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 tens of thousands of dollars in fines annually for farmers who are out of compliance on their property. Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal), who serves on the House Agriculture Finance and Agriculture Policy Committees, issued the following statement on the proposal:
“This extreme proposal is the latest example of this administration’s hostility towards agriculture. These unreasonable fines would place yet another unnecessary burden on farmers, and are a blatant overreach by the Board of Water and Soil Resources. As Minnesota’s best stewards of the land, farmers want to participate in keeping our waters clean, but were once again left out of the decision-making process and given only days to voice their opinions. I will continue to oppose the implementation of these harmful penalties, and will work to protect the interests of the many hard-working farmers in our community that would be impacted by them.”
Rep. Munson encourages farmers to share their opinions during the comment period, which lasts until 4:30PM on April 16, 2018. Comments can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 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).