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 public comment period and hearing record closed at 4:30 on July 13th. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) overseeing the rulemaking has reviewed all written and oral comments and DNR responses to comments and issued a report with recommendations on August 11th. The DNR is reviewing the report and evaluating next steps.

Report from Administrative Law Judge »

The proposed rules have been developed and refined 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.

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 interested parties 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.

Rulemaking Process

The comment period began on April 11, 2016 and concluded at 4:30pm on July 6, 2016. Within this time period, the Administrative Law Judge held three public hearings where additional comments were heard. On July 6, the DNR prepared a response to comments received from April 11 - June 24, which included some limited amendments to the proposed rules. Immediately following this comment period, a five-day rebuttal period concluded on July 13. The DNR prepared a response to all comments received after June 24th at the conclusion of this rebuttal period.

Following this period, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) reviewed all comments heard and submitted and prepared a report to determine whether the DNR and proposed rules are needed and reasonable. This report was issued on August 11.

DNR Response to Comments Received »

Office of Administrative Hearings »



If you have questions about the rulemaking process or the proposed rules and districts, contact Dan Petrik, Land Use Specialist, (651)259-5697 or Daniel.petrik@state.mn.us.