2005 Nevada Revised Statutes - Chapter 540A — Regional Planning and Management

CHAPTER 540A - REGIONAL PLANNING ANDMANAGEMENT

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 540A.010 Definitions.

NRS 540A.020 Applicabilityof chapter.

NRS 540A.030 Boundariesof region.

ADMINISTRATION

Board of County Commissioners

NRS 540A.040 Supermajority required for actions governed by this chapter.

NRS 540A.050 Grants;contracts; employees; disposition of property.

NRS 540A.060 Conservation;sewerage; public information; recommendations concerning management and use ofwater.

NRS 540A.070 Impositionand collection of fee for planning and administration of chapter andimplementation of certain plans.

 

Water Planning Commission

NRS 540A.080 Creation;voting membership; terms of members; vacancies.

NRS 540A.090 Nonvotingmembership.

NRS 540A.100 Qualificationsof members.

NRS 540A.110 Selectionof chairman.

NRS 540A.120 Meetings;quorum; compensation of members.

COMPREHENSIVE REGIONAL PLAN

NRS 540A.130 Developmentand revision; contents.

NRS 540A.140 Requiredelements.

NRS 540A.150 Consistencywith other plans and federal law.

NRS 540A.160 Considerationof information from other entities and persons; review of other plans;coordination.

NRS 540A.170 Publichearings; adoption of resolution for submission of plan or amendment.

NRS 540A.180 Submissionof plan or amendment to board; board required to hold public hearing; notice;copy of proposed plan or amendment to be available for public inspection.

NRS 540A.190 Changesand additions.

NRS 540A.200 Reviewby regional planning commission; effect of nonconformity with comprehensiveregional plan.

NRS 540A.210 Appealof determination by regional planning commission.

NRS 540A.220 Periodicreview.

NRS 540A.230 Constructionof certain facilities following approval of plan.

NRS 540A.240 Acquisitionand use of water rights and other sources of water in accordance with plan;imposition of charge by board.

REMEDIATION OF QUALITY OF WATER

NRS 540A.250 Creationof district for remediation; recovery of expenses.

NRS 540A.260 Preparationand approval of plan for remediation; duty of board to determine costs ofdeveloping and carrying out plan; liability of owner or lessee of property.

NRS 540A.262 Prerequisitesto determining, expanding or amending boundaries of district for remediation:Hearing; publication of notice of hearing; adoption of ordinance; certain bondsor financial obligations paid in full; territory not required to be contiguous.

NRS 540A.265 Determinationof annual fee for properties within district for remediation; collection andenforcement of fee; duty of persons who sell water to provide board with listof clients; power of board to impose ad valorem tax on property within districtin lieu of annual fee.

NRS 540A.267 Powerof board to issue bonds or otherwise become obligated to pay costs ofdeveloping and carrying out plan for remediation; bonds or other obligationssecured by certain fees or taxes.

NRS 540A.269 Applicabilityof chapters 332 and 338 of NRS to contract for plan for remediation;county ownership of property on which remediation equipment or improvements arelocated not required if certain conditions met.

NRS 540A.270 Reimbursementof expenses to identify, study and remedy condition if costs and expenses inconformity with plan; establishment of criteria for reimbursement;reimbursement subject to availability of proceeds from certain bonds, fees ortaxes.

NRS 540A.280 StateDepartment of Conservation and Natural Resources authorized to recover costs ofremediation from person who caused or contributed to condition requiringremediation; priority of distribution of money recovered from responsibleperson; use of money distributed to board.

NRS 540A.285 Determinationby board conclusive and incontestable in absence of fraud or gross abuse ofdiscretion; review of determination by district court.

SUPPLYING OF WATER

NRS 540A.290 Propertyor facility of county: Transfer to or operation or management by largestsupplier in region which is public utility.

NRS 540A.300 Agreementbetween board and largest supplier in region which is public utility;compliance with regulations of Public Utilities Commission of Nevada;withholding of certain information from board.

NRS 540A.310 Dutiesof largest supplier in region which is public utility.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 540A.010 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwiserequires:

1. Board means the board of county commissioners.

2. Commission means the water planning commissioncreated by NRS 540A.080.

3. Comprehensive plan or plan means the plandeveloped pursuant to NRS 540A.130.

4. Division means the Division of EnvironmentalProtection of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2648; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.020 Applicabilityof chapter. This chapter applies only to countieswhose population is 100,000 or more but less than 400,000.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2648; A 1997, 656, 1342)

NRS 540A.030 Boundariesof region.

1. In each county to which this chapter applies,except as otherwise provided in subsections 2 and 3, the region within whichwater is to be managed, and with respect to which plans for its use are to bemade, pursuant to this chapter is the entire county except:

(a) Any land within the region defined by NRS 277.200, the Tahoe Regional PlanningCompact; and

(b) Lands located within any Indian reservation orIndian colony which are held in trust by the United States.

2. The board may exclude from the region any landwhich it determines is unsuitable for inclusion because of its remoteness fromthe sources of supply managed pursuant to this chapter or because it lies withina separate hydrologic basin neither affecting nor affected by conditions withinthe remainder of the region.

