SB 782
Creates provisions relating to water exportation outside the state
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/17/2024 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection
Journal Page:
SCS SB 782
Effective Date:
August 28, 2024

Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/SB 782 - Under the act, it shall be unlawful for any person to withdraw water from any water source, as defined in the act, for export outside the state of Missouri unless such person holds a water exportation permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources. A water exportation permit shall not be required to withdraw water from any water source for export outside the state by a public water system, as described in the act.

During the review process of any water exportation permit, the Director of the Department shall determine from water exportation permit applications and any supporting materials whether certain conditions have been met. Such conditions are described in the act.

Within 180 days after the Department's receipt of a complete application, the Director shall issue a proposed decision to either approve or deny the application and shall hold a 30 day public comment period on the proposed approval or denial as described in the act. The Department's decision for approval shall be sent to the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission for review. The Commission shall review the Department's findings at the next scheduled meeting. If the Commission agrees with the Department's decision for the issuance of a permit, the Department shall issue the permit. If the Commission disagrees with the Department's decision for the issuance of the permit, the permit shall not be issued. Absent an appeal, the Director's decision subject to approval or disapproval by the Commission is final.

Applications for renewal of a water export permit shall be filed at least 180 days prior to the expiration date of an existing permit and the Director shall determine whether the conditions under the act are satisfied for the renewal. The Director’s decision to renew the permit shall be subject to the Commission’s review and approval or denial pursuant to the act.

Before granting water supply for access and use outside the state, the Director shall consider existing and proposed in-state uses in order to guarantee that in-state users will have access to and use of all of water required to adequately supply for beneficial uses. The Director shall review the needs for water supply export every 3 years to determine whether the water supply continues to be adequate for municipal, agricultural, industrial, domestic, and other beneficial uses within the state.

Provisions regarding the issuance of a water export permit are subject to the most recent reports, data, and information in consideration of each permit application, whether the application is for an initial permit or renewal of an active or expired permit. The review conducted under the act shall not be used to reduce the quantity of water authorized to be transferred pursuant to the active life of permits issued prior to such review.

On the filing of an application for a water exportation permit, the applicant shall designate an agent in the state for service of process and to receive other notices.

In the event of a conflict between the conditions of use required in Missouri and condition required in another state, the water permit holder shall consent to conditions imposed by the Director.

A major water user may request the Director to reevaluate any existing permit using the criteria described in the act. The Director shall create a mechanism for a major water user to submit a request for reevaluation and shall send his finding to the major water user within 60 days of the reevaluation request. The Director shall impose additional conditions on the water exportation permit as described in the act.

The time-limited, active life of the permit, not to exceed 3 years, requires the Director to determine whether there has been a substantial or material change relating to any matters set forth under the act in response to renewal applications requesting a permit for authorization of the continued export of water outside the state. The Director may impose additional conditions to address any such substantial or material change or may deny the permit renewal applications as necessary to comply with provisions under the act. The Director's decision to renew the permit shall be subject to the requirements under the act.

At the request of the Department, the Attorney General may bring a civil action for injunctive relief in any county where defendant’s principal place of business is located or where the violation occurred under the act.

Whenever a person applies for a water exportation permit, the Department shall send a written notice to the County Commissioner of the county where the water for exportation is located.

The act is similar to SB 599 (2023) and HCS/HB 1129 (2023).