Chief Sponsor: Scott D. Sandall

House Sponsor: Derrin R. Owens


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies the power of the state engineer to regulate the safety of dams.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     states that the state engineer has the authority to regulate the safety of dams for the
13     purpose of protecting public safety; and
14          ▸     makes technical changes.
15     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          None
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
21          73-5a-101, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1990, Chapter 319
22          73-5a-501, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 177
23          73-5a-503, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1990, Chapter 319

25     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26          Section 1. Section 73-5a-101 is amended to read:
27          73-5a-101. Power of state engineer to regulate dams.

28          (1) The state engineer has the authority to regulate the safety of dams for the purpose of
29     protecting public safety.
30          (2) To protect life and property, the state engineer may make rules controlling the
31     construction and operation of dams, including rules controlling:
32          (a) design;
33          (b) maintenance;
34          (c) repair;
35          (d) removal; and
36          (e) abandonment.
37          (3) The state engineer may by rule exempt from this chapter any dam that:
38          (a) impounds less than 20 acre-feet of water and does not constitute a threat to human
39     life if it fails; or
40          (b) does not constitute a threat to human life and would result in only minor damage to
41     property of the owner if it fails.
42          Section 2. Section 73-5a-501 is amended to read:
43          73-5a-501. State engineer to inspect dams.
44          (1) The state engineer shall inspect each dam that in the state engineer's opinion, if it
45     failed:
46          (a) poses a threat to human life; or
47          (b) could cause significant property damage [if the dam failed].
48          (2) An inspection required by Subsection (1) shall occur:
49          (a) at increments commensurate with the relative risk to life and property; and
50          (b) not less than once every five years.
51          (3) The state engineer may inspect a dam that is not exempt from regulation by this
52     chapter.
53          Section 3. Section 73-5a-503 is amended to read:
54          73-5a-503. Owners required to perform maintenance -- Orders to protect life and
55     property.
56          (1) Following an inspection, the state engineer shall specify what maintenance is
57     necessary to keep the dam and appurtenant structures in satisfactory condition, and the owner
58     of the dam shall be responsible for that maintenance.

59          (2) Depending upon the severity of problems [noted during an inspection] specified
60     under Subsection (1), the state engineer may issue orders for:
61          (a) engineering studies;
62          (b) repairs;
63          (c) storage limitations;
64          (d) removal of the dam;
65          (e) breaching of the dam; or
66          (f) any other remedy the state engineer determines is appropriate to protect life and
67     property.