- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A measure scaling back Minnesota’s buffer-strip law passed last year is headed to the governor’s desk.

Gov. Mark Dayton last year signed into law his proposal that requires farmers to install buffer strips of vegetation between farm fields and public waterways to protect against runoff. Top Republican lawmakers and agricultural groups said they never intended for private waterways to be included in that law.

A bill passed Thursday in the House clarifies that landowners are not required to put buffers along private ditches. It also clears up some other issues, including that local governments can decide whether to regulate the buffer law.

Some environmentally minded Democrats objected to the change. They argue that exempting private waterways will lead to more pollution in Minnesota’s water.


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