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Jan 28

WOTUS Out?

Posted on January 28, 2020 at 3:09 PM by Ryan Hiniker

CDrainage update 1/28/2020

 

Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • No upcoming hearings or meetings.                                                                                                                                                            

WOTUS No Longer / Navigable Waters Protection Rule:

For those that might remember WOTUS (Waters of The United States), this was a federal clean waters program.  The vague language from parts of the WOTUS plan, left many landowners and agricultural groups asking questions about their own properties and if it fell into this WOTUS rule.  Environmental groups saw it as a major win and move towards furthering environmental control.  While many agricultural groups saw it as a possible hindrance to how they operate their lands.

With the new presidential administration, came some changes to the WOTUS rule.  It has been replaced by our new Navigable Waters Protection Rule.  The new administration was taking a different approach to try not to over exert the regulator control of past rules.  The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule seeks out to clarify all of the “cloudy” areas of the previous WOTUS rule. 

This Navigable Waters Protection Rule covers four main categories of water that are federally regulated by the Clean Waters Act.  These four main areas include; seas and traditional navigable waters (oceans and rivers), perennial tributaries (certain smaller creeks), certain lakes and ponds and finally wetlands that are adjacent to jurisdictional waters.

Besides the four main categories of waters that are regulated, the new rule defines twelve specific exemptions from this law also.  Some of those exemptions include; farm and roadside ditches, prior converted cropland areas and farm or stock ponds, just to mention a few.

As to be expected, this new rule has brought forth both praises and push-back.  Praise from the agricultural groups as they see the new rule as a more manageable approach to clean water.  While on the other side of the coin, environmental groups feel that the new rule is backing off too much from agricultural regulation and that more needs to be done. 

For additional reading or the full story with link to the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule, click link. https://www.agweb.com/article/epa-replaces-wotus-navigable-waters-protection-rule                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Project Updates:

   

  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  No change from last week.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Still waiting to finish televising of the northern portion of this improvement project. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  No updates or changes from last week.     
  • CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  Cleaning and grubbing along the open ditch is completed for now.  We will replace a few side intakes this spring when the ground thaws out.  The spoil piles from the ditch cleaning will also get spread out in spring when things thaw and dry out a bit more.

  

Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • No drainage inspections from last week, but I did take a few photos from my fishing trip.  I was gone most of last week fishing way up north in the Angle Inlet area, most northern point of the contiguous United States.  I had a good time and look forward to going back.
sunrise

It was kind of a neat sunrise with blowing snow, making the sun look cloudy.

walleye

We caught some nice fish while fishing those three days.  This is no where near the biggest caught of the trip, but a good average example of the Walleye.

sunset 14 miles out

Beautiful sunsets miles out on the frozen tundra.

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.

 


 

 

Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist

ryan.hiniker@blueearthcountymn.gov

507-304-4264