2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 5 - RIVERS AND RIVER BASINS
PART 3 - DAM SAFETY
§ 12-5-375 - Inventory and classification of dams; investigations; technical assistance to local government; artificial barriers; notice requirements; provision of information regarding dams to clerks of superior courts
. Inventory and classification of dams; investigations; technical assistance to local government; artificial barriers; notice requirements; provision of information regarding dams to clerks of superior courts
(a) It shall be the duty of the director to inventory the dams in this state and to classify each dam into one of the following categories:
(1) Category I -- Dams where improper operation or dam failure would result in probable loss of human life. Situations constituting "probable loss of human life" are those situations involving frequently occupied structures or facilities, including, but not limited to, residences, commercial and manufacturing facilities, schools, and churches.
(2) Category II -- Dams where improper operation or dam failure would not be expected to result in probable loss of human life.
(b) The first inventory shall be completed by July 1, 1983. The director shall reinventory the dams in this state at least once every five years after the completion of the first inventory. The director is authorized to contract with other state or federal agencies or private entities to accomplish the purposes of this Code section.
(c) The director is authorized to use information furnished to the director by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to accomplish the purposes of this Code section, including, but not limited to, the classification of dams as set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section.
(d) The director shall have the right to direct and conduct investigations as the director may reasonably deem necessary to carry out the director's duties as prescribed in this Code section. For this purpose, the employees of the division or any authorized representatives shall have the right to enter at reasonable times on any property, public or private, for the purpose of inventorying, classifying, and investigating any dam and to require written reports from the owner or operator of any dam for the purpose of accomplishing its duties under this Code section. It is specifically provided, however, that if the owner of the dam is a resident of the county wherein the dam is located, the director shall notify the owner before the division employees or representatives shall enter the property of the dam for the purposes of this Code section.
(e) Upon request of the governing authority of a local unit of government, the director is authorized in the director's discretion to provide technical assistance to such local unit of government relative to those dams within its jurisdiction for which a permit is not required by this part. Such assistance may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, the inventorying of dams of any size or holding capacity for which a permit is not required by this part, visual inspections, written reports on any structural inadequacies discovered during such inspections, written descriptions of the potential dam failure flood plain, technical advice on procedures to correct such structural inadequacies, and assistance in the development of model dam safety ordinances.
(f) Any person who desires to construct an artificial barrier for the purpose of impounding or diverting water may request of the director, and the director is authorized to furnish such person with, a determination as to whether such artificial barrier, if constructed, would be a category I or category II dam for the purposes of this part.
(g) Before a permit to construct a structure or facility is issued by the governing authority of a local unit of government which would result in changing a category II dam to a category I dam, the local unit of government shall notify the owner of said dam by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery of the proposed permit. The owner of the dam may within ten days of the notice request the director to inspect said dam and determine whether or not said dam is in compliance. If the director determines the dam is not in compliance with category I, both the owner and the local unit of government shall be notified in writing.
(h) Not later than December 31, 2005, and annually thereafter, the director shall provide the clerk of the superior court of each county with information relating to each category I and category II dam in the county. Such information shall include, without limitation, the exact location of the dam and the name and address of the owner of the dam. The clerk shall maintain the information in an easily accessible location near the county's land records for information purposes only.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer