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DRAINAGE LAWS AND THE MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2016 10th International Drainage Symposium Conference, 6-9 September 2016, Minneapolis, Minnesota  .(doi:10.13031/IDS.20162492965)
Authors:   Gregory C Knopff
Keywords:   Drainage Law, Drainage Work Group, laws, Minnesota Legislature, policy.

Abstract. Drainage laws have been enacted by the Minnesota Legislature since statehood in 1858. In contrast to other natural resource laws today, where the Legislature establishes broad policy and a state agency develops specific rules, the state drainage code is in the law. This creates a unique situation where any changes to Minnesota‘s drainage code must be enacted by law. Because of this feature any significant changes to the drainage code in Minnesota have been accomplished after consensus has been reached by a group with broad representation from drainage practitioners to environmental groups. The Drainage Work Group sponsored by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is the current forum for recommending changes in the drainage code. From an update on the requirement for buffers on drainage ditches that was enacted in 2007 to an update and clarification of the environmental considerations before drainage work is done that was enacted in 2014, the recommendations of the Drainage Work Group have allowed the Minnesota Legislature to make changes in and update the drainage code without controversy.

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