Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions

Department Powers And Duties

85-2-113. Department powers and duties. (1) The department may prescribe fees or service charges for any public service rendered by the department under this chapter, including fees for the filing of applications or for the issuance of permits and certificates, for rulemaking hearings under 85-2-319, for administrative hearings conducted under this chapter, for investigations concerning permit revocation, for field verification of issued and completed permits, and for all change approvals. There may not be fees for any action taken by the department at the request of the water judge or for the issuance of certificates of existing rights.

(2) The department may adopt rules necessary to implement and carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter. These rules may include but are not limited to rules to:

(a) govern the issuance and terms of interim permits authorizing an applicant for a regular permit under this chapter to begin appropriating water immediately, pending final approval or denial by the department of the application for a regular permit;

(b) require the owner or operator of appropriation facilities to install and maintain suitable controlling and measuring devices, except that the department may not require a meter on a water well outside of a controlled ground water area or proposed controlled ground water area unless the maximum appropriation of the well is in excess of the limitation contained in 85-2-306;

(c) require the owner or operator of appropriation facilities to report to the department the readings of measuring devices at reasonable intervals and to file reports on appropriations; and

(d) regulate the construction, use, and sealing of wells to prevent the waste, contamination, or pollution of ground water.

(3) The department shall adopt rules providing for and governing temporary emergency appropriations, including for emergency fire training and emergency fire-related operations, without prior application for a permit, necessary to protect lives or property.

(4) (a) The department shall adopt rules to require the owner or operator of an appropriation facility on a watercourse or portions of a watercourse identified as chronically dewatered by the department under 85-2-150 to acquire, install, and maintain a suitable controlling and measuring device no later than 2 years after designation of the watercourse or portions of the watercourse as chronically dewatered, except that when the department specifically finds that the installation of measuring devices along the entire watercourse or portions of the watercourse is not practicable within the 2-year deadline, it may establish a later deadline.

(b) For the purposes of subsection (4), an appropriation facility includes but is not limited to any method used to divert, impound, or withdraw water from a watercourse. Hydroelectric facilities that are using recognized methods of flow measurement, as determined by the department, are in compliance with subsection (4).

History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 452, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 238, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 485, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 89-869; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 292, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 31, Ch. 697, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 448, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 543, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 805, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 443, Ch. 418, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 161, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 264, L. 2017.