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Posted on April 24, 2018 at 4:29 AM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 4/23/2018
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
No upcoming meetings or hearings scheduled as of
I spoke a
while back about the possibility of a linear footage APO (Administrative
Penalty Order), or penalty per linear foot, for riparian buffer violations. BWSR (Minnesota Board of Soil and Water
Resources) held a public comment period to let Minnesotans voice their opinions
on this matter. Well Minnesota, your
voices have been heard loud and clear.
As of Thursday,
April 12, BWSR and the governing board rejected this APO
proposal. This proposal was to give local
government entities an alternative for enforcing local riparian buffer
compliance. This alternative option was
rejected, and no further action on this proposal will be taken by
BWSR on this proposal.
BWSR made the
statement that the current APO or penalties are sufficient, and at this
time no further proposals are warranted.
Some interesting things to note about a violation to a riparian buffer:
1. Once non-compliance (violation) is
determined and presented to landowner, the landowner has an eleven-month grace
period to address the violation.
2. After the eleven-month window, the
violation needs to be re-inspected.
3. The governing authority who enforces
the APO has the choice to either impose a fine after the eleven months, if
violation repairs are not made, or forgive all fines if the proper repairs are
met and the riparian buffer is brought back into compliance.
4. Renters can be held accountable for
riparian buffer violations.
In the letter written ending the BWSR proposal, by Mr. John Jaschke (Executive Director for BWSR), to all Minnesotans
and especially Minnesota farmers, he explains this proposal was written hastily and did not go through the normal or proper channels before being
proposed. Mr. Jaschke explains that the
board and BWSR did not address potential concerns or the large scale impacts it
could have on Minnesota farmers and landowners.
The letter also noted that BWSR’s proposal was unknown and unannounced
to our current Minnesota Governor.
We (Craig and
myself) were fortunate enough to be able to attend a buffer update meeting
last Thursday, April 19. This meeting
was for governing bodies that accepted jurisdiction for enforcement of the APO
or penalties for the riparian buffer.
This meeting was attended by BWSR staff who answered lots of questions from the various SWCDs and counties in attendance.
reading and buffer updates, check out BWSR’s website by clicking the link.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of April 16 – April 20:
Twp.) Landowner was experiencing some possible issues with
a county intake near our newly constructed mainline.
Twp.) Met with a contractor to discuss repairing a large
slough area that is drastically reducing the flow capacity of the open ditch.
(Sterling Twp.) Monitoring ongoing issues with
Lura Lake outlet and water levels. Our
county tile, that acts as a secondary outlet to the lake, is in need of serious
repair. Picture shows one of the lake outlets.
special note, we have received multiple calls about ponding water. Please remember that these recent thaw and freeze
cycles are not helping to drain the water ponding in our fields. These areas of ponding water
still might have some deep frost preventing the surface water from draining quickly. We’ve had a few larger snowfalls lately that
we’re not used to having this late in the year. Please be patient the land thaws back out for the year.
call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, as there is a lot
of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage
department. We will do our absolute best to service your issues and
concerns as we receive them.
We require that all repairs to a county
drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage
office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.
Drainage Management Specialist