Purpose and Considerations
On May 25, 2016, the BWSR Board approved resolution #16-31 which allows the use of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) as an “Other Alternative Practice.” This means that if a landowner’s parcel is certified under this program, it also qualifies to attain compliance with the Minnesota Buffer Law (Minnesota Statutes §103F.48).
Any landowner possessing a valid State of Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Agreement is in compliance under the alternative practices provision of the Buffer Law.
Landowners interested in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program can get more information by visiting the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website at: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/awqcp
The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program adoption as an “Other Alternative Practice” acknowledges a methodology in which a comprehensive review of an entire agricultural operation undergoes extensive review and is ranked on an individual basis. MAWQCP-certified status is defined and accorded by the State of Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Agreement (contract) between the MAWQCP-certified producer and the State of Minnesota. In Section D. Producer Certainty of the contract, it states: “As long as Producer is certified and maintains certification status, Producer is deemed in compliance with any new state water quality laws and rules that take effect during the agreement period.”
By virtue of a producer being MAWQCP-certified and maintaining certification status, that producer is in compliance with §103F.48 Buffer Law.