Title 10: Conservation and Development
Chapter 43: DAMS
10 V.S.A. § 1095. Unsafe dam; petition; hearing; emergency
§ 1095. Unsafe dam; petition; hearing; emergency
(a) On receipt of a petition signed by not less than ten persons in interest or the legislative body of a municipality, the agency having jurisdiction shall, or upon its own motion it may, institute investigations by an engineer as described in section 1087 of this title regarding the safety of any existing dam or portion of a dam, of any size. The agency may fix a time and place for hearing and shall give notice in the manner it directs to all parties interested. The engineer shall present his findings and recommendations at the hearing. After the hearing, if the agency finds that the dam or portion of the dam as maintained or operated is unsafe or is a menace to people or property above or below the dam, it shall issue an order directing reconstruction, repair, removal, breaching, draining or other action it considers necessary to make the dam safe.
(b) If, upon the expiration of such date as may be ordered, the owner of such dam has not complied with the order directing the reconstruction, repair, breaching, removal, draining or other action of such unsafe dam, the state agency having jurisdiction may petition the superior court in the county in which the dam is located to enforce its order or exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire such rights as may be necessary to effectuate a remedy as the public safety or public good may require. If the order has been appealed, the court may prohibit the exercise pending disposition of the appeal.
(c) If, upon completion of the investigation described in subsection (a), the state agency having jurisdiction considers the dam to present an imminent threat to human life or property it shall take whatever action it considers necessary to protect life and property and subsequently conduct the hearing described in subsection (a). (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 100, § 2; 1969, No. 281 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; 1981, No. 242 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)