Nebraska Revised Statute 46-720

Revised Statutes » Chapter 46 » 46-720
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46-720. Proceedings under prior law; transitional provisions.

(1) The Legislature finds that, prior to July 16, 2004, actions were taken by the Department of Natural Resources and by one or more natural resources districts pursuant to section 46-656.28, as such section existed immediately prior to such date, for the purpose of addressing circumstances that are, after such date, to be addressed in accordance with sections 46-713 to 46-719. It is the intent of the Legislature that actions taken pursuant to section 46-656.28, as such section existed immediately prior to July 16, 2004, should not be negated and that transition from the authorities and responsibilities granted by such section to those granted by sections 46-713 to 46-719 should occur in as efficient a manner as possible. Such transition shall be therefor governed by subsections (2) through (5) of this section, and all references in such subsections to section 46-656.28 shall be construed to mean section 46-656.28 as such section existed immediately prior to July 16, 2004.

(2) If, prior to July 16, 2004, (a) a natural resources district requested pursuant to subsection (1) of section 46-656.28 that affected appropriators, affected surface water project sponsors, and the department consult and that studies and a hearing be held but (b) the Director of Natural Resources has not made a preliminary determination relative to that request pursuant to subsection (2) of section 46-656.28, no further action on the district's request shall be required of the department. If under the same circumstances a temporary suspension in the drilling of certain water wells has been imposed by the district pursuant to subsection (16) of section 46-656.28 and remains in effect immediately prior to July 16, 2004, such temporary suspension shall remain in effect for thirty days after the department issues its first annual report under section 46-713, except that (i) such temporary suspension shall not apply to water wells for which a permit has been obtained pursuant to the Municipal and Rural Domestic Ground Water Transfers Permit Act and (ii) to the extent any such temporary suspension is in effect for all or part of a hydrologically connected area for a river basin, subbasin, or reach designated as overappropriated by the department, such temporary suspension shall remain in effect only until it is superseded by the stays imposed pursuant to subsections (8) and (9) of section 46-714. To the extent that any such temporary suspension applies to a geographic area preliminarily considered by the department to have ground water hydrologically connected to the surface water of a fully appropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach, such temporary suspension shall be superseded by the stays imposed pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) of section 46-714.

(3)(a) If prior to July 16, 2004, (i) the director has made a preliminary determination pursuant to subsection (2) of section 46-656.28 that there is reason to believe that the use of hydrologically connected ground water and surface water in a specific geographic area is contributing to or is in the reasonably foreseeable future likely to contribute to any conflict, dispute, or difficulty listed in such subsection, (ii) the director has not made a determination pursuant to subsection (4) of section 46-656.28 that a joint action plan should not be prepared, and (iii) preparation of a joint action plan pursuant to subsections (5) through (9) of such section has not been completed, the geographic area involved shall become subject to sections 46-713 to 46-719 on July 16, 2004, and the department need not evaluate such geographic area in its first annual report issued pursuant to section 46-713.

(b) For purposes of this subsection and section 46-714 and except as otherwise provided in this section, (i) July 16, 2004, shall result in the imposition in any geographic area subject to this subsection of the stays required by subsections (1) and (2) of section 46-714, (ii) such stays shall be imposed in the manner required by such section, and (iii) July 16, 2004, shall be treated as if it were the date of a departmental preliminary determination pursuant to section 46-713 that such area is a geographic area within which ground water and surface water of a fully appropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach are hydrologically connected. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subsection, if a temporary suspension in the drilling of certain new water wells has previously been imposed by the affected natural resources district, (A) the stays on construction of new water wells and on the increase in ground water irrigated acres shall be limited in geographic extent to only that part of the affected area within which the temporary suspension was in effect unless the director determines that inclusion of additional area is necessary because ground water and surface water are hydrologically connected in such additional area and (B) the stays on construction of certain new water wells shall not apply to a water well constructed in accordance with the terms of a water well construction permit approved by the district prior to July 16, 2004, unless such well was subject to the district's temporary suspension. If, prior to July 16, 2004, the director has held a hearing on a report issued pursuant to subsection (3) of section 46-656.28 but has not yet determined whether a joint action plan should be prepared, no departmental hearing shall be required pursuant to subsection (4) of section 46-714 before a final determination is made about whether the river basin, subbasin, or reach involved is fully appropriated. If, prior to July 16, 2004, the director has determined pursuant to subsection (4) of section 46-656.28 that a joint action plan should be prepared, such determination shall have the same effect as a final departmental determination pursuant to subsection (5) of section 46-714 that the affected river basin, subbasin, or reach is fully appropriated and no separate determination to that effect shall be required. If, after July 16, 2004, the department determines that all or part of the area subject to this subsection is in an overappropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach, that portion of the area shall thereafter be subject to the provisions of the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act applicable to an overappropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach and stays that have previously taken effect in accordance with this subsection shall continue in effect as stays for an overappropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach without additional action or publication of notice by the department. Any temporary suspension in the drilling of certain water wells that has been imposed in the geographic area involved by a natural resources district pursuant to subsection (16) of section 46-656.28 prior to July 16, 2004, shall remain in effect until superseded by the stays imposed pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) of section 46-714.

(4) If, prior to July 16, 2004, preparation of a joint action plan has been completed pursuant to subsections (5) through (9) of section 46-656.28 but the plan has not yet been adopted pursuant to subsection (11) of such section, the department need not evaluate the affected geographic area in its first annual report issued pursuant to section 46-713. The department and the affected natural resources district shall review the completed joint action plan for its compliance with sections 46-715 to 46-717. If the joint action plan is determined to be in compliance with sections 46-715 to 46-717 or if agreement is reached on the revisions necessary to bring it into such compliance, the department and the district shall adopt the plan and implement the controls as provided in section 46-718. If the joint action plan is determined not to be in compliance with sections 46-715 to 46-717 and agreement on the proposed plan or the proposed controls cannot be reached pursuant to section 46-718, section 46-719 shall apply. Except to the extent that any portion of the affected area is designated as all or part of an overappropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach, any temporary suspension in the drilling of certain water wells imposed in the affected geographic area by a natural resources district pursuant to subsection (16) of section 46-656.28 shall remain in effect until (a) the department and the affected district have jointly decided to implement the plan, with or without modifications, and controls have been adopted and taken effect or (b) the Interrelated Water Review Board, pursuant to section 46-719, has adopted an integrated management plan for the affected river basin, subbasin, or reach and the controls adopted by the board have taken effect. To the extent that any portion of the affected area is designated as all or part of an overappropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach, any temporary suspension in the drilling of water wells shall be superseded by the stays imposed pursuant to subsections (8) and (9) of section 46-714.

(5) If, before July 16, 2004, a joint action plan has been adopted and implemented pursuant to subsections (10) through (12) of section 46-656.28 and is in effect immediately prior to such date, the department need not evaluate the geographic area subject to the plan in the department's first annual report issued pursuant to section 46-713. For purposes of the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act, (a) the plan adopted shall be considered an integrated management plan adopted pursuant to section 46-718, (b) the management area designated shall be considered an integrated management area or subarea designated pursuant to section 46-718, and (c) the controls adopted shall be considered controls adopted pursuant to section 46-718 and shall remain in effect until amended or repealed pursuant to section 46-718 or 46-719.


Cross References

    Municipal and Rural Domestic Ground Water Transfers Permit Act, see section 46-650.