46-2A-4. Publication of application and recommendation of chief engineer--Time for publication--Contents of notice.

Except in the case of an application for a well driller license or a well pump installer license, if a recommendation is to approve or defer an application or if an applicant has filed a petition to oppose a recommendation to deny an application, the applicant shall publish notice of the application and recommendation at least once in at least one official newspaper in each county where the water will be diverted or used or where project works will be located. The official newspaper shall be selected by the chief engineer and shall be a newspaper designated as an official newspaper pursuant to § 7-18-3. If the official newspaper is a weekly newspaper, then the notice shall also be published at least once in a daily newspaper. The daily newspaper selected by the chief engineer shall be located as near as possible to the location where the water will be diverted or used. Public notice of the application shall also be posted on the department's website until final action is taken on the application. The publication shall be at least twenty days before the first day of the Water Management Board meeting at which the matter is noticed to be heard. No application for a permit, license, or amendment may be considered and approved by the board until proof of all required publications has been filed with the chief engineer. The notice, which shall be provided by the chief engineer to the applicable newspapers, shall include the following, as applicable:

(1)    The name and address of the applicant;

(2)    A brief description of the project, including, where applicable, the proposed place or places of use of the water or facilities, including the point of diversion, the amount of water to be used and the purpose for which the water or facility is to be used;

(3)    A brief statement describing the recommendation and the reasons for the recommendation;

(4)    A statement that a person may only participate in the hearing if:

(a)    The person alleges that the application, upon approval, will cause injury to the person that is unique from any injury suffered by the public in general;

(b)    The person's injury concerns a matter either within the regulatory authority found in § 46-2A-9 for approval or denial of the application, or other matter concerning the application within the regulatory authority of the board to act upon as defined by §§ 46-2-9 and 46-2-11, or both; and

(c)    The person files a petition to oppose the application with the chief engineer and applicant within ten days of the published notice;

(5)    A statement that a petition to oppose an application shall be in writing, on a form provided by the chief engineer, and shall contain the following:

(a)    A statement describing the unique injury upon approval of the application on the petitioner;

(b)    The reasons for the petitioner's opposition to the application; and

(c)    The name and mailing address of the petitioner or the petitioner's legal counsel;

(6)    A statement that if the applicant intends to contest the recommendation, the applicant shall file a petition with the chief engineer within ten days of the published notice;

(7)    A statement that any interested person may file a comment on an application with the chief engineer within ten days of the published notice, and the comment shall be filed on a form provided by the chief engineer. Filing a comment does not make the commenter a party of record to, or a participant in, the hearing;

(8)    A statement telling where copies of the recommendation, application, or other information may be obtained;

(9)    The time when and the place where the application will be considered by the board;

(10)    A statement that the recommendation of the chief engineer is not final or binding upon the board and is subject to the approval of the board after it reaches a conclusion based on facts at the public hearing;

(11)    A statement that the time of hearing will be automatically extended for at least twenty days upon written request of the applicant or any person who has filed a petition to oppose the application and a statement that any such request by the applicant or person filing a petition shall be made within ten days of the published notice; and

(12)    A statement that if the applicant does not contest the recommendation of the chief engineer and no petition to oppose the application is received, the chief engineer shall act on the application pursuant to the chief engineer's recommendation and no hearing may be held before the board, unless the chief engineer makes a finding that an application, even if uncontested, presents important issues of public policy or public interest that should be heard by the board.

Source: SL 1983, ch 316, § 6; SL 1986, ch 364; SL 1990, ch 355, § 3; SL 1992, ch 254, § 84; SL 2001, ch 241, § 3; SL 2012, ch 214, § 1; SL 2021, ch 192, § 1.