IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES — WATER RESOURCE BOARD
42-1718. Remedial means for protection of life and property. The director shall immediately employ any remedial means necessary to protect life and property if either:
(a) The condition of any dam, reservoir or mine tailings impoundment structure is so dangerous to the safety of life or property as not to permit time for the issuance and enforcement of an order relative to maintenance or operation.
(b) Passing or imminent floods threaten the safety of any dam, reservoir or mine tailings impoundment structure.
In applying the remedial means provided for in this act, the department may in emergency do any of the following:
(a) Lower the water level by releasing water from the reservoir or lower mine tailings slurry level by releasing slurry from the mine tailings impoundment structure.
(b) Completely empty the reservoir.
(c) Take such other steps as may be essential to safeguard life and property.
The director shall continue in full charge and control of such dam or reservoir, or both, or mine tailings impoundment structure, or all, and its appurtenances, until they are rendered safe or the emergency occasioning the action has ceased.
If the cost of the emergency remedial action by the director for the protection of life and property exceeds the amount of money appropriated from the general fund specifically for that purpose, the additional costs may be defrayed by the issuance of deficiency warrants as may be authorized by the board of examiners. When so authorized, the state controller shall draw deficiency warrants against the general fund.
The cost and expenses of the remedial means provided in this act, including cost of any work done to render a dam, reservoir or mine tailings impoundment structure or its appurtenances safe, shall be recoverable by the state from the owner. If not paid within sixty (60) days of invoice, action may be brought by the director in the district court of the district wherein the dam, reservoir or mine tailings impoundment structure or any part thereof is situated. The funds recovered shall be returned to the general fund to offset the amount of the deficiency warrant.
No action shall be brought by the state against the owner for pollution which may occur in the event that the director orders emergency dumping or bypassing.
[42-1718, added 1969, ch. 280, sec. 9, p. 833; am. 1974, ch. 20, sec. 19, p. 533; am. 1978, ch. 309, sec. 9, p. 793; am. 1995, ch. 283, sec. 1, p. 944; am. 2003, ch. 32, sec. 23, p. 130.]