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Bill Detail: SB24-127

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Title Regulate Dredged & Fill Material State Waters
Status Senate Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources Refer Amended to Finance (04/11/2024)
Bill Subjects
  • Water
House Sponsors S. Bird (D)
Senate Sponsors B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House Committee
Senate Committee Agriculture and Natural Resources
Date Introduced 02/06/2024
Summary

The bill creates the stream and wetlands protection commission
(commission) in the department of natural resources (department) and
requires the commission to develop, adopt, and maintain a dredge-and-fill
permit program (permit program) for:
  • Regulating the discharge of dredged or fill material into
certain state waters; and
  • Providing protections for state waters, which protections
are no more restrictive than the protections provided under
the federal Clean Water Act as it existed on May 24,
2023.
The bill creates the stream and wetlands protection division
(division) in the department to administer and enforce the permit
program.
The commission is required to promulgate rules as expeditiously
as is prudent and feasible concerning the issuance of permits under the
permit program. Until the division implements such rules, the bill
prohibits the water quality control division in the department of public
health and environment from taking any enforcement action against an
activity that includes the discharge of dredged or fill material into state
waters if the activity causing the discharge is conducted in a manner that
provides for protection of state waters consistent with the protections that
would have occurred through compliance with federal law prior to May
25, 2023.
The bill establishes enforcement mechanisms for the permit
program. A person who violates the terms of a permit, a rule, or a
cease-and-desist order or clean-up order is subject to a civil penalty of not
more than $10,000 per day per violation.
The bill directs the state treasurer to transfer $600,000 from the
severance tax operational fund to the capital construction fund on July 1,
2024, for the implementation of the bill.

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