HEALTH AND SAFETY
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY — HEALTH
39-102. State policy on environmental protection. (1) It is hereby recognized by the legislature that the protection of the environment and the promotion of personal health are vital concerns and are therefore of great importance to the future welfare of this state. It is therefore declared to be the policy of the state to provide for the protection of the environment and the promotion of personal health and to thereby protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of this state.
(2) The goal of the legislature in enacting the ground water quality protection act of 1989 shall be to maintain the existing high quality of the state’s ground water and to satisfy existing and projected future beneficial uses including drinking water, agricultural, industrial and aquacultural water supplies. All ground water shall be protected as a valuable public resource against unreasonable contamination or deterioration. The quality of degraded ground water shall be restored where feasible and appropriate to support identified beneficial uses.
(3) In enacting this law, the legislature intends to prevent contamination of ground water from point and nonpoint sources of contamination to the maximum extent practical. In attaining the goals enumerated in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, the legislature wishes to enumerate the following ground water quality protection goals:
(a) It is the policy of the state to prevent contamination of ground water from any source to the maximum extent practical.
(b) The discovery of any contamination that poses a threat to existing or projected future beneficial uses of ground water shall require appropriate actions to prevent further contamination. These actions may consist of investigation and evaluation or enforcement actions if necessary to stop further contamination or clean up existing contamination as required under the environmental protection and health act.
(c) All persons in the state should conduct their activities so as to prevent the nonregulated release of contaminants into ground water.
(d) Education of the citizens of the state is necessary to preserve and restore ground water quality.
(4) It is the policy of the state to protect ground water and to allow for the extraction of minerals above and within ground water. A mine operator shall protect current and projected future beneficial uses of ground water at a point of compliance designated pursuant to rules of the department. Degradation of ground water is allowed at a point of compliance if the mine operator implements the level of protection during mining activities appropriate for the aquifer category.
[39-102, added 1972, ch. 347, sec. 2, p. 1017; am. 1989, ch. 421, sec. 1, p. 1028; am. 2015, ch. 223, sec. 1, p. 686.]