Senate Bill No. 342
Introduced By brooke, beck, smith, mood
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act revising the basin closure, water leasing, and temporary change statutes as they apply to
the Upper Clark Fork River basin; altering the composition of the Upper Clark Fork basin steering committee; amending
85-2-336 85-2-337 and 85-2-338, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 85-2-336, MCA, is amended to read: "85-2-336. Basin closure -- exception exceptions. (1) As provided in 85-2-319 and subject to the provisions of
subsection (2) of this section, the department may not process or grant an application for a permit to appropriate water
within the Upper Clark Fork River basin. (2) The provisions of subsection (1) do not apply to: (a) an application for a permit to appropriate ground water; (b) an application filed prior to January 1, 2000, for a permit to appropriate water to conduct response actions or remedial
actions pursuant to the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as
amended, or Title 75, chapter 10, part 7, at sites designated as of January 1, 1994. The total flow rates for all permits issued
under this subsection (2)(b) may not exceed 10 cubic feet per second. A permit issued to conduct response actions or
remedial actions may not be used for dilution and must be limited to a term not to exceed the necessary time to complete
the response or remedial action, and the permit may not be transferred to any person for any purpose other than the
designated response or remedial action; (c) an application for a permit to appropriate water for stock use; (d) an application to store water; or (e) an application for power generation at existing hydroelectric dams. The department may not approve a permit for power
generation if approval results in additional consumption of water. (f) an application for a permit that contains an augmentation plan for providing sufficient augmentation water in amount,
time, and location to replace depletions to senior water rights. (3) Applications for water reservations in the Upper Clark Fork River basin filed pursuant to 85-2-316 and pending as of
May 1, 1991, have a priority date of May 1, 1991. The filing of a reservation application does not provide standing to
object under 85-2-402. (4) The department may not process or approve applications for reservations of water in the Upper Clark Fork River basin
filed pursuant to 85-2-316."
SECTION 1. SECTION 85-2-337, MCA, IS AMENDED TO READ:
"85-2-337. Ground water permit applications -- report required. (1) During the period of basin closure provided in
85-2-336(1), an applicant for a ground water permit in the Upper Clark Fork River basin shall submit a report prepared by a
professional engineer or hydrologist
verifying that addressing the hydrologic connection between the source of the ground
water is not a part of or substantially or directly connected to and surface water. If the applicant fails to submit the report
required in this section, the application is considered defective and must be processed pursuant to 85-2-302.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), the department may not issue a permit to appropriate ground water in the Upper
Clark Fork River basin unless the applicant proves by a preponderance of evidence,
In in addition to the criteria of 85-2-311, the department shall find, based on substantial credible evidence, that the source of the ground water is not a part of or
substantially or directly connected to surface water.
(3) The department may issue a permit to appropriate ground water if the application includes an augmentation plan and if the applicant proves by a preponderance of evidence, in addition to the criteria of 85-2-311, that the augmentation plan provides sufficient augmentation water in amount, time, and location to replace depletions to senior water rights."
Section 2. Section 85-2-338, MCA, is amended to read:
"85-2-338. Upper Clark Fork River basin steering committee -- membership and duties -- comprehensive management plan. (1) There is an Upper Clark Fork River basin steering committee. The steering committee has 22 members, who must be appointed as follows:
(a) Each of the six conservation districts in the basin may appoint a member.
(b) Each of the six county commissions in the basin may appoint a member.
(c) The department director shall appoint the
members of the committee, selecting them remaining ten 10 committee
members AND ANY ADDITIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOT APPOINTED UNDER SUBSECTIONS (1)(A)
AND (1)(B) and shall ensure that committee membership includes a balance of affected basin interests and is in
conformance with subsection (2).
(2) Steering committee members must be selected on the basis of their knowledge of water use, water management, fish, wildlife, recreation, water quality, and water conservation. Representation on the committee must include but is not limited to representatives from affected:
agricultural organizations agriculture;
(b) conservation districts;
(c) departments of state government;
(d) environmental organizations;
(f) local governments;
(g) reservation applicants;
(h) utilities; and
user organizations users not otherwise represented.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4), steering committee members shall serve 4-year terms and may serve more than one term.
(4) Initial term lengths must be staggered in conformance with the following:
(a) conservation district appointees shall initially serve for 4 years;
(b) county commissioner appointees shall initially serve for 2 years; and
(c) as determined by the department, half of the department appointees shall initially serve for 2 years and the remainder shall initially serve for 4 years.
(2)(5) The steering committee, consistent with the Upper Clark Fork River basin comprehensive management plan, shall:
(a) review the Upper Clark Fork River basin closure and exceptions as provided in 85-2-336 no less than every 5 years after April 14, 1995, and make recommendations to the legislature regarding necessary changes;
(b) make recommendations to the 1997 legislature concerning representation, terms, and the method of appointing
members to the steering committee; (c)(b) prepare and submit a report evaluating the Upper Clark Fork River basin instream flow pilot program as provided in
85-2-439; (d)(c) prepare and submit a report concerning the relationship between surface water and ground water and the cumulative
impacts of ground water withdrawals in each subbasin; (e)(d) provide a forum for all interests to communicate about water issues; (f)(e) provide education about water law and water management issues; (g)(f) identify short-term and long-term water management issues and problems and identify alternatives for resolving
them; (h)(g) identify the potential beneficiaries of and a funding mechanism for new and expanded water storage sites; (i)(h) assist in facilitating the resolution of water-related disputes; (j)(i) provide coordination with other basin management and planning efforts; (k)(j) advise government agencies about water management and permitting activities; (l)(k) consult with local governments within the Upper Clark Fork River basin; and (m)(l) report periodically to the legislature."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Upper Clark Fork River basin change and lease validity -- limitations. All temporary changes and leases authorized under 85-2-439 that are entered into prior to June 30, 2005, remain valid until the expiration date of the temporary change and lease. A temporary change or lease authorized under 85-2-439 may not be renewed or otherwise extended after June 30, 2005.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Codification instruction. [Section 3] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 85, chapter 2, part 4, and the provisions of Title 85, chapter 2, part 4, apply to [section 3].
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.