3. The board may include within the region an areaotherwise excluded if it finds that the land requires alleviation of the effectof flooding or drainage of storm waters or another benefit from planning ormanagement performed in the region.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2649; A 1997, 1342)

ADMINISTRATION

Board of County Commissioners

NRS 540A.040 Supermajority required for actions governed by this chapter. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members electedto the board is required to take action with respect to any matter governed bythis chapter.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2649; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.050 Grants;contracts; employees; disposition of property. Theboard may for the purposes of this chapter:

1. Accept grants of money.

2. Enter into contracts, including interlocalagreements, consistent with its authority under this chapter.

3. Employ and fix the compensation of employees andprofessional advisers.

4. Acquire, hold, lease and dispose of real andpersonal property inside and outside the region, without limitation, byrequirements applicable to a board of county commissioners in its capacity asthe governing body of a county.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2649; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.060 Conservation;sewerage; public information; recommendations concerning management and use ofwater. In addition to adopting and revisingthe comprehensive plan, the board shall, upon the recommendation of thecommission:

1. Develop methods for conserving existing supplies ofwater which are consistent with statutorily required plans;

2. Develop methods of collecting and treating sewagein order to protect and conserve supplies of water;

3. Provide information to members of the publicregarding present and potential uses of water; and

4. Make recommendations concerning the management anduse of water within the region to:

(a) The governing body and the planning commission ofeach city in the region;

(b) The governing board for regional planning and theregional planning commission;

(c) The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and theState Engineer; and

(d) The United States of America.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2656; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.070 Impositionand collection of fee for planning and administration of chapter andimplementation of certain plans.

1. To fund the planning and administration required bythis chapter and the implementation of the plan developed pursuant to NRS 540A.130, the board may impose a feeat a rate of not to exceed 1.5 percent of the amount otherwise billed, to becollected by each supplier of water from its customers within the region. Thefee must be imposed by ordinance which may not be adopted as if an emergencyexisted.

2. A supplier or provider shall state separately onits billings to customers the amount charged because of any fee imposedpursuant to subsection 1.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2649; A 1997, 1335, 1342)

Water Planning Commission

NRS 540A.080 Creation;voting membership; terms of members; vacancies.

1. A water planning commission is hereby created ineach county. Each commission must consist of nine voting members who areresidents of Nevada appointed as follows:

(a) One member appointed by the governing body of thelargest city in the county;

(b) One member appointed by the governing body of thenext largest city in the county;

(c) One member appointed by the board;

(d) One member appointed by the board to representowners of domestic wells;

(e) One member appointed by the governing body of ageneral improvement district having the greatest number of customers for waterand sewerage in the region;

(f) One member appointed by the supplier of waterhaving the greatest number of customers for water in the region which is apublic utility;

(g) One member appointed by the governing body of theIndian reservation which is largest in area in the county, if the countycontains an Indian reservation or, if there is not an Indian reservationlocated within the county or the governing body of the reservation does notappoint a member, one member appointed by the other members of the commissionto represent the public at large;

(h) One member of the public at large appointed by thegoverning bodies of the two largest cities in the county by mutual agreement torepresent environmental, biological, conservation or public concerns; and

(i) One member appointed by the governing body of theirrigation district which has the largest number of members in the region.

The firstmembers appointed in each county pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) shallserve initial terms of 4 years. The first members appointed pursuant to paragraphs(d), (f) and (h) shall serve initial terms of 3 years. The first members appointedpursuant to paragraphs (e), (g) and (i) shall serve initial terms of 2 years.

2. After the initial terms, the term of office of eachmember is 3 years. A member may be reappointed. A vacancy must be filled forthe unexpired term by the appointing authority.

3. Each appointing authority shall designate analternate, to serve when the appointed member is temporarily not available, forthe same term.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2649; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.090 Nonvotingmembership. In addition to the voting members,the commission includes the following nonvoting members:

1. One member appointed by the Public UtilitiesCommission of Nevada;

2. One member appointed by the Consumers Advocate ofthe Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of the Attorney General;

3. One member appointed by the Administrator of theDivision of Environmental Protection of the State Department of Conservationand Natural Resources;

4. One member appointed by the State Engineer;

5. One member appointed by the Chief of the WaterPlanning Section of the Division of Water Resources of the State Department ofConservation and Natural Resources;

6. One member appointed by the board of directors ofthe water conservancy district which is largest in area which includes any partof the region;

7. One member appointed by the county or districtboard of health;

8. One member of the public at large appointed by theaffirmative vote of a majority of the voting members; and

9. Additional members with expertise in an area thatthe majority of the voting members determines is necessary, appointed by the affirmativevote of a majority of the voting members.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2650; A 1997, 1342; 2005, 2572)

NRS 540A.100 Qualificationsof members. The members of the commissionappointed pursuant to NRS 540A.080 and540A.090 may not hold any electivegovernmental office but may be engaged or employed in private enterprise or beemployees of state or local government and each member must be qualifiedpursuant to at least one of the following subsections:

1. A professional engineer licensed pursuant to theprovisions of chapter 625 of NRS withexperience related to comprehensive planning, natural resources or environmentalprotection;

2. A specialist in hydrology;

3. Experienced in law, management or planning relatedto water;

4. Experienced in municipal finance;

5. Experienced in construction, planning or operationof facilities or systems for supplying or treating water, for collecting or treatingsewage, for drainage of storm water, or for control of floods; or

6. Knowledgeable in the areas of water conservation,biology, natural systems, water quality and water management.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2651; A 1997, 1069, 1342)

NRS 540A.110 Selectionof chairman. The commission shall establish aschedule for the selection of its chairman for a term of 1 year, in rotation,from among the members appointed by the governing bodies of the county andcities.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2651; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.120 Meetings;quorum; compensation of members.

1. The commission shall meet at the call of thechairman or any three voting members. The commission shall establish a scheduleof regular meetings and provide for the calling of a special meeting whenaction is required before a regular meeting would occur.

2. A quorum consists of a majority of the votingmembers. The affirmative vote of a majority of the voting members is requiredto take action, unless a larger proportion is required by this chapter for aparticular action.

3. No member of the commission is entitled tocompensation for his services as a member.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2651; A 1997, 1342)

COMPREHENSIVE REGIONAL PLAN

NRS 540A.130 Developmentand revision; contents.

1. The commission shall develop, and as necessaryrecommend revisions to, a comprehensive plan for the region covering the supplyof municipal and industrial water, quality of water, sanitary sewerage,treatment of sewage, drainage of storm waters and control of floods.

2. The proposed plan must consist of written text,appropriate maps and goals and policies to deal with current and futureproblems affecting the region as a whole with respect to the subjects of theplan.

3. The plan must:

(a) Describe the problems and needs of the regionrelating to the subjects of the plan;

(b) Except as otherwise provided in NRS 540A.290, 540A.300 and 540A.310, identify the providers ofservices relating to those subjects within the region and the area within whicheach provides service, including service areas for public utilities;

(c) Identify alternatives to reduce demand or increasesupply;

(d) Identify existing and future sources of waterneeded to meet the present or future needs of the region;

(e) Define priorities and general location foradditional major facilities needed to provide services relating to the subjectsof the plan; and

(f) Describe programs to mitigate drought, achieveconservation of water, protect wellheads and otherwise manage water.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2651; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.140 Requiredelements. The plan must include the followingelements:

1. Quality of surface water, which must include:

(a) Compliance with standards of quality for bodies ofwater;

(b) Locations and capacities of plants to treatwastewater;

(c) Intended quantity and quality of discharge fromthose plants and its reuse, service areas and interceptors; and

(d) Programs to attain protection from pollution byboth concentrated and diffuse sources.

2. Quality of groundwater, which must include:

(a) Compliance with standards of quality forhydrographic basins and septic tanks;

(b) Capacities for withdrawal of water fromhydrographic basins;

(c) Programs to protect wellheads;

(d) Programs to clean up contaminated groundwater forhydrographic basins; and

(e) Programs to attain protection from pollution byboth concentrated and diffuse sources.

3. Supply of surface water, which must include:

(a) Existing and planned sources of surface water;

(b) Existing and planned uses for all surface water,including municipal and industrial uses, requirements for return flow, reservesfor drought and future growth, uses to improve quality of water, uses toprovide habitat and uses in conjunction with underground water;

(c) Major facilities to convey and store surface water;

(d) Standards, service areas, rates of flow andreserves for storage; and

(e) Facilities to treat surface water.

4. Supply of underground water, which must include:

(a) Existing and planned sources of underground water;

(b) Existing and planned uses for all undergroundwater, including municipal and industrial uses, maintenance of minimumgroundwater level and need for recharge, reserves for drought and futuregrowth, uses to improve quality of water, uses to provide habitat and uses inconjunction with surface water;

(c) Major facilities to extract and convey undergroundwater;

(d) Compliance with standards for treated andnontreated water, services areas, rates of flow and reserves for storage; and

(e) Facilities to treat and store underground water.

5. Control of floods and drainage of storm water, asit relates to surface water, which must include:

(a) Minimum standards of design for controlling floodsin the region;

(b) Nonstructural alternatives and standards forfacilities to control floods in the region and single drainage basins;

(c) Regional facilities to control floods; and

(d) Generalized facilities and standards of design forsingle drainage basins.

6. Control of floods and drainage of storm water, asit relates to underground water, which must include:

(a) Groundwater level and capacity for additionalstorage of water underground as a means of mitigating floods;

(b) Location and capacities of major facilities forcontrolling floods which utilize storage of water underground to mitigatefloods; and

(c) Standards of design for devices to infiltrate stormwater and other minor facilities for controlling floods which utilize storageof water underground to mitigate floods.

7. Cost and financing, which must include an estimateof the cost of each major facility, source of water or other requirement of theplan and an analysis of alternatives for financing and funding the facility,source or other requirement, or alternatives thereto, as well as the effect ofthe funding alternatives on other facilities included in the plan. The estimateof cost must state the financial impact on persons within the region,including, without limitation, all direct and indirect costs of connecting tothe system, if any.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2652; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.150 Consistencywith other plans and federal law.

1. The plan must be consistent with and carry out theprovisions of the comprehensive regional plan adopted by the governing boardfor regional planning pursuant to NRS278.0276 and the comprehensive plans, area plans and master plans for theuse of land which are adopted by local governmental entities within the region.

2. The plan must be consistent with and carry out orsupport the carrying out of all aspects of Public Law 101-618, 104 Stat. 3324.

3. The plan or an amendment must be consistent withthe state water plan in effect at the time that the plan is adopted.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2653; A 1997, 1335, 1342)

NRS 540A.160 Considerationof information from other entities and persons; review of other plans;coordination. In developing the proposed plan,the commission shall:

1. Receive and consider information from publicutilities and other entities supplying municipal and industrial water withinthe region;

2. Receive and consider information from entitiesproviding sanitary sewerage, treatment of sewage, drainage of storm water andcontrol of floods within the region;

3. Receive and consider information from entitiesconcerned with quality of water within the region;

4. Review and consider the state water plan, existingwater conservation plans, each existing regional plan and master plan that hasbeen adopted pursuant to the provisions of chapter278 of NRS and applies to any area in the region, and any similar plan of alocal government, and may seek and consider the advice of each local planningcommission and any other affected entity;

5. Coordinate the elements of the proposed plan andmake them consistent with each other;

6. Consider existing statutes and ordinances adoptedby local governmental entities;

7. Recognize and coordinate the needs of theincorporated areas of the region with the unincorporated areas of the region;and

8. Receive and consider information from otherinterested persons.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2653; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.170 Publichearings; adoption of resolution for submission of plan or amendment.

1. Before submitting the proposed plan to the board,the commission shall hold at least one public hearing on the plan within theregion.

2. Before acting on a proposed amendment to theadopted plan, the commission shall hold at least one public hearing on theproposed amendment at a location in the region relevant to the proposedamendment.

3. Notice of the time and place of each hearing mustbe given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the region atleast 10 days before the day of the hearing. If there is more than onenewspaper of general circulation in the region, notice must be given bypublication in at least two such newspapers.

4. The decision to submit the proposed plan or anyamendment to the adopted plan to the board must be made by resolution of thecommission carried by the affirmative votes of not fewer than two-thirds of thetotal voting members of the commission. The resolution must refer expressly tothe text, maps and descriptive or other matter intended by the commission to constitutethe plan or amendment.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2653; 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.180 Submissionof plan or amendment to board; board required to hold public hearing; notice;copy of proposed plan or amendment to be available for public inspection.

1. An attested copy of the proposed plan or anamendment must be submitted to the board.

2. Before taking any action on the proposed plan or anamendment, the board shall convene a public hearing.

3. Notice of the hearing must be given at least 10days before the date of beginning the hearing. The notice must include, withoutlimitation:

(a) A statement of the time, place and nature of thehearing;

(b) A statement of the legal authority under which thehearing is to be held; and

(c) A reference to the particular sections of thestatutes and regulations involved.

4. Not less than 30 days before the hearing the boardshall place a copy of the proposed plan or amendment in the office of thecounty clerk and publish notice that the plan or amendment is available forpublic inspection. Notice of the time and place of the hearing must bepublished at least 10 days before the date of beginning the hearing. Eachnotice required by this subsection must be published in a newspaper of generalcirculation in the region. If there is more than one newspaper of generalcirculation in the region, notice must be given by publication in at least twosuch newspapers. The notice must be a display advertisement not less than 3inches by 5 inches in size.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2654; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.190 Changesand additions.

1. The board shall not change or add to the proposedplan or an amendment as submitted by the commission until it has submitted thesubstance of the proposed change or addition to the commission in writing withits reasons for the change or addition.

2. The commission shall, if it agrees to the change oraddition, revise the submitted plan or amendment accordingly. If the commissiondoes not agree, it shall report to the board in writing its reason fordisagreeing and any alternative proposal.

3. In either case, the commission shall present itsrevision or report to the board within 40 days after the boards change oramendment is submitted to it.

4. If the commission does not agree with the proposedchange or addition and the board refuses to rescind its proposal or to acceptan alternative proposal of the commission, the commission shall revise theoriginally submitted plan or amendment to incorporate the change or additionproposed by the board.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2654; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.200 Reviewby regional planning commission; effect of nonconformity with comprehensiveregional plan.

1. After adoption by the board, the plan or anamendment must be submitted for review to the regional planning commissionestablished by NRS 278.0262. The regionalplanning commission shall review the plan or amendment only for conformancewith the comprehensive regional plan adopted pursuant to NRS 278.0276 and the comprehensive plansand master plans for the use of land which are adopted by local governmentalentities within the region. The regional planning commission shall review theplan or amendment at one or more public hearings. Notice of the time and placeof a hearing must be given in accordance with NRS 278.0276.

2. If the regional planning commission fails to make adetermination within 40 days after the submission of the plan or amendment, theplan or amendment shall be deemed to conform to the comprehensive regionalplan.

3. If the regional planning commission determines thatthe plan or amendment does not conform to the comprehensive regional plan, itshall state its reasons why the plan or amendment does not conform. Unless anappeal is filed pursuant to NRS 540A.210,the commission and the board shall respectively develop and adopt, in accordancewith NRS 540A.160 to 540A.190, inclusive, proposed revisionsto the plan or amendment, and the board shall resubmit the revised plan oramendment to the regional planning commission.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2655; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.210 Appealof determination by regional planning commission.

1. An affected entity that disagrees with the reasonsgiven by the regional planning commission for its determination of conformanceor nonconformance may file an appeal with the governing board for regionalplanning not later than 10 days after the determination of conformance ornonconformance. As used in this subsection, affected entity means a citywithin the region or a governmental entity or public utility providing servicesrelated to the subject matter of the comprehensive plan within the region.

2. Within 45 days after its receipt of an appeal, thegoverning board shall consider the appeal and issue its decision. If thedecision of the governing board is that the plan or amendment does not conformto the comprehensive regional plan, it shall state its reasons why the plandoes not conform. The commission and the board shall then respectively developand adopt, in accordance with NRS 540A.160to 540A.190, inclusive, proposedrevisions to the plan, and the board shall resubmit the revised plan to theregional planning commission for review.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2655; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.220 Periodicreview. The adopted plan must be reviewed bythe commission on a schedule to be established by the board, which must atleast provide for review of the initial plan within 5 years after its adoptionand every 3 years thereafter. After each review, the commission shall submitany proposed amendment to the board or report that there are none.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2655; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.230 Constructionof certain facilities following approval of plan.

1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, onand after the date the plan is finally approved, no facility intended toprovide a service relating to a subject of the comprehensive plan within theregion may be constructed, if the facility is of such a kind or size as to affectthe working of the comprehensive plan as distinct from providing normal serviceto customers, unless it is included in the plan or has been reviewed andapproved as provided in subsection 3.

2. The plan may allow for the construction offacilities not included within it in order to meet an emergency as defined inthe plan.

3. A proposal to construct a facility described insubsection 1 within the region must be submitted to the commission for reviewand recommendation to the board concerning its conformance with the adoptedplan. If the commission fails to make such a recommendation within 30 daysafter the proposal is submitted to it, the commission shall be deemed to havemade a recommendation that the proposal conforms to the adopted plan. The boardshall consider the recommendation of the commission and approve or disapprovethe proposal as conforming to the adopted plan. Any disapproval must beaccompanied by recommended actions to be taken to make the proposal conform tothe plan. The commission and the board shall limit their review to thesubstance and content of the adopted plan and shall not consider the merits ordeficiencies of a proposal in a manner other than is necessary to enable themto make a determination concerning conformance with the adopted plan.

4. The board shall provide by ordinance for thecommission or its staff to make final decisions concerning the conformance ofclasses of proposed facilities to the adopted plan. An ordinance adoptedpursuant to this section must provide an opportunity for the applicant or aprotestant to appeal from a decision of the staff or commission to the board.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2655; A 1997, 1342)

NRS 540A.240 Acquisitionand use of water rights and other sources of water in accordance with plan;imposition of charge by board. The board mayacquire water rights or other sources of water, within or outside the region,for future use in accordance with the adopted comprehensive plan. Any right orsource of water belonging to a local government or governmental agency withinthe region must be used in accordance with the adopted comprehensive plan. Theboard may impose a reasonable charge upon a person seeking a commitment from apublic utility to provide water, for making water from a source so acquiredavailable for that use.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2656; A 1997, 1342)

REMEDIATION OF QUALITY OF WATER

NRS 540A.250 Creationof district for remediation; recovery of expenses.

1. The board shall create a district for remediationof the quality of water if the county or district health officer or theAdministrator of the Division certifies in writing to the board that acondition exists in an area of the region which is affecting or will affect thequality of water that is available for municipal, industrial or domestic usewithin the region.

2. Upon receipt of the certificate, the board shallproceed, in cooperation with the health officer and the Division, to verify theexistence and extent of the condition and establish the appropriate boundariesof the district. Money expended by the board for this purpose may be recovered,after the district is established, from the proceeds of bonds issued pursuantto NRS 540A.267 or from a fee or taximposed pursuant to NRS 540A.265.

3. The district created pursuant to this section mustinclude:

(a) The area where the condition which requiresremediation is determined by the board to be present or for which remediationis determined by the board to be necessary, including any area to which thecondition is expected to migrate unless remediation is carried out; and

(b) If the board determines that the condition whichrequires remediation affects the quantity or quality of drinking water withinthe region, the wholesale and retail service area of any provider of water thathas used or uses for any portion of its supply wells located in the areadescribed in paragraph (a).

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2657; A 1997, 656, 1335)

NRS 540A.260 Preparationand approval of plan for remediation; duty of board to determine costs ofdeveloping and carrying out plan; liability of owner or lessee of property.

1. Before creating a district for remediationpursuant to NRS 540A.250, the boardshall prepare a plan for remediation which must be approved by the Division.

2. The plan for remediation may include any actionwhich is reasonable and economically feasible in the event of the release orthreat of release of any hazardous substance into the environment which mayaffect the water quality in this state. Such action may include:

(a) Monitoring, assessing and evaluating the waterwhich may be affected by the substance;

(b) Removing or disposing of the substance or remedyingthe condition of the water in any other manner; and

(c) Taking such actions as are necessary to prevent,minimize or mitigate damage to the affected water.

3. After the plan for remediation is approved by theDivision, the board shall determine, and may from time to time redetermine, thecosts of developing and carrying out the plan for remediation. The costs mayinclude all or part of:

(a) The cost of acquisition, construction, equipment orother improvement of real and personal property in developing and carrying outthe plan for remediation;

(b) The cost of engineering and design in connectionwith developing and carrying out the plan for remediation;

(c) The cost of operation, maintenance, monitoring,administration, collection and other continuing charges in connection withdeveloping and carrying out the plan for remediation;

(d) Any reimbursements as provided in subsection 2 of NRS 540A.250 or NRS 540A.270;

(e) Principal, interest and other charges due inconnection with bonds or other borrowing incurred to pay the costs ofdeveloping and carrying out the plan for remediation;

(f) The cost of operation, maintenance, administrationand other continuing charges in connection with carrying out theresponsibilities of the district for remediation, including the cost to notifythe general public of the plan for remediation and the activities of thedistrict; and

(g) All other costs and expenses that the boarddetermines are reasonably related to the development and carrying out of theplan for remediation or the financing thereof, or to the activities orresponsibilities of the district for remediation.

4. An owner or lessee of property within the districtwho did not cause or contribute to the condition which the district was createdto remedy is not subject to criminal or civil liability, including, withoutlimitation, any liability for the cost of remediation or any related damage orinjury caused by the condition, except to the extent of any unpaid assessmentslevied against the property.

5. No person, governmental agency or charitableorganization, whether or not otherwise exempt from assessment or taxation,except the Federal Government, is exempt from an assessment levied pursuant tothis section.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2657; A 1997, 656, 1336)

NRS 540A.262 Prerequisitesto determining, expanding or amending boundaries of district for remediation:Hearing; publication of notice of hearing; adoption of ordinance; certain bondsor financial obligations paid in full; territory not required to be contiguous.

1. Before determining the boundaries of a district forremediation, the board shall hold a hearing. It shall cause notice of thehearing to be published at least once not less than 15 days before the hearingin a display advertisement at least 3 by 5 inches in size in a newspaper ofgeneral circulation in the county. The notice must contain a description of theboundaries of the district by assessors parcel number, or by metes and boundsor other legal description, or state that a description of the boundaries ofthe district is on file at the office of the county clerk for public examination.

2. After the hearing, the board shall make suchadjustments to the proposed boundaries of the district as appear to the boardto be necessary, but the boundaries may not be expanded to include any propertynot included in the proposed boundaries of the district described in the noticeof hearing or filed with the county clerk unless another hearing is held, afternotice given by publication in the manner provided in subsection 1. After thehearing and any adjustment to the boundaries of the district required by thissection, the board shall designate the boundaries of the district by ordinance,which may not be adopted as if an emergency existed.

3. The board may from time to time amend theboundaries of the district. Any such amendment must be made by ordinanceadopted after a hearing held in the manner provided in subsection 1. Notice ofthat hearing must be given by publication in the manner provided in subsection1. The board may not amend the boundaries of the district to exclude anyproperty if bonds have been issued or other financial obligations incurred forthe district until those bonds or other financial obligations have been paid infull.

4. The territory of the district established pursuantto subsection 2 and, if applicable, expanded pursuant to subsection 3 need notbe contiguous.

(Added to NRS by 1997, 1332)

NRS 540A.265 Determinationof annual fee for properties within district for remediation; collection andenforcement of fee; duty of persons who sell water to provide board with listof clients; power of board to impose ad valorem tax on property within districtin lieu of annual fee.

1. The board, by ordinance, which may not beadopted as if an emergency existed, may determine and from time to timeredetermine the amount of an annual fee, to recover the costs of developing andcarrying out the plan for remediation, to be imposed on the properties in thedistrict for remediation. In making the determination, the board may apportionthe fee on the basis of improved square footage, zoning, current or previousland use, area or any other factor determined relevant and equitable by theboard. If the condition requiring remediation affects the quality or quantityof drinking water within the region, the fee must:

(a) Be based upon a percentage of the total amountbilled in the preceding calendar year to each parcel or property within thedistrict for water by the provider of retail water service to the parcel orproperty;

(b) Be weighted and adjusted between parcels orproperties within the district, if applicable, to reflect varying levels ofeffect of the contamination, varying levels of value resulting from remediationor other factors deemed relevant by the board;

(c) For any parcel or property for which the fee isweighted or adjusted, not be less than one-half or more than twice thepercentage established pursuant to paragraph (a); and

(d) For parcels or properties within the district whereretail water service is not provided or for which a full calendar yearsbilling is unavailable, be based upon an estimated billing taking into accounta partial years billing extended to 12 months or an average of fees forparcels or properties with comparable zoning or uses.

