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More businesses now fall under AIS training requirement

Businesses that decontaminate, rent or lease boats or other water-related equipment will now be required to attend aquatic invasive species (AIS) training and acquire a permit under a state law change that took effect July 1, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Before this change, the law applied only to businesses that install or remove equipment from state waters,” said April Rust, DNR AIS training coordinator.

Employees of lake service provider businesses – which now include boat rental businesses – also need to complete a short online training course before providing services.

Another revision in the law removes the online AIS training requirement for employees of businesses who work with boats, equipment or structures that remain on their property in the same water body. This legislative change was made to help reduce the staff training burden on lake service provider businesses that are at low risk for transporting AIS on their own site.

A final summer training AIS session for lake service providers is scheduled for Aug. 1 in St. Paul. Due to the expanded definition of service provider businesses, additional classes are planned for October.

After completing a free, three-hour AIS training, lake service providers must pass an exam, apply for a permit online, and pay a $50 application fee before a permit is issued. Among other things, the training covers how to integrate AIS prevention strategies into business practices. The permit is valid for three years. Lake service providers must have the permits while providing services.

Since January 2012, nearly 1,000 lake service businesses have attended AIS training and acquired a permit. They are included on the DNR’s statewide list of permitted service providers. To register for training, find out if a business needs a permit, or for more information, visit the DNR website at