minnesota Seed Law] provides a definition of “total viable” for the purposes of the Minnesota Seed Law.

Section 42 [Label contents; Minnesota Seed Law] amends the seed label requirement to include a percentage of total viable seed.

Section 43 [Hybrid seed corn] provides that hybrid seed corn labels must include the day classification for maturity rating and must be within three days of maturity rating as determined by field trials.

Section 44 [Seed laboratory] establishes the procedures for testing official seed samples of the MDA seed laboratory.

Section 45 [Prohibited and restricted seeds] directs the MDA to determine prohibited and restricted noxious weed seeds and the allowable occurrence of restricted weed seeds.

Section 46 [Seed permit requirement] requires a permit and fee for persons labeling native grass and wildflower seeds for sale in the state.

Section 47 [Cottage foods exemption] allows persons to sell food prepared in an unlicensed kitchen that is:

  1. Not potentially hazardous food; and
  2. Pickles, vegetables, or fruit with a pH value 4.6 or lower that were canned in Minnesota.

Sales will be allowed directly to individuals, including sales at farmers markets and out of the individual’s home, to the extent allowed by local ordinance.  Persons selling food under this section must comply with training requirements and register with the MDA.  Gross sales under this exemption are limited to $18,000 per year.  Persons with annual gross sales over $5,000 must pay a $50 fee every three years for registration.  A special revenue fund account is created for deposit of the fees collected and the fee revenue is appropriated for the MDA costs of implementation.  The current law exemptions that allow up to $5,000 in gross sales are repealed in this article.  This is from SF 1249 (Dibble).

Section 48 [Definitions] defines terms that are used in three incentive programs created in the bill.  The terms defined are: “advanced biofuels,” “biomass thermal production,” “cellulosic biomass,” “cellulosic sugar,” “commissioner,” “cover crops,” “MMbtu,” “perennial crops,” and “renewable chemical.”  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 49 [Advanced biofuel production incentive] establishes the advanced biofuel production incentive program to provide payments for the production of advanced biofuels in Minnesota.  The payments for advanced biofuel production from cellulosic biomass are $2.1053 for each million metric British thermal units (MMbtu) of production from cellulosic biomass and $1.053 per MMbtu for advance biofuel production from starch or sugar.  Total payments to a single producer of advanced biofuel are restricted to 2,850,000 MMbtu of biofuel production per year for up to ten years.  The total for all producers is restricted to 17,100,000 MMbtu of biofuel production per year.  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 50 [Renewable chemical production incentive] establishes the renewable chemical production incentive program to provide payments for the production of renewable chemicals in Minnesota.  The payments for renewable chemical production are $0.03 per pound of sugar-derived renewable chemical, $0.03 per pound of cellulosic sugar, and $0.06 for each pound of cellulosic-derived renewable chemical.  Total payments to a single producer of renewable chemicals are restricted to 99,999,999 pounds of renewable chemical production per year for up to ten years.  The total for all producers is restricted to 5,999,999 pounds of renewable chemical production per year.  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 51 [Biomass thermal production incentive] establishes the biomass thermal production incentive program to provide payments for the production of biomass thermal in Minnesota.  The payments for biomass thermal production are $5 for each million metric British thermal units (MMbtu) of production.  Total payments to a single producer of biomass thermal are restricted to 30,000 MMbtu of biomass thermal production per year for up to ten years.  The total for all producers is restricted to 150,000 MMbtu of biomass thermal production per year.  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 52 [Report; incentive programs] requires the Commissioner of Agriculture to report to the legislature by January 15, each year, on production and incentive payments for:

  1. The advanced biofuel production incentive program;
  2. The renewable chemical production incentive program; and
  3. The biomass thermal production incentive program.

This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 53 [Agriculture, research, education, extension, and technology transfer grant program] establishes the agriculture, research, education, extension, and technology transfer grant program and fund for the Commissioner of Agriculture to provide grants for long-term agricultural productivity increases.

Sections 54 to 60 [Rural Finance Authority administrative account] establish the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) administrative account for deposit of fees received and make technical cross-reference changes related to the account.

Section 61 [Disaster recovery loan program] clarifies that the RFA disaster recovery loan program includes farmland restoration.

Sections 62 to 65 [Technical] makes technical cross-reference changes related to the RFA administrative account.

Section 66 [Pilot microloan program] expands the type of livestock that are eligible under the RFA pilot microloan program.

Sections 67 and 68 [Farm opportunity loan program] establish the farm opportunity loan program under the RFA to replace the shared savings loan program that is being repealed in this article, including a technical cross-reference.

