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S.F. No. 1063 - Clean Water Legacy Act modification; coordinated watershed management establishment
Author: Senator Mark Johnson
Prepared By: Ben Stanley, Senate Counsel (651/296-4793)
Date: February 21, 2019


Section 1 [Flexibility in Providing Financial Assistance to Local Governments] expands the eligibility of local governments for financial assistance under the local water resources protection and management program by (i) allowing the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to determine the amount of local match required; (ii) authorizing forms of financial assistance beyond grants; and (iii) allowing watershed-based and program-based assistance, not just performance-based assistance.

Section 2 [Flexibility in Eligibility Criteria for Local Government Assistance] authorizes BWSR to develop eligibility criteria for state grants and other forms of financial assistance under the local water resources protection and management program that take into account factors other than performance-based criteria.

Section 3 [WRAPS Can Serve Clean Water Legacy Act Purposes] statutorily acknowledges that watershed restoration and protection strategies (WRAPS) can serve certain purposes of the Clean Water Legacy Act (Chapter 114D).

Section 4 [Amendment of One Watershed, One Plan Transition Plan] current statutes require the Board of Soil and Water Resources to develop a plan for transitioning the state to comprehensive planning based on one watershed, one plan. This section provides that BWSR may not amend the plan more frequently than once every two years.

Sections 5 to 9 [Clean Water Legacy Act Definitions] adds definitions related to local water planning to the Clean Water Legacy Act (chapter 114D) and amends other definitions in that Act in order to facilitate the use of local water plans for Clear Water Legacy Act purposes.

Section 10 and 11 [Refinement of Clean Water Legacy Act Goals] makes various minor refinements to the statute that lists the goals and policies for implementation of the Clean Water Legacy Act.

Section 12 [WRAPS & TMDLs Priorities] provides that the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency (PCA) must seek recommendations from the Clean Water Council, the commissioners of natural resources, health, and agriculture, and from BWSR, for establishing priorities for scheduling and preparing WRAPs and TMDLs.

Section 13 [Clean Water Council Recommendations] expands the potential scope of the Clean Water Council’s recommendations by removing a requirement that council recommendations be designed to improve the water quality of only those surface waters that are listed as impaired that do not have a TMDL.

Section 14 [Use of Local Plans for Clean Water Legacy Act Purposes] authorizes the commissioner of the PCA to submit certain local plans to the EPA as part of the TMDL approval process as opposed to developing a new TMDL proposal.

Section 15 [Local Plan Activities May Contribute to MS4 Permit Requirements] authorizes water quality measures taken under a local water plan to be considered as contributing to the requirements of a storm water pollution prevention plan for municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit purposes.

Section 16 to 18 [Various Clean Water Legacy Act Refinements] makes various minor refinements to the statute that addresses the contents of WRAPS and to other sections of the Clean Water Legacy Act.

Section 19 [Nonpoint Funding Alternative] allows BWSR to determine the reporting schedule and content of the nonpoint priority funding plan under MS § 114D.50, subdivision 3a.

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