State officials announced this week three-quarters of Minnesota counties are making significant progress toward complying with new “buffer” laws to reduce farm runoff into rivers and lakes. There’s a move at the legislature to push deadlines back, to which Governor Mark Dayton gives a flat “no.” “We made compromises on this legislation. I made compromise,” he says. “Took private ditches out two years ago, thinking that would satisfy the critics. No. Came back last year, we made some modifications and now it’s more. More is never enough.”
Under current law, buffer strips must be in place adjacent to public waters by November 1st of this year, and adjacent to public ditches by November 2018.