Section 69 [Wild hemp] clarifies that industrial hemp grown by a licensed grower is not wild hemp to be controlled by a county board.

Section 70 [Correctional facility butcher training pilot program] contains the correctional facility butcher training pilot program from SF 1764 (Tomassoni).

Section 71 [Balances transferred; accounts abolished] transfers accounts and abolishes accounts relate to the RFA administrative account and the farm opportunity loan program.

Section 72 [Livestock industry study] contains the livestock industry study from SF 1271 (Koenen).

Section 73 [Repealer] repeals Minnesota Statutes, sections:

  1. 17.115 – shared savings loan program;
  2. 28A.15, subdivisions 9 and 10 – current unlicensed food preparation exemptions; and
  3. 41A.12, subdivision 4 – sunset for the AGRI program.

 ARTICLE 3

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES APPROPRIATIONS

Section 1 [Environment and natural resources appropriations] provides the technical language on how the appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 in this article are treated.

Section 2 [Pollution Control Agency] appropriates approximately $186.6 million to the Pollution Control Agency (PCA).

Section 3 [Department of Natural Resources] appropriates approximately $530.1 million to the Department of Natural Resources.

Section 4 [Board of Water and Soil Resources] appropriates approximately $27.1 million to the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).

Section 5 [Metropolitan Council] appropriates approximately $17.1 million in direct appropriations to the Metropolitan Council.

Section 6 [Conservation Corps Minnesota] appropriates approximately $1.9 million in direct appropriations to Conservation Corps Minnesota.

Section 7 [Zoological Board] appropriates approximately $16.1 million in direct appropriations to the Minnesota Zoological Board.

Section 8 [Science Museum] appropriates approximately $2.2 million in direct appropriations to the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Section 9. [Repayment; transfer] provides for transfer of $14 million each year from the general fund to the closed landfill investment fund in fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

ARTICLE 4

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES STATUTORY CHANGES

Section 1 [Priority chemicals; data privacy] provides a cross-reference in the data practices law to data on priority chemicals provisions in this article.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 2 [DNR utility fees; state land and water] modifies the current exemption on utility fees to make the utility line exemption apply to the application fees on crossing state lands and waters that are not 100 kilovolts or greater or main pipelines.  This is from SF 945 (Skoe).

Section 3 [Conservation easement stewardship account; DNR] is the creation of the DNR conservation stewardship easement account from SF 1534 (Hoffman).

Sections 4 and 5 [Snowmobile registration; children’s vehicles] is the exemption from registration requirements for snowmobiles that are 125 cc’s or less from SF 520 (Bakk).

Sections 6 to 8 [All-terrain vehicle definition] modify the definitions of “all-terrain vehicle,” “class 1 all-terrain vehicle,” and “class 2 all-terrain vehicle” to make the type of vehicle based on the width of the vehicle.

Section 9 [All-terrain vehicles] increases the fee for class 2 all-terrain vehicles by $3 to $48, every three years.

Sections 10 to 12 [Aquatic invasive species affirmation] contain a modified version of the aquatic invasive species training that was contained in SF 669 (Saxhaug).  This will replace the trailer decal requirement with a requirement for affirmation of the person’s knowledge on aquatic invasive species law when a resident purchases a watercraft license and when a nonresident purchases a Minnesota fishing license.

Section 13 [Invasive species account purposes] allows money in the invasive species account to be used for habitat improvement.

Section 14 [Mississippi Blufflands State Trail] contains the creation of the Mississippi Blufflands State Trail from SF 1550 (Schmit).

Section 15 [State park vehicle entrance fee] increases the annual state park vehicle entrance fee by $5 and the daily entrance fee by $1.

Section 16 [Water trails; Shell Rock River] contains the addition of the Shell Rock River to the list of state water trails from SF 266 (Sparks).

Section 17 [Aquatic invasive species affirmation; watercraft licensing] contains the aquatic invasive species affirmation in the watercraft licensing section from the modified version of SF 669 (Saxhaug).

Section 18 [Shooting sports facility grants] contains the expansion of the shooting sports facilities grants to include skeet and archery from SF 631, as amended (Schmit).

Section 19 [Forest bough account] expands the use of the forest bough account to include special forest product information and education programs instead of just balsam bough education. 

Section 20 [Auction sale procedure; timber permits] contains the increase when a bid guarantee payment is required to be increased for timber permits from SF 1008 (Bakk).

Section 21 [Timber permit extension] contains the reduction in the interest rate to five percent from eight percent for timber permit extensions from SF 1008 (Bakk).

