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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tim Miller (R)

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REP. MILLER: PRIVATE DITCHES WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO BUFFER LAW

Thursday, February 04, 2016

ST. PAUL – State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) said there's good news for farmers who were concerned about private ditch mapping being conducted by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as part of Minnesota's buffer law.

 

On January 28, Governor Dayton ordered the DNR to focus its mapping solely on public ditches.

 

"I'm thankful that the governor was willing to return to the law's original intent," Miller said. "When we made the agreement, we expected the DNR to live up to it and it failed to do so."

 

Last session the House, Senate, and Governor Dayton reached an agreement stating that buffers of 16.5 feet must be installed on all public ditches by November of 2018.

 

But several months ago lawmakers learned that the DNR had begun mapping private ditches, which greatly exceeded the scope and intent of the compromise.

 

Miller said throughout this process Governor Dayton has unnecessarily pointed the finger at farmers as the sole culprit of any water woes that show up in Minnesota. Miller said that's a mistake.

 

"Whether it’s the governor, state lawmakers, or famers, everybody wants clean water," Miller said. "We all prioritize it and are working together for it. But I will continue to disagree with the premise that agriculture is the guilty player."