SS/SCS/SB 1236 - The act modifies several definitions, including changing the definition of dam to include appurtenant works and dams twenty-five feet or more in height with a storage volume of at least fifty acre-feet of water. The act defines "high hazard" to mean that if the dam were to fail, a loss of human life is probable, and "significant hazard" to mean that if the dam were to fail, no loss of human life is expected but significant economic loss is probable. The act defines "operating permit" to mean a permit issued to an owner of a high or significant hazard dam for a period of up to five years. The act exempts any dam or reservoir that will be used for fireclay quarry reclamation from the provisions of the act.
The act modifies the membership of the dam and reservoir safety council to include one member who is an owner of a high or significant hazard dam or reservoir. The act requires the council to establish fees for permits required for renewal, design review, and inspection of high and significant hazard dams and review these fees once every three years. The act limits the fees established for design review of high and significant hazard dams to no more than one percent of the total estimated cost of the dam or reservoir.
The act creates an interim joint committee whose responsibility shall be to examine the fee structure imposed under the act and evaluate the costs of the dam safety program. The committee shall submit a report no later than January 1, 2008.
The act directs that all high and significant hazard dams be inspected periodically to determine if they constitute a threat to public safety. The act directs the chief engineer and the head of the dam and reservoir safety program at the department of natural resources, to make recommendations concerning construction permits for high and significant hazard dams and operating permits for these structures.
All owners of high or significant hazard dams shall first apply for a construction permit prior to beginning work on any such structure. Any such application shall include the signature of an experienced engineer registered in Missouri.
The act removes the language exempting dams constructed for soil and water conservation, irrigation, or wildlife conservation, from the provisions of the act.
The act maintains the exemption for agricultural dams and reservoirs from regulation by the council. New language allows any landowner who owns an agricultural dam or reservoir to be regulated by the council if they request such regulation in a certified letter mailed to the council. After such a request has been made and granted, any subsequent request to have an agricultural dam or reservoir removed from regulation may be only be made by the director of the Department of Natural Resources. Nothing in the act shall be construed to require any landowner who owns an agricultural dam or reservoir to choose regulation by the council as a condition of doing business.
The act allows the Department of Natural Resources to initiate an engineering study on any agricultural dam they believe satisfies the high hazard standard. Upon completion of such study, the department shall submit their findings to the appropriate soil and water district board for their agreement. If such board agrees with the department's findings, the dam in question shall be regulated under the provisions of the act, if the board does not agree, the act prohibits any new studies from being initiated within one year of the board's decision and the dam in question maintains the exemption. If the board does not render a decision within sixty days of the department's submission, the findings shall be considered agreed to and the dam in question shall be regulated under the provisions of the act.
All owners of high or significant hazard dams shall notify the council upon completion of any construction related to high or significant hazard dams and shall subsequently apply for an operating permit.
The act requires that every dam constructed after the effective date of this act that is not registered, shall do so within six months of the effective date and those owners of high and significant hazard dams shall apply for an operating permit no later than one year after the effective date of the act. Those owners licensed under the Federal Power Act shall apply for an operating permit no later than three months after the effective date of the act.
The act asserts that if downstream conditions change the hazard classification of any dam or reservoir, the owner shall notify the council of the change within three months of the event.
The act directs that if a high or significant hazard dam is found to present a threat to public safety, the permits shall be suspended until such time as the owner has completed all necessary alterations to ensure the protection of public safety.
The act allows the transfer of any operating permit to a successive owner of a dam or reservoir along with the notification of the current hazard classification of the dam. Failure to notify the council of the transfer shall result in the prior owner retaining responsibility for the dam and being subject to the provisions of the act.
Violations of the provisions of the act are punishable as a misdemeanor and subject to fines up to ten thousand dollars or jail time of no more than one year.