BWSR Rejects Buffer Penalty Proposal

On April 2, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) released for comment a proposed amendment to the Buffer Law Administrative Penalty Order to obtain feedback from local governments about the draft option to achieve buffer compliance. BWSR released a statement on April 9 updating the request for comments and noting that the BWSR Board plan adopted on June 28, 2017 had not been changed, and that the draft proposal on which BWSR was seeking comments attempted to respond to interest from the public regarding additional compliance options.

The proposed amendment outlined an alternative basis for measuring compliance, employing a one-time linear feet measure of compliance. The option was to be in addition to the approved Administrative Penalty Order Plan which determines compliance through a recurring fine on a per parcel basis. BWSR noted in its update that it did not plan to use the alternative basis for measuring compliance in those counties where BWSR has enforcement responsibilities under the Buffer Law.

On April 12 the BWSR Buffers, Soil and Drainage Committee passed a resolution to officially reject the draft amendment based on the comments received through the public notice, and BWSR will take no further action on the draft proposal.