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Smith - MN Drainage Law Analysis and Evaluation

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Smith - MN Drainage Law Analysis and Evaluation

  1. 1. MINNESOTA DRAINAGE LAW ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION Louis N. Smith Charles B. Holtman November 7, 2011
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Project Purpose & Work Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Analysis and Critical Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul>
  3. 3. Project Purpose & Work Plan <ul><li>Purpose: </li></ul><ul><li>Legal analysis of Minnesota drainage laws </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate costs, benefits and environmental impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Consider alternative strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Serve needs of public waters and property owners alike </li></ul>
  4. 4. Project Purpose & Work Plan <ul><li>Approach: </li></ul><ul><li>Pursue creative approaches to integrated water resource management </li></ul><ul><li>Update drainage code procedures, standards and funding authorities </li></ul><ul><li>Include local land use planning </li></ul><ul><li>Protect property rights in drainage </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance beneficial economic use of land.  </li></ul>
  5. 5. Project Purpose & Work Plan <ul><li>Work Plan: </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Issues Identification </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Recommendations </li></ul>
  6. 6. PROJECT ADVISORY COMMITTEE <ul><li>Name                             Affiliation </li></ul><ul><li>Ray Bohn                     Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Botzek                 Minnesota Conservation Federation </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Dittrich                 Minnesota Department of Agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Les Everett                   University of Minnesota Water Resources Center </li></ul><ul><li>Warren Formo              Minnesota Agriculture Water Resources Coalition </li></ul><ul><li>Annalee Garletz    Minnesota Association of Counties </li></ul><ul><li>Ron Harnack             Red River Watershed Management Board </li></ul><ul><li>Al Kean                         Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Rick Moore                   MSU-Mankato Water Resources Center </li></ul><ul><li>Lance Ness                  Minnesota Fish & Wildlife Legislative Alliance </li></ul><ul><li>Ron Ringquist              Minnesota Viewers Association </li></ul><ul><li>Doug Thomas              Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Van Offelen       Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy </li></ul>
  7. 7. Legal Analysis and Critical Issues <ul><li>Legal Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Working with an 1883 framework  </li></ul><ul><li>100+ years of water laws – gaps, conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Limited options to reconcile various goals </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving interest in creative, integrated approaches </li></ul>
  8. 8. Legal Analysis and Critical Issues <ul><li>Critical Issues: </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation drainage </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-watershed planning </li></ul><ul><li>Updating “benefits” and “damages” </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipating TMDLs </li></ul><ul><li>Rational regulation </li></ul>
  9. 9. Demonstration Scenarios <ul><li>A: Drainage Repair Project in Red River Valley </li></ul><ul><li>B: Drainage Improvement Project in Minnesota River Valley </li></ul><ul><li>C: Developing Watershed in Metro </li></ul>
  10. 11. Perspectives
  11. 12. Scenario B:   Rural Agricultural Drainage System and TMDL <ul><li>“ Commissioner Strong’s General Principles” </li></ul><ul><li>Green Meadows County’s economy depends on agriculture. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to fix the pollution problem for Old Corncob River and Meadow Lake. </li></ul><ul><li>We need a plan for the drainage system and the watershed. </li></ul><ul><li>Find a way to spread the costs fairly. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t confine yourselves to existing law. </li></ul>
  12. 13. The New Plan:  Combining Conservation and Drainage Improvements <ul><li>Funding Concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Benefited landowners assessed for drainage repair and improvement as appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Landowners also contribute, say 10%, to conservation measures </li></ul><ul><li>City stormwater utility to cover city stormwater detention basin </li></ul><ul><li>County “stormwater utility” (requires legislation) to assess based on phosphorus contribution from predominant land use types or est. volume of runoff </li></ul><ul><li>Create incentives, or credits for reducing volume of runoff. </li></ul>
  13. 14. The New Plan:  Combining Conservation and Drainage Improvements Project Element Est. Cost     Funding Sources Drainage repairs   575,000 Drainage System Drainage improvements 210,00 Drainage System Upper watershed storage basins 250,000 City SWU/County/DS Two stage ditch sections 40,000 County SWU/DS In-channel sediment storage 30,000 County SWU/DS Native grass buffers - open ditch 30,000 County SWU/DS Road crossing improvements 190,000 Road authorities TOTAL $1,325,000
  14. 15. Recommendations <ul><li>Drainage and Watershed Management </li></ul><ul><li>Drainage and Wetlands Management </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Options to Consider </li></ul>
  15. 16. Recommendations <ul><li>Provide drainage authorities with more tools and </li></ul><ul><li>resources for watershed-based planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide drainage authorities with more tools and </li></ul><ul><li>resources to implement projects with integrated </li></ul><ul><li>drainage, flood control, conservation, and water </li></ul><ul><li>quality benefits.  </li></ul><ul><li>Better integrate effects on wetlands and water </li></ul><ul><li>quality into drainage authority decisions about </li></ul><ul><li>drainage system work. </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Provide drainage authorities with more clarity in </li></ul><ul><li>legal authority to address drainage system </li></ul><ul><li>alignment, grade, cross section, and hydraulic </li></ul><ul><li>capacity of bridges and culverts for multipurpose </li></ul><ul><li>design of drainage system establishment, </li></ul><ul><li>improvement, or repair. </li></ul><ul><li>Extend the authority to establish a locally based </li></ul><ul><li>wetland regulatory framework under a CWPMP </li></ul><ul><li>to public water wetlands. </li></ul><ul><li>Create replacement alternatives within a CWPMP for a landowner causing wetland impact who may not have a high-valued replacement option on site. </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Coordinate USACE Section 404 jurisdiction with </li></ul><ul><li>a watershed-based CWPMP or other </li></ul><ul><li>implementing framework. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate MnDOT right-of-way, local road </li></ul><ul><li>authority activities, and other state-managed </li></ul><ul><li>lands within a CWPMP framework. </li></ul><ul><li>Foster reliability of CWPMP outcomes through </li></ul><ul><li>coordination of local land use authority (LUA) </li></ul><ul><li>and wetland regulatory authority.  </li></ul>
  18. 19. Where from here? <ul><li>BWSR - Drainage Work Group </li></ul><ul><li>U of M Water Resources Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Initiative Policy Forum </li></ul><ul><li>MAWD </li></ul><ul><li>MASWCD </li></ul><ul><li>LCCMR </li></ul>
  19. 20. Questions? [email_address]

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