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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nels Pierson (R)

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RELEASE: Rep. Pierson’s Statement on BWSR Proposed Buffer Fines

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ST. PAUL, MN - 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. Rep. Nels Pierson (R-Stewartville), who serves on the House Agriculture Finance and Agriculture Policy Committees, released the following statement on the proposal:

“I was disappointed to hear about the excessive buffer fines recently proposed by the Board of Water and Soil Resources. This unreasonable proposal would be an unnecessary burden on Minnesota agriculture, and I encourage farmers across the state to voice their concerns during the public comment period. Among our state’s best stewards of the land, farmers want and deserve to be included in the decision-making process, but have unfortunately been given a small window to make their voices heard. I am committed to opposing these harmful fines, and will continue to advocate for the countless farmers that would be negatively impacted by their implementation.”

The public comment period lasts until 4:30PM on April 16, 2018, and can be submitted by email to, or by U.S. Mail at the following address:

Tom Gile
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).