In the closing days of the 2017 legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton fended off attempts to gut his signature clean water accomplishment, a requirement for buffer strips of vegetation between farm fields and waterways.
Dayton even got some things he wanted on the environment and outdoors fronts as he fought off other ideas he opposes. Several environmental groups say compromises in the final days of the regular session and special session weaken protections and they’ve urged him to veto the big environmental and natural resources budget bill. But that appears unlikely.
Some highlights of what lawmakers did and didn’t do:
Agricultural interests fought hard to weaken the buffer requirements because of the burden on farmers. In the end, the deadlines for installing buffers on lands along public waters (November 2017) and for lands adjacent to public ditches (November 2018) didn’t change.
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