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S.F. No. 2451 - Surface and Subsurface Drainage Requirements for Agricultural Land
 
Author: Senator Gregory D. Clausen
 
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
 
Date: March 21, 2016



 

SF 2451 establishes requirements for a person who installs surface or subsurface drainage on agricultural land.

The first part of the bill, paragraph (a), requires that before a person installs surface or subsurface drainage on agricultural land, the person must have a wetland replacement plan, a no-loss determination, or an exemption determination issued by a local government unit (LGU) under the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA).  A wetland replacement plan is required if the installation of the drainage will result in draining a wetland and the activity is not exempted under WCA.  This is required under current law. A no-loss determination would be required in the bill, if the drainage does not drain a wetland.  Under current law, a landowner has the option of requesting a no-loss determination from the LGU.  An exemption determination would be required in the bill when the drainage installation drains a wetland under a WCA exemption.  Under current law, a landowner has the option of requesting an exemption determination from the LGU.

The second part of the bill, paragraph (b), requires the LGU to make a determination of the adequacy of the outlet before issuing a wetland replacement plan, a no-loss determination, or an exemption determination for surface or subsurface drainage of agricultural land.  If the outlet is not adequate, the LGU must not issue the plan or determination.  This is similar to the analysis that a drainage authority must do prior to approving a public drainage project under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103E.  This section also requires a flowage easement when the installed drainage will flow onto the land of another person.  This also is similar to what a drainage authority must do prior to approving a public drainage project under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103E.

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