ST. PAUL, MN—Governor Dayton's appointees at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) introduced a proposed Administrative Penalty Order (APO) last week that would fine farmers out of compliance with Minnesota's riparian buffer law by up to $500 per linear foot, which could result in thousands of dollars in fines annually for farmers who are even a few feet out of compliance across their entire property. House Agriculture Finance and Agriculture Policy Chairs Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, and Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, issued the following joint statement regarding the proposal:
"The Dayton administration's war on agriculture is back with a vengeance—these fines are an outrageous overreach by Board of Water and Soil Resources, and we encourage Minnesota farmers to make their voices heard during the two week comment period. Minnesota farmers want to be partners in the effort to clean up our waters, but once again were left out of the decision-making process and given just days to weigh in. House Republicans will hold an emergency hearing of the Agriculture Policy committee on Thursday to discuss this proposal and explore our options to prevent these absurd, heavy-handed penalties from being implemented."
The comment period lasts until 4:30PM on April 16, 2018, and can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by U.S. Mail at the following address:
Buffers and Soil Loss Operations Supervisor
Board of Soil and Water Resources
3555 9th Street NW, Suite 350
Rochester, MN 55901
The House Agriculture Policy Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed penalties on Thursday, April 12 at 10:15AM in Room 5 of the State Office Building in St. Paul (100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155).