Lost in Translation?

We’re working on water plans lately, and noticed a disconnect between this part of 103G.005:

 Subd. 10e.  Local government unit. “Local government unit” means:

(1) outside of the seven-county metropolitan area, a city council, county board of commissioners, or a soil and water conservation district or their delegate;

(2) in the seven-county metropolitan area, a city council, a town board under section 368.01, a watershed management organization under section 103B.211, or a soil and water conservation district or their delegate; and

(3) on state land, the agency with administrative responsibility for the land.

 And this part of 8420.0200:

 Subpart 1. Determinations of local government unit.

The local government unit responsible for making exemption, wetland type, wetland boundary, and no-loss determinations and approving replacement and wetland banking plans shall be determined according to items A to D.

A. Outside the seven-county metropolitan area, the local government unit is the county or city in which the drain or fill activity is located, or its delegate.

B.  In the seven-county metropolitan area, the local government unit is the city, town, or water management organization regulating surface-water-related matters in the area in which the drain or fill activity is located, or its delegate. The watershed management plan adopted under Minnesota Statutes, section 103B.231, and related board rules will normally indicate the appropriate local government unit. Lacking an indication, the local government unit must be the city, town, or its delegate.

Here is the original text of the 1991 WCA:

                        ARTICLE 6

                     REGULATION OF WETLAND ACTIVITIES

    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103G.005, is

amended by adding a subdivision to read:

    Subd. 6a.  [BOARD.] “Board” means the board of water and

soil resources.

    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 103G.005, is

amended by adding a subdivision to read:

    Subd. 10a.  [LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT.] “Local government

unit” means:

    (1) outside of the seven-county metropolitan area, a city

council or county board of commissioners; and

    (2) in the seven-county metropolitan area, a city council,

a town board under section 368.01, or a watershed management

organization under section 103B.211.

 The Legislature’s version is far preferable – the prime responsibility of any local authority exercising WCA authority to to provide qualified, knowledgeable people.  Many of the towns that remain in the metro area lack any full-time staff at all.  Consultants could fill this gap, but why force this to happen when the original intent was to have a specialized agency govern wetlands in small townships to begin with?  The BWSR is going through public hearings on proposed revisions to 8420, though this portion is not yet proposed for a fix.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: