2017 Nebraska Revised Statutes
Chapter 46 - IRRIGATION AND REGULATION OF WATER
46-719 Interrelated Water Review Board; created; members; powers and duties.

Universal Citation: NE Code § 46-719 (2017)

46-719. Interrelated Water Review Board; created; members; powers and duties.

(1)(a) The Interrelated Water Review Board is created for the purposes stated in subsections (2) through (5) of this section. The board shall consist of five members. The board, when appointed and convened, shall continue in existence only until it has resolved a dispute referred to it pursuant to such subsections. The Governor shall appoint and convene the board within forty-five days of being notified of the need to resolve a dispute. The board shall be chaired by the Governor or his or her designee, which designee shall be knowledgeable concerning surface water and ground water issues. The Governor shall appoint one additional member of his or her choosing and shall appoint the other three members of the board from a list of no fewer than six nominees provided by the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission within twenty days after request by the Governor for a list of nominees.

(b) Not more than two members of the board shall reside in the geographic area involved in the dispute. A person is not eligible for membership on the board if the decisions to be made by the board would or could cause financial benefit or detriment to the person, a member of his or her immediate family, or a business with which the person is associated, unless such benefit or detriment is indistinguishable from the effects of such action on the public generally or a broad segment of the public. The board shall be subject to the Open Meetings Act.

(c) For purposes of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, action may be taken by a vote of three of the board's five members. For purposes of subsections (4) and (5) of this section, action may be taken only by a vote of at least four of the board's five members.

(2)(a) If the Department of Natural Resources and the affected natural resources districts cannot resolve disputes over the content of a basin-wide plan or an integrated management plan by utilizing the process described in sections 46-715 to 46-718, the Governor shall be notified and the dispute submitted to the Interrelated Water Review Board. When the board has been appointed and convened to resolve disputes over a basin-wide plan, the department and each affected district shall present their proposed basin-wide plans to the board. When the board has been convened to resolve disputes over an integrated management plan, the department and each affected natural resources district shall present their (i) proposed goals and objectives for the integrated management plan, (ii) proposed geographic area to be subject to controls, and (iii) proposed surface water and ground water controls and any proposed incentive program for adoption and implementation in the river basin, subbasin, or reach involved. The department and each affected natural resources district shall also be given adequate opportunity to comment on the proposals made by the other parties to the dispute.

(b) When the Interrelated Water Review Board concludes that the issues in dispute have been fully presented and commented upon by the parties to the dispute, which conclusion shall be made not more than forty-five days after the board is convened, the board shall select the proposals or portions of proposals that the board will consider for adoption and shall schedule one or more public hearings to take testimony on the selected proposals. The hearings shall be held within forty-five days after the board's selection of proposals to consider for adoption and shall be within or in reasonable proximity to the area that would be affected by implementation of any of the proposals to be considered at the hearings. Notice of the hearings shall be published as provided in section 46-743. The cost of publishing the notice shall be shared by the department and the affected natural resources districts. All interested persons may appear at the hearings and present testimony or provide other evidence relevant to the issues being considered.

(c) Within forty-five days after the final hearing pursuant to subdivision (b) of this subsection, the Interrelated Water Review Board shall by order, as applicable, adopt a basin-wide plan or an integrated management plan for the affected river basin, subbasin, or reach and, in the case of an integrated management plan, shall designate a ground water management area for integrated management or an integrated management subarea for such river basin, subbasin, or reach. An integrated management plan shall be consistent with subsection (2) of section 46-715, and the surface water and ground water controls and any applicable incentive programs adopted as part of that plan shall be consistent with subsection (4) of section 46-715. The controls adopted by the board shall not be substantially different from those described in the notice of hearing. The area designated as a ground water management area or an integrated management subarea shall not include any area that was not identified in the notice of the hearing as within the area proposed to be subject to the controls in the plan.

(d) The order adopted under this subsection shall be published in the manner prescribed in section 46-744.

(e) Surface water controls adopted by the Interrelated Water Review Board shall be implemented and enforced by the department. Ground water controls adopted by the Interrelated Water Review Board shall be implemented and enforced by the affected natural resources districts.

(3) Whether an integrated management plan is adopted pursuant to section 46-718 or by the Interrelated Water Review Board pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, the department or a natural resources district responsible in part for implementation and enforcement of an integrated management plan may propose modification of the goals or objectives of that plan, of the area subject to the plan, or of the surface water controls, ground water controls, or incentive programs adopted to implement the plan. The department and the affected natural resources districts shall utilize the procedures in sections 46-715 to 46-718 in an attempt to reach agreement on and to adopt and implement proposed modifications. If agreement on such modifications cannot be achieved utilizing those procedures, either the department or an affected natural resources district may notify the Governor of the dispute. The Interrelated Water Review Board shall be appointed and convened in accordance with subsection (1) of this section to resolve the dispute and, if applicable, to adopt any modifications utilizing the procedures in subsection (2) of this section.

(4) The department and the affected natural resources districts may also raise objections concerning the implementation or enforcement of previously adopted surface water or ground water controls. The department and the affected natural resources districts shall utilize the procedures in sections 46-715 to 46-718 in an attempt to reach agreement on such implementation or enforcement issues. If agreement on such issues cannot be achieved utilizing such procedures, either the department or an affected natural resources district may notify the Governor of the dispute. The Interrelated Water Review Board shall be appointed and convened in accordance with subsection (1) of this section. After permitting each party to fully express its reasons for its position on the disputed issues, the board may either take no action or conclude (a) that one or more parties needs to modify its approach to implementation or enforcement and direct that such modifications take place or (b) that one or more parties either has not made a good faith effort to implement or enforce the portion of the plan or controls for which it is responsible or is unable to fully implement and enforce such portion and that such party's jurisdiction with respect to implementation and enforcement of the plan and controls shall be terminated and reassigned to one or more of the other parties responsible for implementation and enforcement. A decision by the Interrelated Water Review Board to terminate and reassign jurisdiction of any portion of the plan or controls shall take effect immediately upon that decision. Notice of such reassignment shall be published at least once in one or more newspapers as necessary to provide general circulation in the area affected by such reassignment.

(5) The board may be reconvened in accordance with subsection (1) of this section at a later date upon request to the Governor by the party for which jurisdiction for implementation and enforcement was terminated if such party desires to have its jurisdiction reinstated, but no such request shall be honored until at least one year after the termination and not more than once per year thereafter. The board may reinstate jurisdiction to that party only upon a clear showing by such party that it is willing and able to fully implement and enforce the plan and any applicable controls. Notice that a party's jurisdiction has been reinstated shall be provided in the same manner that notice of the earlier termination was given.

Source

  • Laws 2004, LB 962, § 59;
  • Laws 2006, LB 1226, § 26;
  • Laws 2009, LB54, § 4.

Cross References

  • Open Meetings Act, see section 84-1407.

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