ST. PAUL – Gov. Mark Dayton’s appointees at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources have introduced a proposal result in thousands of dollars in fines annually for farmers who are even a few feet out of compliance across their entire property.
The Administrative Penalty Order BWSR issued last week would fine farmers out of compliance with Minnesota’s riparian buffer law by up to $500 per linear foot. Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston, has been an ardent opponent of new buffer regulations and said he strongly opposes the proposed fine structure.
“This is something I feared all along as the Twin Cities environmentalists rammed this buffer law into place,” Green said. “The proposed fines are excessive and this just goes to show what happens when bureaucrats who don’t have a grasp on reality in Greater Minnesota start making decisions for us. We have enough of our own problems without government adding to the burden. House members are working to resolve this situation and I hope we are able to snap some sense into BWSR.”
The comment period lasts until 4:30 p.m. April 16 and can be submitted by email to email@example.com, 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 10:15 a.m. Thursday in Room 5 of the State Office Building in St. Paul (100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155).