Section 22 [Condemnation of school trust lands] allows for the condemnation of school trust lands for the state to buy-out the school trust interest in the lands.  This will allow the state to buy-out the trust interest in the land and fulfill the requirement for a public sale of the trust lands under the Minnesota Constitution.

Section 23 [Mining royalties] clarifies that the Schedule 7 royalty amount of 11 cents is a minimum.

Section 24 [Land sales; school trust lands account] provides for the deposit of proceeds in the school trust lands account from a sale of surplus state DNR land that is not part of the state outdoor recreation system or an administrative site.

Section 25 [Budget oversight committees; game and fish fund] extends the sunset of the budget oversight committees for the game and fish fund an additional five years to 2020.

Section 26 [Residents age 84 or over; deer of either sex] contains the provision allowing persons age 84 or over to take a deer of either sex from SF 281 (Bakk).

Section 27 [Aquatic invasive species affirmation; nonresident fishing license] contains the aquatic invasive species affirmation for nonresident fishing licenses from the modified version of SF 669 (Saxhaug).

Section 28 [Wetland stakeholder coordination] directs the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to establish a wetland work group, similar to the drainage work group.  The group will provide forum for developing policy recommendations to improve WCA.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 29 [Conservation easement stewardship account; BWSR] is the creation of the BWSR conservation stewardship easement account from SF 1534 (Hoffman).

Section 30 [Identification of high priority areas for wetland replacement] directs BWSR to identify high priority areas for wetland replacement.  BWSR must consult with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Agriculture, and local governments.  The criteria for designating these areas include wetland functions, the historic loss and abundance of wetlands, and current state and local plans and studies that identify watershed needs.  The designation of high priority areas is exempt from rulemaking requirements and become effective 30 days after being published in the State Register.  Local governments may identify high priority areas and projects for wetland replacement, which can be provided to BWSR to consider in designating high priority areas for wetland replacement.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 31 [Working lands watershed restoration program] contains the working lands watershed restoration program from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 32 [Wetland preservation areas] is a technical conforming change.  Wetland preservation areas allows counties to offer reduced property taxes to landowners to protect wetlands on their property.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 33 [In-lieu fee program] defines “in-lieu fee program” for the purposes of WCA.  An “in-lieu fee program” will allow wetland replacement through the payment of money to BWSR or a BWSR-approved sponsor to develop wetland replacement.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 34 [Wetland replacement] broadens wetland replacement options to include all actions of at least public value. This section also expands current restrictions on wetland replacement options for banking to require them for all wetland replacement.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 35 [Wetland replacement siting] removes specific criteria for wetland replacement siting due to public transportation projects and clarifies that for wetland banking projects the priority starts with projects in the same county or wetland banking area of the impacted wetland.  This section also removes language relating to the NE MN inventory report; and directs BWSR to develop wetland replacement ratios and wetland ban service area priorities.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 36 [WCA rules] authorizes BWSR to develop rules for an in-lieu fee program within the wetland banking program that must conform to the federal wetland mitigation rules.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 37 [Interagency team] directs BWSR to develop an interagency team to identify and evaluate wetland replacement sites.  The team will consist of the Technical Evaluation Panel and representatives from specific state and federal agencies.  This section also removes a reference for local approval of wetland banking plans and replaces it with local approval of sequencing.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 38 [Wetland replacement completion] authorizes wetland values to be replaced after draining or filling of wetland when financial assurance is provided or under the in-lieu fee program.  This section also allows the BWSR to acquire fee title to land for replacement wetlands and to establish payment rates for in-lieu fee program payments; and establishes an in-lieu fee program account.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 39 [Local government decisions] eliminates local approval of wetland banking plans and replaces it with local approval of sequencing.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 40 [Wetland replacement credits] eliminates the requirement that wetland replacement must be completed prior to draining or filling a wetland because of conflict with the in-lieu fee program; and allows additional replacement options related to aquatic resources in a greater than 80 percent area.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 41 [Fees] authorizes BWSR to charge fees to pay the costs associated with establishing conservation easements or other long-term protection on wetland replacement sites.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 42 [Wetland banking credit withdrawal fees; local share] provides that one-half of the wetland bank withdrawal fees paid to BWSR shall be paid to the county where the property for the credit is located.  Amount paid to the county must be shared equally with the county, school district, and township.

Section 43 [Greater that 80 percent areas; wetland credit] provides that other important natural areas in the greater than 80 percent area, in addition to preservation of wetlands, can also receive wetland replacement credit.  These areas include riparian buffers and certain watershed areas.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 44 [Architectural paint stewardship account; appropriation] appropriates the money in the architectural paint stewardship account for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

Section 45 [SCORE grants; purposes] contains the expansion of the purposes for use of SCORE recycling grants to counties from SF 1132 (Scalze).

