This bill would require the owner of a dam in Vermont to register the dam with the Department of Environmental Conservation. Beginning one year from the date of dam registration, the person in whose name the dam is registered must pay an annual dam safety program operation fee. If no person owns legal title to a dam, the person owning the property on which the dam is located must submit the registration and operation fee. The dam registration fee will be $ 200. The annual operation fee will be based on the hazard classification of the dam – undetermined or low hazard dams: $200; significant hazard dams: $350; high hazard dams: $1,000. The Department will deposit the fees collected into the Environmental Permit Fund and use the fees to implement the Dam Safety Program. The Department may designate a dam as abandoned if the Department: (1) has identified an owner of the dam, but the owner fails to comply with the dam registration or other requirements; or (2) the Department cannot identify an owner of the dam; and (3) fulfills specific public notice requirements regarding the pending determination of abandonment of the dam. When the Department takes action to inspect an abandoned dam or when the Department takes any action to alleviate or address a risk to life or property from an abandoned dam, the Department may file a lien in favor of the State on the property on which the dam is located and on the buildings and structures located on that property in order to secure repayment to the State of the costs of the inspection or other action.

This bill also requires the Agency of Natural Resources to adopt by rule by July 1, 2017, standards for the design, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, alteration, operation, monitoring, maintenance, modification, repair, breach, or removal of a dam in the State.

By January 1, 2017, the Department must submit a report to the Legislature evaluating the dam registration program.

Status: Read for the first time on 1/21/15 and referred to the Committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources.

Click here to read the current version of this bill.

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