2020 Tennessee Code
Title 69 - Waters, Waterways, Drains and Levees
Chapter 11 - Dams
§ 69-11-117. Failure to Comply With Certificate — Compliance Orders — Emergency Action — Recovery of Costs

Universal Citation: TN Code § 69-11-117 (2020)
  1. Whenever the commissioner determines that any person to whom a certificate of approval has been issued has failed to comply with the conditions in the certificate, or whenever the commissioner determines that life or property are or may be endangered by the failure or incapacity of a dam or reservoir or by other cause related to a dam or reservoir, irrespective of any conditions or the lack of conditions in the certificate of approval for the dam or reservoir, the commissioner shall order the owner of the dam or reservoir to take such action as is necessary to render the dam or reservoir safe.
  2. Any person to whom an order is directed pursuant to this section shall comply with the order immediately but, on petition to the commissioner, shall have a hearing within five (5) working days.
    1. Where the owner fails, in the judgment of the commissioner, to take satisfactory action toward compliance with such order, or to maintain a satisfactory rate of progress toward full compliance with the order, or where in the judgment of the commissioner the danger to life or property will not permit delay, the commissioner shall request that a state of emergency be declared by the governor, and upon such declaration, shall take such action as the commissioner deems necessary to render the dam or reservoir safe, which action may include, but is not limited to:
      1. Taking full charge and control of the dam or reservoir;
      2. Lowering the water level by releasing water from the reservoir;
      3. Completely emptying the reservoir;
      4. Performing any necessary remedial or protective work at the site; or
      5. Taking such other steps as may be necessary to safeguard life and property.
    2. The commissioner may continue such action until the dam or reservoir involved is rendered safe or the emergency requiring the action has ceased.
    3. The commissioner is authorized to enter into contracts or agreements with other state, local or federal agencies, or other persons, for work necessary to implement necessary emergency actions.
  3. Whenever the commissioner takes action authorized by this section, the owner or owners of the dam or the dam creating the impoundment, at which such action was taken, shall be jointly and severally liable for the costs of taking such action, including applicable overheads, and a lien in the amount of such costs shall be automatically created on all property owned by any such owner at or proximate to the dam or reservoir at which action was taken. The commissioner shall file an action in any circuit or chancery court having jurisdiction over any owner for the recovery of such costs, and may join all other owners in such action irrespective of any statutes to the contrary relating to jurisdiction or venue. Following the conclusion of such action, the commissioner may make application to the court for foreclosure sale of the property to satisfy any judgment obtained by the commissioner.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Tennessee may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.