Section 46 [Air permit fees] makes clarifying amendments to the purposes for which PCA air permit fees may be spent.

Section 47 [Priority chemicals; definitions] adds definitions for “contaminant,” “practical quantification limit,” and “product category.”  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 48 [Priority chemicals; list] requires any changes to the list of chemicals of high concern to be published on the Department of Health’s Web site and in the State Register.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 49 [Identification of priority chemicals] requires any changes to the list of priority chemicals to be published on the Department of Health's Web site and in the State Register.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

 Section 50 [Priority chemicals; applicability] excludes a manufacturer or distributor of a children’s product whose annual aggregate gross sales are under $100,000.  Expands the list of excluded products to include children’s products produced at a rate of less than 3,000 units per year.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 51 [Priority chemicals; donations to the state] makes technical changes. This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 52 [Children’s products; reporting information] specifies when manufacturers and distributors of children’s products must report certain information and includes a reporting schedule based on the gross sales of the manufacturer or distributor.  Provides that reported presence and concentration of a priority chemical in a children’s product are classified as public data and that publication by the agency is not misappropriation of a trade secret.  Specifies the information that must be submitted to the PCA when a priority chemical has been removed from a children’s product and the action the PCA must take following notification of removal.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 53 [Priority chemicals; fees] requires the PCA to collect fees from manufacturers and distributors of children’s products containing priority chemicals.  The first year the fee is $1,000 for each product containing a priority chemical.  The fee will double for reports in subsequent years to a maximum of $3,000.  The fees must be deposited into an account in the special revenue fund.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 54 [Priority chemicals; enforcement] provides for the PCA to enforcement of the priority chemical laws under their current authority, with the exception of criminal enforcement.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 55 [Safer alternative grants] allows the PCA, in consultation with the Commissioners of Commerce and Health, to offer safer alternatives grants to manufacturers or other researchers.  This section also directs the Commissioners of Health and Commerce to develop and implement education and outreach on priority chemicals in children’s products and to report on the implementation of the priority chemicals program by January 15, 2018, and every three years thereafter.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 56 [Conservation stewardship account transfers] contains the conservation stewardship account transfers from SF 1534 (Hoffman).

Section 57 [Report] directs BWSR, in cooperation with the DNR, to report, by March 15, 2016, to the committees with jurisdiction over environment and natural resources on the proposals to implement high priority areas for wetland replacement, in lieu fee replacement, wetland replacement siting, and actions eligible for credit.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 58 [Youth bear license refunds] allows the DNR to issue refunds for certain youth bear licenses issued.

Section 59 [Wild rice water quality standards] contains a modified version of the requirements that PCA must apply to water quality permits relating to sulfates before the water quality rules related to wild rice waters is completed from SF 1007 (Tomassoni).

Section 60 [Working lands watershed restoration implementation plan] contains the working lands watershed restoration plan from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 61 [Independent peer review of water quality standards] provides for a requirement that independent peer review is conducted when proposed changes to the water quality standards are estimated to have a financial impact on permittees of over $50 million. This section also requires an independent peer review on the PCA water quality rules adopted on August 4, 2014, and suspends the rules until the peer review is conducted.

Section 62 [Water quality standards; Red River of the North] contains the delay of implementation of water quality standards for the Red River of the North until the report is completed from SF 1659, as amended (Eken).

Section 63 [Cost analysis of water quality standards] directs the PCA, after consultation with MMB, to contract for an analysis of the increased cost of PCA water quality rules.  The PCA may not require increased wastewater treatment as a result of the recent water quality rulemaking until 45 legislative days after the analysis is reported to the Legislature.

Section 64 [Surplus land sales] direct the school trust lands director to identify at least $5 million in surplus land sales that are not part of the state outdoor recreation system or an administrative site.  The DNR must sell at least $3 million worth of lands identified by June 30, 2017.  The money must be used to extinguish the trust on school trust lands.

Section 65 [Revisor instruction] instructs the Revisor of the Statutes to renumber the definition section for Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103G, to retain alphabetical order.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 66 [Repealer] repeals:

MS section 84.68 – forests for the future stewardship account;

MS section 86B.13, subdivisions 2 and 4 – aquatic invasive species trailer decal; and

Laws 2010, chapter 215, article 3, section 3, subdivision 6, as amended – closed landfill investment fund payback.

 

 
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