2. A fee imposed pursuant to subsection 1 must becollected by the county treasurer with the general taxes of the county, and thepayment therefor must be enforced in the same manner and with same remedies asare provided for the collection of general taxes.

3. If so requested by the county, all persons who sellwater at wholesale or retail within the district shall furnish to the county,within 3 months after a request or at a later time specified by the board, alist identifying by assessors parcel number each property for use on whichwater was sold and the amount billed with respect to each parcel for waterduring the year designated by the board. No charge may be made to the countyfor furnishing the list.

4. In lieu of the fee authorized by subsection 1, theboard may constitute the district for remediation as a special taxing districtand impose a general ad valorem tax on all taxable property in the district ata rate sufficient to pay the costs of developing and carrying out the plan forremediation. The board is the governing body of any special taxing districtestablished pursuant to this subsection. The budget of any such special taxingdistrict must be included as part of the budget of the county and its meetingsmust be held as part of the meetings of the board. Any tax imposed pursuant tothis subsection is exempt from the limitations on taxes ad valorem stated in chapter 354 of NRS. No portion of any tax imposedpursuant to this subsection may be allocated to any redevelopment area or taxincrement area whose boundaries overlap in whole or in part the district forremediation.

(Added to NRS by 1997, 1333)

NRS 540A.267 Powerof board to issue bonds or otherwise become obligated to pay costs ofdeveloping and carrying out plan for remediation; bonds or other obligationssecured by certain fees or taxes.

1. The board may issue bonds and otherwiseborrow money in anticipation of the fees or taxes, or any combination thereof,collected pursuant to NRS 540A.265 topay the costs of developing and carrying out the plan for remediation,including any of the costs mentioned in subsection 3 of NRS 540A.260.

2. The board may issue those bonds as, or may borrowmoney evidenced by, special obligations of the county secured solely by thosefees or taxes, or any combination thereof, or general obligations of thecounty, whose payment is additionally secured by those fees or taxes, or anycombination thereof.

3. The taxes or fees that are pledged as additionalsecurity for those general obligations are pledged revenues for the purposes ofsubsection 3 of NRS 350.020.

(Added to NRS by 1997, 1334)

NRS 540A.269 Applicabilityof chapters 332and 338of NRS to contract for plan for remediation; county ownership of property onwhich remediation equipment or improvements are located not required if certainconditions met.

1. Chapters 332and 338 of NRS do not apply to a contract madeby a person to accomplish the purposes of NRS540A.250 to 540A.285, inclusive,or to a contract made by the county to carry out the plan for remediation withany provider of water service to the district for remediation.

2. The county need not own the property on which anyremediation equipment or improvements are located or used, or acquire ownershipof any remediation equipment or improvements whose cost is paid from money ofthe county, including proceeds of bonds issued pursuant to NRS 540A.267, if the board determinesthere are adequate contractual safeguards to ensure that the equipment orimprovements are used to further the plan for remediation.

(Added to NRS by 1997, 1334)

NRS 540A.270 Reimbursementof expenses to identify, study and remedy condition if costs and expenses inconformity with plan; establishment of criteria for reimbursement;reimbursement subject to availability of proceeds from certain bonds, fees ortaxes.

1. The board may reimburse a person,governmental agency or public utility for any expenses incurred in identifying,studying and remedying, or attempting in good faith to remedy, the conditionbefore the district is created, or thereafter for costs and expenses that arein conformity with and further the plan for remediation or operation of thedistrict. No reimbursement may be allowed for any expense that any personincurs in connection with disturbing the ground for the construction orimprovement of property in the district unless the board determines that thecost or expense is in furtherance of the plan for remediation and is a cost orexpense which would have been cost-effective and beneficial to incur to furtherthe plan for remediation.

2. The board may establish criteria for thereimbursement of a person, governmental agency or public utility for expensespursuant to subsection 1. The criteria must include adequate safeguards so thatcosts reimbursed include only the actual costs of the activities undertaken asprovided in this section. No reimbursement may be provided for any cost incurredafter the creation of the district unless before the cost is incurred by theperson or entity seeking reimbursement, the amount is approved by the board andthe board determines that the cost is in furtherance of the plan forremediation. The board may establish criteria with respect to the amount ofreimbursement for particular activities and with respect to the process to befollowed in establishing reasonable costs for reimbursement, including, at theboards discretion, any requirement for bidding on any construction or anyacquisition of equipment.

