This chapter implements the regulatory provisions of the Wetland Conservation Act of 1991, Laws 1991, chapter 354, as amended by Laws 1993, chapter 175; Laws 1994, chapter 627; Laws 1996, chapter 462; Laws 2000, chapter 382; Laws 2001, chapter 146; Laws 2002, chapter 220; Laws 2003, chapter 128; Laws 2004, chapters 221 and 255; Laws 2007, chapters 57 and 131; and Laws 2008, chapter 368. This chapter shall be interpreted to implement the purpose of the act, which is to:
achieve no net loss in the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's existing wetlands;
increase the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's wetlands by restoring or enhancing diminished or drained wetlands;
avoid direct or indirect impacts from activities that destroy or diminish the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of wetlands; and
replace wetland values where avoidance of activity is not feasible and prudent.
The regulatory provisions of the Wetland Conservation Act advance the purpose in this part by requiring persons proposing to impact a wetland to first, attempt to avoid the impact; second, attempt to minimize the impact; and finally, replace any impacted area with another wetland of at least equal function and value. As specified in greater detail in part 8420.0420, certain projects are exempt from the requirement for a replacement plan under the Wetland Conservation Act.
The Wetland Conservation Act is administered by local government units with oversight provided by the Board of Water and Soil Resources. Enforcement of the act is provided by Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and other peace officers. The Wetland Conservation Act became effective on January 1, 1992, and this chapter and portions of Minnesota Statutes, chapters 103A, 103B, 103E, 103F, and 103G, govern its implementation. Persons seeking general information on wetlands and the interpretation of this chapter may contact their local government unit or soil and water conservation district.