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X marks the spot

Posted By MNLA eNews, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
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Why are Cities Using Green Streets for Stormwater Management?

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, June 23, 2016
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MPCA’s plans for the Stormwater Manual

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, June 23, 2016
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Board of Water and Soil Resources Expands Options to Help Farmers Meet Buffer Law Requirements

Posted By MNLA eNews, Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. –  Minnesota farmers will have an additional way of meeting the state’s new Buffer Law requirements as the result of recent action taken by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). Under the Buffer Law, farmers may use alternative water quality protection practices that are comparable to buffer protection. The BWSR Board recently passed a resolution affirming that certification in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program qualifies as an approved alternative water quality protection practice. This means that farmers who become certified through the program will also be compliant with the state buffer law.

“I applaud the Board of Water and Soil Resources for recognizing the Ag Water Quality Certification Program as an alternative practice to comply with the Buffer Law,” Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson said. “This action demonstrates how the MDA and BWSR are working together to help farmers protect the quality of our state’s precious water resources.”

“The Board took this action because we recognize that the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program will deliver greater water quality protection than buffers alone,” said BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke.  “It allows us to utilize an existing program in a significant way that benefits the State, local governments, and landowners alike.”

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program is a partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Each of these agencies upholds the program’s regulatory certainty provision and BWSR, through its network of local soil and water conservation districts, is helping deliver the program to farmers and landowners across the state.

Signed into law in June 2015, Governor Mark Dayton’s landmark buffer initiative designated an estimated 110,000 acres of land for water quality buffer strips statewide. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers, and boost compliance with buffer laws across Minnesota.

To learn more about the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, visit www.mylandmylegacy.com. For more on Minnesota’s Buffer Law, visit http://bwsr.state.mn.us/buffers.

CONTACT:

Celi Haga, Board of Water and Soil Resources, 651-315-5082, celi.haga@state.mn.us

Margaret Hart, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 651-201-6131, margaret.hart@state.mn.us

Tags:  buffer law  irrigation  MDA  water management  water quality 

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Dayton Signs Buffer Strip Clarifications into Law

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, May 19, 2016
The 2015 Minnesota Legislature passed a buffer law that was widely disliked by farmers. Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) led a bipartisan effort that resulted in an updated buffer law in 2016, signed by Governor Dayton on Monday, April 25th. Acceptance was not universal in the House, where a few Democrats believed that the updated law’s exclusion of private ditches was too great a compromise. More information about the bill the Governor signed can be found here: http://bringmethenews.com/2016/04/21/buffer-strip-bill-clears-the-house-heads-to-governor-for-signature

Tags:  buffer strip  irrigation  shoreline plantings  stormwater management  water management 

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A Cooling Tool for CSO Hot Spots

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, May 19, 2016
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The Graywater Gold Rush

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, May 19, 2016
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General Permit Removes Irrigation Season Dates

Posted By MNLA eNews, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

For decades, DNR irrigation permits had dates indicating when the irrigation season started and ended. Since these were developed based on the average annual precipitation and the experience of irrigators and agricultural industry, they were usually not a problem. Increasingly, we hear of a need to irrigate earlier or later. While technology improvements and best practices for irrigation can significantly reduce water waste, we have concluded that an irrigation “season” usually isn’t necessary for maintaining sustainable water supplies.

Therefore, we have issued a general permit that waives the date restriction. Your individual permits will still have the dates on them, but the general permit waives them. Going forward, as permits are modified or new permits are issued, normal season dates will be omitted in most cases.

There is nothing the irrigator needs to do to take advantage of this. The permit is issued and is available on the DNR website for those wishing to see it.

This waiver of irrigation season dates will let you take advantage of early warm weather, or perhaps getting a cover crop germinated if needed outside of the normal season, without having to modify your individual permit.

The waiver of irrigation season dates applies to most types of irrigation, including agricultural, golf course, cemetery, landscaping, athletic field, nursery, pasture, orchard, vineyard, sod farm, and (with some limits) wild rice. For fall flooding of wild rice fields, you must still obtain specific permission in writing from the DNR Area Hydrologist prior to any water use.

Here’s what general permit No. 2016-0188 does and does not do:

  • It waives the normal start and stop dates for the irrigation season.
  • It does not change the source of water, pumping rate or volume authorized by your individual permits.
  • It does not affect fisheries exclusion dates.
  • It does not waive any conditions specific to your permit. Your permit may have specific conditions that restrict when you may withdraw water in order to address a particular water issue in your area, and these remain in effect.
  • All water used must still be recorded monthly and reported annually.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Water Regulations Unit Supervisor Tom Hovey at 651-259-5654, or tom.hovey@state.mn.us

Tags:  irrigation  irrigation permits  MN-DNR  water management 

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Waste Not Want Not

Posted By MNLA eNews, Wednesday, May 4, 2016
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Choose the Right Head to Get Ahead

Posted By MNLA eNews, Wednesday, May 4, 2016
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