The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) introduced a proposed amendment to the Administrative Penalty Order plan for Buffer Law implementation that would allow counties and watershed districts to assess penalties based on linear feet of non-compliant water body frontage. Posted on the BWSR website on April 2, comments are being requested on the proposed amendment through April 16.
Counties and watershed districts charged with enforcement of the Buffer Law would be able to choose if they would adopt this amended option for the Administrative Penalty Order. If enforced, penalties could reach $500 per linear foot out of compliance. To be clear, the total penalty for noncompliance would not be based on actual linear feet of footage out of compliance, but rather total riparian frontage on the parcel.
The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) issued the following statement in response:
On April 2, the Board of Water and Soil Resources released a proposed amendment to the Administrative Penalty Order in the buffer law that would give counties the option to assess a penalty based on linear feet of non-compliant water body frontage on a given parcel. These proposed penalties are beyond excessive for noncompliance with the buffer law. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association will vigorously oppose this excessively harsh proposed penalty and will urge counties to reject its adoption. While counties and watershed districts will ultimately choose whether to assess these fines, penalties reaching $500 per linear foot for noncompliance is absurd.