Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010 Legislative Preview: Canal Safety

Representative Fred Hunsaker has registered a bill aimed at canal safety. The bill, numbered House Bill 60 (HB 60), is in response to last summer's catastrophic canal failure in Logan that resulted in the death of three people.

Under the bill, owners of canals and ditches are to prepare a written management plan for each segment of the canal or ditch that constitutes a hazard because of location, elevation, soil conditions, structural instability, water volume, or other reasons. The management plans are to be submitted to the Utah Division of Water Resources, who reports to a legislative committee.

There is no real penalty if a management plan is not submitted. The only thing a canal or ditch company loses is the right to receive state funds or state loans for water development, including funds or loans to repair or improve the canal or ditch.

The bill also provides that the management plans cannot be obtained through a government records request, nor can they be introduced into evidence in any civil litigation.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.

(For an update on this bill, click here.)

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