Class on invasive species mandatory for more lakeside businesses

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More Minnesota businesses that are linked to the state's lakes, streams and waterways will be required to take classes from the Department of Natural Resources that focuses on aquatic invasive species, according to MPR News.

The 17 training sessions that are scheduled around the state will begin within the next week.

The St. Cloud Times reports that a change in state law that took effect in July requires that businesses that rent, lease or decontaminate boats and related equipment to take the training and get a permit. The law previously applied only to businesses such as marinas and dock haulers who installed or removed equipment. Now it applies to businesses such as resorts and outfitters.

"The newer group that we're trying to get the word to especially because they might not be aware that they are now part of this definition are any businesses that are renting or leasing water related equipment," DNR aquatic invasive species training coordinator April Rust told MPR.

Training focuses on the threat of zebra mussels and other invasive species, and how to keep them from spreading. Businesses operating without a permit face fines up to $175 for each violation. The training is required every three years. The application fee is $50.

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