SB628 (2020) Detail

Relative to the authority of the department of environmental services for emergency action at hazardous dams.


SB 628-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-3010

08/04

 

SENATE BILL 628-FN

 

AN ACT relative to the authority of the department of environmental services for emergency action at hazardous dams.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. Rosenwald, Dist 13; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Starr, Dist 1; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Rep. Renzullo, Hills. 37; Rep. Barry, Hills. 21; Rep. Weyler, Rock. 13

 

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill allows the department of environmental services to take emergency actions to correct hazardous dams.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-3010

08/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to the authority of the department of environmental services for emergency action at hazardous dams.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Sections; Dams; Emergency Actions; Entry; Access.  Amend RSA 482 by inserting after section 12 the following new sections:

482:12-a  Emergency Actions.  If during any flood warning issued by the National Weather Service, the condition of any hazardous dam becomes so dangerous to the safety of life or property in the opinion of the department as not to permit sufficient time for issuance of an order in the manner provided by RSA 482:12, the department may immediately take such action as may be essential to provide for emergency protection to such life or property.  The owner or owners of such a dam shall be strictly liable for all costs incurred by the state in performing an emergency action under this section.  The attorney general may institute an action in superior court for the county in which the dam is located against the owner or owners of the dam for all costs incurred by the state.  Costs recovered under this section shall be deposited into the dam maintenance fund established pursuant to RSA 482:55.  This section shall not apply to any dams under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

482:12-b  Rights of Entry and Access.  During a flood warning issued by the National Weather Service, the department shall have the right to enter on any property, public or private, for the purpose of investigating the condition, construction, or operation of any hazardous dam or associated equipment, facility, or property to take emergency actions pursuant to RSA 482:12-a.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

20-3010

12/23/19

 

SB 628-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to the authority of the department of environmental services for emergency action at hazardous dams.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [    ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Dam Maintenance Fund

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

The Department of Environmental Services indicates this bill would allow the Dam Bureau to take emergency action at any hazardous dam, using its staff, to protect life and property, and be reimbursed by the dam owner for the cost of taking the emergency action.  The emergency action could only be taken only during flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service.  The action would only be taken in cases where conditions are dangerous to the safety of life or property and there is insufficient time for the dam owner perform the emergency action.  The Department reports there are approximately 170 municipally-owned hazardous dams and four county-owned hazardous dams.  The Department assumes county and local governments would take actions necessary and would not require the intervention by the Department of Environmental Services, Dam Bureau.  It is assumed there would be no fiscal impact on county and local government expenditures.  There are over 300 privately-owned hazardous dams in the state.  In rare cases, a private dam owner may not have the resources available to take necessary steps to protect life and property during a flood emergency.  In such cases, and only during official flood warnings, the Department would intervene using its resources and funding from the Dam Maintenance Account.  The Department would seek reimbursement from the dam owner for the expenses incurred.  Because reimbursement to the Dam Maintenance Fund is not a certainty, the impact on State revenues and expenditures cannot be determined.  The frequency that flood warnings would be issued and emergency actions would need to be taken under this bill is indeterminate, but is expected to be rare.  The Department indicates, in the past 20 years, there has been only one case where the Dam Bureau had to take emergency action at a privately-owned dam.

 

It is assumed any fiscal impact from this bill will not occur until FY 2021.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Environmental Services

 

Links

SB628 at GenCourtMobile
SB628 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 28, 2020 Senate Hearing
Feb. 6, 2020 Senate Floor Vote
Feb. 6, 2020 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB628 Revision: 7953 Date: Jan. 14, 2020, 12:39 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and Referred to Energy and Natural Resources; SJ 2
Jan. 28, 2020 Hearing: 01/28/2020, Room 103, SH, 09:30 am; SC 4
Feb. 6, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 02/06/2020; SC 5
Feb. 6, 2020 Special Order to the end of the regular calendar, Without Objection, MA; 02/06/2020; SJ 3
Feb. 6, 2020 Sen. Giuda Floor Amendment # 2020-0539s, AF, VV; 02/06/2020; SJ 3
Feb. 6, 2020 Ought to Pass: MA, VV; OT3rdg; 02/06/2020; SJ 3
Feb. 20, 2020 Introduced 02/20/2020 and referred to Resources, Recreation and Development HJ 5 P. 56
June 30, 2020 Vacated and Laid on Table MA VV 06/30/2020 HJ 10 P. 4
Died on Table