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Frequently Asked Questions

What legal authority does the District have to implement rules?

State law requires the District to establish water-resource protection standards, then adopt rules and operate a permitting program to help meet the standards. Under Minnesota Statutes section 103D.341, subdivision 1, watershed districts must adopt rules “to accomplish the purposes of [the watershed act] and to implement the powers of the [watershed district] managers.” These purposes include, among others, conservation of water for public uses; controlling erosion and siltation of lakes, streams and wetlands; and protecting water quality in these bodies.

District managers are further authorized to regulate and control the use of water within the watershed district, regulate the use of streams and watercourses to prevent pollution, and regulate the use and development of land in collaboration with municipalities in the watershed. 

Do these rules duplicate local authorities’ and state agencies’ water resource protection efforts?

No, the District will work with its municipal partners and state agencies to avoid duplication of efforts.  For example, the District is seeking a general permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) so that projects triggering DNR permits and District permits could be permitted by the watershed district.

Why is it important for the District to have rules?

Our water resources our pressured every day with land and water disturbing activities.  The rules are one way for the District to ensure conservation of water for public uses, control erosion and siltation of lakes, streams and wetlands, and protect water quality in these water bodies. 

Do I have to comply to the rules now?

The requirements established by the District rules are not retroactively applied. Instead, the rules require permits for certain activities property owners and developers with to undertake. Each of the rules outlines a trigger as to when an applicant would need to apply for a permit, and the resolution adopting the rules will establish when the rule requirements apply to land-disturbing activities under the rules.

The following hypothetical analyses of the applicability of the proposed Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District rules is provided for general informational only. Not all rule provisions are illustrated, and analysis of the specifics of a particular application would be necessary to determine rule requirements applicable to specific proposed work.