The state's Groundwater Protection Rule became effective on June 24, 2019.

      Steps for Rule Adoption

      The Groundwater Protection Rule was approved by an Administrative Law Judge through two orders:

      Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen signed the Groundwater Protection Rule on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 and sent the Order Adopting Rules to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

      This action began the final steps for the Groundwater Protection Rule to be fully adopted. Listed below are the steps that followed:

      • OAH contacted the Revisor’s office to obtain the final version of the rule. The Revisor sent the rule to both OAH and the MDA.
      • OAH filed the rule with the Secretary of State, and the MDA notified those that requested notification at the Rule Hearings by email.
      • The Governor had a 14-day veto period that began after receiving the rule from the Secretary of State.
      • The MDA worked with the State Register to publish the Notice of Adoption. Five days after the rule was published, Part 2 of the rule became effective on June 29, 2020.
      • Part 1 of the rule became effective January 1, 2020. Restrictions on applying nitrogen in the fall and on frozen soil begin on September,1 2020.

      Regulatory actions under Part 2 of the rule are delayed at least three years from the date the rule took effect and after a DWSMA is determined to meet the criteria for Level 2.

      Documents Provided and Received by the MDA through the Rulemaking Process

      A comment period was open from April 30 to August 22, 2018. The comment period was conducted by an ALJ and all comments were submitted to the OAH. During this time five public hearings were held around the state. Over 3,000 comments were submitted during the comment period. There were 92 written comments, 40 people testified at five rule hearings and over 2,900 form letters were submitted to OAH. There were an additional six comments submitted during the rebuttal period.

      Comments submitted during the comment period can be viewed on OAH's rulemaking website.

      Comments submitted during the rebuttal period can also be viewed on the OAH's rulemaking website.

      *A number of web addresses in the SONAR have changed. Please view the Updated Links (PDF) to access the references listed.


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