Please note that the comment period has been extended until 4:30pm on August 15, 2018.

Groundwater Protection Rule (PDF)

Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) (PDF)

Notice of Hearing (PDF)

SONAR Appendixes (PDF)

Proposed Rule Changes Summary and Supplemental Text to the SONAR (PDF)

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule. The purpose of the rule is to minimize potential fertilizer sources of nitrate pollution to the state’s groundwater and protect our drinking water. This proposed rule reflects a revision of the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule that was released in June 2017.  The MDA made changes to the June 2017 draft of the rule as a result of public feedback. A copy of the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule and the Statement of Need and Reasonableness is available by clicking on the first link above.

Information about the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule

How do I participate in the rulemaking process?

In order to comment on the proposed rule you must do one or both of the items below:

  1. The comment period for the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule begins on April 30, 2018 and will be open until July 26, 2018. All comments must be submitted in writing and must be submitted via the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) websiteTHE MDA WILL NOT ACCEPT WRITTEN COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED RULE.
  2. Attend one of the five public hearings around the state and provide testimony before the Administrative Law Judge. These hearings are being conducted by an Administrative Law Judge, through the Office of Administrative Hearings. The Administrative Law Judge determines when to conclude each hearing. The MDA has been notified that the hearings at each site will conclude once testimony at that site is completed. Therefore, anyone wishing to provide testimony at one of the Groundwater Protection Rule hearings should plan on arriving at the start time of the hearing.

Written comments and oral comments have the same weight with the judge and all comments will be considered by the Judge when writing her report.

Public Hearings on Groundwater Protection Rule

Location Date Time
Robert Boeckman Middle School
800 Denmark Avenue
Farmington, MN 55024
Monday, July 16, 2018 1:00 PM
Stewartville Civic Center
105 First Street East
Stewartville, MN 55976
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:00 AM
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
1450 College Way
Worthington, MN 56187
Thursday, July 19, 2018 10:00 AM
River's Edge Convention Center
10 Fourth Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 10:00 AM
American Legion
900 First Street East
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Thursday, July 26, 2018 9:00 AM

 

 

What has changed from the Summer 2017 draft to the Proposed Rule?

    June 2017 April 2018

Part 1

Statewide Restrictions on Nitrogen Fertilizer Application in the Fall and on Frozen Soil

Vulnerable Groundwater Area Definition Areas with vulnerable groundwater were defined using a method that measured how water moved through a 5 foot soil profile (Ksat) and karst geology Areas with vulnerable groundwater defined based on USDA NRCS soil maps and karst geology
Field Determination Criterion Used full sections of land to determine if Part 1 of the rule applied to individual fields Uses quarter-sections of land to determine if Part 1 of the rule applies to individual fields
County-level exclusions Provided no county-level exclusions Excludes counties based on their low risk for nitrate contamination in groundwater due to climate and minimal row crops.

Part 2

Mitigation Efforts

Eligibility Criterion Applied to both townships and DWSMAs Applies to DWSMAs

 

June 2017 Groundwater Protection Rule Draft

 


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