Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Construction, Inspection, and Repair of Dams

Requested Inspections -- Costs -- Limitations Against Unsafe Structures

85-15-214. Requested inspections -- costs -- limitations against unsafe structures. (1) At its discretion or upon receipt of an affidavit complaining that the person or property of the complainant is endangered by the construction, maintenance, or operation of any dam or reservoir, the department may order an inspection of the dam or reservoir unless the data, records, and inspection reports on file are adequate to determine that the complaint is not meritorious.

(2) If the complainant continues to request an inspection even though the department has determined under subsection (1) that the complaint is not meritorious, the department may make the inspection upon requiring the complainant to deposit with the department money sufficient to cover the costs of the inspection.

(3) If the dam or reservoir is found to be defective, the department may require the person who owns the dam or reservoir to pay all or part of the expenses of inspection. If the department requires such payment, it shall present a bill of costs to the owner. The costs shall constitute a lien upon the dam, reservoir, and other property of the owner and may be collected by appropriate action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(4) If the dam or reservoir is not found to be defective after an inspection made under subsection (2), any money deposited by the complainant therefor must be paid to the general fund.

(5) If the inspection discloses defects in the dam or reservoir that, in the judgment of the department, constitute an immediate hazard to life or property, the department may order:

(a) the draining of the dam or reservoir;

(b) the limitation or cessation of use of the dam or reservoir or any defective appurtenant works; or

(c) any other steps to eliminate the hazard until the dam, reservoir, or appurtenant works have been made safe and approved by the department.

History: En. Sec. 11, Ch. 501, L. 1985.