3. The reimbursement may be made only if money isavailable from the proceeds of bonds issued or from fees or taxes imposedpursuant to NRS 540A.250 to 540A.285, inclusive, which are nototherwise required to be expended for other purposes. Those sections do notconstitute a requirement that the county make any reimbursements.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2658; A 1997, 1338)

NRS 540A.280 StateDepartment of Conservation and Natural Resources authorized to recover costs ofremediation from person who caused or contributed to condition requiringremediation; priority of distribution of money recovered from responsibleperson; use of money distributed to board.

1. If, during an investigation to establish theboundary of a district for remediation, development of a plan for remediationor the carrying out of the plan, the board acquires evidence that a person hascaused or contributed to the condition requiring remediation, the board shallprovide this evidence to the Division for appropriate action. In addition toany other action authorized by statute, the Department may by legal actionrecover from the person responsible the costs of remediation incurred by thecounty or district. Any monetary recovery from the person responsible,excluding any money recovered as a penalty, must be distributed and applied inthe following order of priority:

(a) To the Department to pay the costs of recovery andto offset the costs of remediation incurred by the Department; and

(b) To the board to offset the costs of remediationincurred by the county or district.

2. Any recovery distributed to the board must be usedto reduce the fee or tax or to defray any increase in the fee or tax that wouldotherwise be charged against the parcels or properties within the district, asdetermined by the board.

3. As used in this section, Department means theState Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2658; A 1997, 1338)

NRS 540A.285 Determinationby board conclusive and incontestable in absence of fraud or gross abuse ofdiscretion; review of determination by district court.

1. A determination by the board pursuant to NRS 540A.250 to 540A.285, inclusive, including adetermination of the boundaries of a district for remediation or any expansionthereof, determination of the costs of developing or carrying out a plan forremediation, determination of the apportionment of the fee to recover thosecosts pursuant to NRS 540A.265,determination of the amount of any fee or tax pursuant to NRS 540A.265, determination as toguidelines for the provision of any reimbursement of the cost of remediationpursuant to NRS 540A.270,determination of the amount of any reimbursements and any determinations madein connection with the issuance of bonds pursuant to NRS 540A.267, is conclusive andincontestable in the absence of fraud or gross abuse of discretion.

2. A property owner or other person who is aggrievedby a determination of the board pursuant to NRS540A.250 to 540A.285, inclusive,may seek review of the determination in the district court in and for thecounty within 15 days after the board makes the determination. Such a reviewmay not be sought after the expiration of that period. If, in such an appeal,the court finds that the determination was a result of fraud or gross abuse ofdiscretion, it shall remand the matter to the board for a new determination. Ifthe court does not find the determination was a result of fraud or gross abuseof discretion, it shall uphold the action of the board.

(Added to NRS by 1997, 1334)

SUPPLYING OF WATER

NRS 540A.290 Propertyor facility of county: Transfer to or operation or management by largestsupplier in region which is public utility. Theboard of county commissioners may sell or lease, to the largest supplier ofwater within the region which is a public utility, at a negotiated price, anyproperty or facility used by the county to supply water within the region, orcontract for the operation or management of the property or facility by thepublic utility.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2658)

NRS 540A.300 Agreementbetween board and largest supplier in region which is public utility;compliance with regulations of Public Utilities Commission of Nevada;withholding of certain information from board.

1. The board of county commissioners and the largestsupplier of water within the region which is a public utility shall enter intoan agreement which defines the respective areas within the region where thepublic utility and all systems for the supply of water which are controlled oroperated by the board will provide retail water services. The agreement mustresolve all issues related to service territories of the public utility and allsystems for the supply of water which are controlled or operated by the board.An agreement executed pursuant to this subsection does not become effectiveuntil the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approves the terms of theagreement.

2. The agreement entered into pursuant to subsection 1governs the provision of retail water services by the public utility and theboard, unless the agreement is amended by the mutual agreement of the board andthe public utility.

3. The public utility must comply with any applicableregulations of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada when providing waterservices within the region.

4. The public utility may withhold from the board atany time before an agreement is finalized pursuant to subsection 1 anyinformation which is confidential, proprietary or which may cause a competitivedisadvantage to the public utility if the information is disseminated.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2658; A 1997, 2012)

NRS 540A.310 Dutiesof largest supplier in region which is public utility.

1. The largest supplier of water within the regionwhich is a public utility shall provide wholesale water services in a mannerconsistent with its water resource plan as approved by the Public UtilitiesCommission of Nevada.

2. The largest supplier of water within the regionwhich is a public utility shall provide all wholesale water services to anysystem of water supply operated or controlled by the board of countycommissioners from water resources recognized in its water resource plan asapproved by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, except to the extentthat:

(a) There is an existing system or a system underconstruction for the provision of wholesale water services;

(b) The public utility enters into an agreement withthe board on or before June 15, 1995;

(c) A subdivision map has been approved on or beforeJune 15, 1995, in an unincorporated area of the region; or

(d) The public utility and the board agree that it ismore economical for the board to provide such services.

(Added to NRS by 1995, 2659; A 1995, 2659; 1997, 656,2012)

 

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