Step 3: notification of noncompliance

 If compliance has not been attained, the SWCD issues a Notification of Noncompliance (NON) to the enforcement entity (county/watershed district/BWSR)

Copy BWSR on all NONs sent to county or watershed district

Landowner installs buffer or implements an approved alternative practice: Step 6

Enforcement entity receives NON from SWCD: Step 4


A Notification of Noncompliance (NON) is the formal notification sent by the SWCD to the enforcement entity to trigger the beginning of the enforcement process. Prior to sending a NON, SWCDs will have reviewed parcels for compliance. Typically, multiple attempts to contact the noncompliant landowner to offer technical assistance will have been completed prior to a NON being sent.

If the SWCD is unable to collect adequate evidence to validate compliance via off-site review and the landowner is unresponsive to outreach attempts by the SWCD, a NON should be sent. 

When sending a NON, the SWCD must provide a copy to their BWSR Buffer Specialist

At any time during the buffer compliance process, the landowner can provide evidence of compliance 

What statute says:

§103F.48 Subd. 7.Corrective actions.(a) If the soil and water conservation district determines a landowner is not in compliance with this section, the district must notify the county or watershed district with jurisdiction over the noncompliant site and the board.

Notifications of Noncompliance (NON) could include:

  • Landowner name (required)
  • Parcel Identification Number (PIN) (required)
  • Buffer width requirement (required)
  • CC BWSR Buffer Specialist (required)
  • Site description (township, section range)
  • Waterbody name or ID on the DNR Buffer Map
  • Map of site location
  • Site photos
  • Findings of fact/notes on how they determined a parcel to be non-compliant
  • Previous outreach attempts
  • Notes with correspondence or attempted correspondence with landowner and/or tenant  
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • History of correspondence 
  • Other items based on local discretion

Examples of NON strategies that have worked:

* LGUs have had success using multiple different strategies to encourage voluntary compliance even at this point in the process

SWCD notifies enforcement entity that a parcel is out of compliance

Landowners still have time to come into compliance with the law once a NON has been sent. Voluntary compliance is encouraged at any time and once the enforcement entity sends a Corrective Action Notice (CAN), a landowner has an 11 months to come into compliance without monetary fines if the enforcement entity elected to use the administrative penalty order (APO).

SWCD sends NON to enforcement entity and landowner 

In some instances, SWCDs have had success gaining voluntary compliance by sending a copy of the NON to the landowner at the same time it gets sent to the enforcement entity. This encouraged the landowner to work with the SWCD prior to the enforcement process beginning and a CAN being issued.  

Enforcement entity sends notification to landowner after receiving the NON

Once the enforcement entity receives the NON, another successful strategy prior to sending the CAN has been to send out letters and/or make phone calls to landowners to let them know they received a NON, what it may take to come into compliance and to discuss what the enforcement process will look like moving forward. This process has also encouraged landowners to come into compliance with the law voluntarily.

Panorama of Buffer Sites