Minnesota Governor Proposes 50-foot Shoreline Buffer Enforcement

Dave Orrick, reporting for the Pioneer Press:

Dave Orrick

Dave Orrick

Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday that he will ask the Legislature to expand the law protecting Minnesota streams and ditches against erosion and chemical runoff.

At an annual Department of Natural Resources meeting on outdoors issues in Brooklyn Park, Dayton said he wants a minimum 50-foot buffer strip protecting every stream, drainage ditch and river in the state...

Current state laws mandate vegetative buffers of 50 feet or 16.5 feet around many waterways in agricultural lands, but the laws aren’t uniformly enforced, and many waters are exempt.

As a result, crops often are planted up to the edge of those waterways and runoff polluted with fertilizer and pesticides can spill into the water, eventually reach the Mississippi River.

”The rules are inconsistent, and they’re enforced inconsistently,” Dayton said. “I would propose that a 50-foot buffer be required on all riparian lands in Minnesota, and that 50-foot buffer be enforced, and I mean enforced.