Land alteration can affect the rate, volume, and quality of surface runoff and lead to degradation of District resources through several mechanisms. Sedimentation in lakes and streams from on-going erosion processes and construction activities reduces the hydraulic capacity of water bodies and degrades water quality. Projects which increase the rate of stormwater runoff or degrade runoff quality increase the need for storage and can aggravate existing water quality problems and contribute to new ones. Projects which fill floodplain or wetland areas can increase the need for storage by reducing stormwater storage and hydraulic capacity of water bodies and degrade water quality by eliminating the filtering capacity of such areas.
Established under authorities granted in MN Statute 103D.341, District Rules seek to limit the affects land alterations to protect the public health, welfare, and natural resources of the District, reduce the need for additional storage capacity and the potential need for the construction of systems to convey storm water, preserve floodplains and wetland storage capacity, maintain or improve the chemical and physical quality of the surface and groundwater, reduce sedimentation, preserve the hydraulic and navigational capacity of water bodies, preserve natural shoreland features, and minimize the public expenditure to avoid or correct such problems in the future. Absent from the District’s current rules is any regulatory mechanism related to enforcement of the State’s new buffer requirements. Once SWWD’s responsibilities become clear the District will amend its rules and this Plan as necessary to ensure the District’s responsibilities are met and there is an effective and efficient local mechanism to establish and maintain required buffers on Public Waters.
Primary responsibility for management of water quality and stormwater runoff lies with the District. However, the District recognizes that the primary control and determination of appropriate land uses is the responsibility of its municipalities. Accordingly, the District will coordinate development permit application reviews with the municipality where the property is located. The District urges municipalities to develop, as rapidly as possible, a LWMP, providing a coordinated system of managing surface water on a regional or subwatershed basis consistent with District Rules. Where such a municipal plan is adopted, the requirements of the District’s Rules which are met by the municipal plan shall be deemed satisfied upon issuance of an appropriate municipal permit. In the absence of a LWMP on a municipal or subwatershed level, or where required by a Municipal LWMP, SWWD will continue to require individual site-by-site SWWD permits for projects involving land alteration.
In addition to establishing and enforcing rules, the District serves as the responsible Local Government Unit (LGU) for administration of the State of Minnesota’s Wetland Conservation Act in all portions of the District except the Cities of Oakdale and Hastings. Also excluded from District jurisdiction is all MnDOT right of way as MnDOT serves as the LGU for all MnDOT property.
- Compliance with District and Municipal Controls. Where the District issues permits, compliance with be evaluated and enforced through the District’s permit review and construction inspection procedures. Where the District has deferred to Municipal review and permitting, compliance will be evaluated through routine audit of Municipal review, permitting, and construction inspection procedures as related to specific projects. The performance measure goal is 100% compliance with District and Municipal controls.
- Ensure full coverage of State NPDES program requirements across District and limit duplication of effort through coordination with Cities and local agencies. NPDES program coverage will be reviewed annually as part of MS4 reporting.
- Effectively administer the Wetland Conservation Act to meet the State and SWWD goal of no net loss of wetland acres. To be reviewed annually as part of Wetland Conservation Act LGU reporting.
- Ensure District compliance with State buffer requirements.