Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area Rulemaking

Mississippi River

Rule Development and Public Involvement

2009 - 2011

May 2009: Legislature directs DNR to conduct rulemaking

December 2009 - March 2010: DNR publishes Request for Comments with 3-month public comment period

January - February 2010: DNR meets individually with all local governments for input

March - December 2010: DNR establishes four geographically-based, multi-interest work groups to advise on districts and standards (10 meetings)

September 2010: Two public information meetings to gather input from the public on draft districts and standards

January 2011: DNR develops draft rules (known as 2011 draft rules), but rulemaking authority lapses

2013 - 2014

May 2013: Legislature directs DNR to resume rulemaking

August - September 2013: Meetings with local governments and interest groups to gather input on 2011 draft rules

Early 2014: DNR develops "working draft rules" that reflect feedback on the 2011 draft rules

June - September 2014: DNR publishes a second Request for Comments with a 4-month public comment period, this time on the working draft rules, and sends notice to all property owners in the MRCCA.

June - December 2014: Meetings with local governments and other interest groups to gather feedback on working draft rules, including multi-interest meetings to deal with difficult or sticky issues

July 2014: Three public information meetings to gather input from public on working draft rules

December 2014: Meeting with local governments, interest groups, and agencies to share progress and next steps.


January - December 2015: DNR refines "proposed rules" based on feedback, and develops SONAR

Formal Comment & Hearing

April 11, 2016: Comment period begins with publication of Notice of Hearing

June 2016: Public hearings

Next Steps - timing to be determined by Administrative Law Judge

  • Comment Period: The comment period ends at 4:30 pm on Wednesday July 6, 2016. DNR submits preliminary response to comments during the post-hearing comment period.
  • Rebuttal period: Rebuttal period lasts five days following the end of the comment period. Persons may submit written responses to any comment received during the comment period or to the DNR's preliminary responses to comments, but no new evidence may be submitted during the rebuttal period. DNR submits its final responses to comments and rebuttals. The hearing record closes at the end of the rebuttal period.
  • Report of the ALJ: The judge has 30 days after the close of the hearing record to complete the report unless the time is extended by the Chief Administrative Law Judge. The report identifies findings and recommendations. If the ALJ finds no defects in the rules, the DNR may proceed to adopt the rules. If the ALJ finds defects in the proposed rules, the DNR will consider the ALJ’s recommendations in determining how to proceed.
  • DNR considers options: During this process, the DNR will consider whether there is a need to modify the proposed rules based on public comments or the ALJ’s report recommendations. The DNR can notify the ALJ of its intention to make modifications through the DNR’s preliminary and final responses. The DNR must wait at least five working days after the ALJ report is issued before taking any action on the rules.
  • Rule Adoption: When rules are finalized and the DNR determines rule adoption is appropriate, the DNR develops an order adopting the rules and coordinates action with other state agencies to file the order.The DNR publishes the Notice of Adoption in the State Register and the rules become effective five working days after publication.

Rule Implementation

Late 2016: Rules adopted (anticipated)

2017 - 2018: DNR will coordinate with Metropolitan Council to:

  • Develop a notification schedule
  • Develop model plans, ordinances, and resources for local governments
  • Provide training and guidance to local governments

2018 - 2020: Implementation will be phased over a minimum 3-year period beginning approximately one year after the rules are adopted. Upon being notified by the DNR, local governments will be given one year to update their plans and ordinances to be consistent with the rules. Local governments may request additional time if necessary.

The DNR has begun the formal phase of the MRCCA rulemaking with the April 11, 2016 publication of the Notice of Hearing to adopt proposed rules. This phase includes a comment period on the proposed rule, and three public hearings held by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

The proposed rules have been refined and improved through extensive involvement and input from local governments and affected interests, including property owners. We encourage you to explore this page to learn more about the proposed rules and how to comment during this formal phase of the rulemaking process.

Rulemaking Documents

To view the documents and learn more about the proposed rules, proposed districts, and Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR), click the links below.

We recommend that commenters read the proposed rules and SONAR together for a full understanding of each rule provision, and view the proposed district maps that go hand-in-hand with the proposed rules.


How to Comment

The comment period began on April 11, 2016. You may provide your comments orally at the public hearings or in writing at any time before the comment period closes at 4:30 pm on Wednesday July 6, 2016.

Written Comments

This is the best way to submit letters and supporting materials for this rulemaking. We encourage you to submit thorough, specific, and thoughtful comments on the proposed rules. Send your comments by U.S. Mail or fax:

Administrative Law Judge Eric L. Lipman
Office of Administrative Hearings
600 North Robert Street
PO Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620
Fax: 651-539-0310

You may also submit comments online through the Office of Administrative Hearing's e-Comment system. Please note, you will not be able to upload letters, attachments, or other documents through this system. The Office of Administrative Hearings is not set up to accept emails.

Public Hearings

The Administrative Law Judge will hold three public hearings to receive public comments on the proposed rules. Anyone may attend these public hearings to make oral comments and/or listen to comments:

Tuesday, June 14
4:30 p.m.
Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center
8395 127th St E
Hastings, MN 55033

Wednesday, June 15
4:30 p.m.
Greenhaven Golf Course Event Center
2800 Greenhaven Rd
Anoka, MN 55303

Thursday, June 16
10:00 a.m.
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
2522 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Submitted Comments

Submitted comments may be viewed online at the Office of Administrative Hearings.This link leads to an external site.




If you have questions about the rulemaking process or the proposed rules and districts, contact the DNR at mrcca.rulemaking@state.mn.us or 651-259-5714. Please note that all comments on the proposed rules must be submitted to the Office of Administrative Hearings at the address provided under "How to Comment".