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DNRC Announces Fee Waivers for Montanans Affected by Spring Flooding


DNRC Announces Fee Waivers for Montanans Affected by Spring Flooding

Flooding on the Yellowstone River from June 14, 2022.

HELENA, Mont. – Unprecedented spring flooding in Montana created a financial burden as individuals and communities moved into the recovery and rebuilding phase. Under Governor Greg Gianforte’s leadership, state departments were asked to determine how to help relieve that burden. The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation identified waiving application fees for water users affected by flooding in Montana as one way to support recovery efforts.

“Flood waters damaged many water right points of diversion beyond repair. There may also be areas where channel migration forces water users to develop a new point of diversion,” said Nate Ward, bureau chief for water rights at DNRC. “There is a significant cost in time and equipment to make repairs and replacements, so we want to do what we can to help reduce that expense.”

The Water Resources Division of DNRC identified waiving application fees for the required forms as an opportunity to reduce the cost of recovery on Montanans. The fee waivers could save citizens $400 in fees for mandatory form submissions.

Fee waivers apply to seven counties significantly impacted by flooding for water rights application forms used when replacing a point of diversion or well that were directly damaged or rendered useless by flooding. The counties included in the fee waiver include Flathead, Sweet Grass, Treasure, Park, Carbon, Stillwater and Yellowstone. Fees for these forms will be waived through the end of 2022.

The specific forms that fees are being waived for are:

Replacement Point of Diversion Form (Form 644, fee $400): This form should be used when natural disasters wash out/render a surface water point of diversion unusable and a replacement point of diversion is needed. This form allows water users to complete construction of the replacement point of diversion without prior approval if the form is filed within 60 days. If the Form 644 is not submitted, a full change application must be submitted.

Replacement Well Notice (Form 634, fee $100):  The Replacement Well Notice form is required when replacing a well. In areas where 2022 flooding damaged a well beyond repair or the well is being abandoned and replaced due to flooding, the fee will be waived. Applicants must meet all requirements of the form (including well abandonment) to be able to file the form. Replacement wells must be completed during the 2022 calendar year for the filing fee to be waived. 

“We have a dedicated team of experts in our Regional Water Offices that are available to answer questions on completing and submitting the forms,” said Ward. “We want to encourage anyone that needs to replace a point of diversion due to flooding to take advantage of the fee waiver and the other resources available to them.”

Additional information on flooding resources from DNRC is available online at http://dnrc.mt.gov/flooding-resources.

Assistance with forms is available at water resources regional offices:

Billings: (406) 247-4415
Bozeman: (406) 586-3136
Glasgow: (406) 228-2561
Havre: (406) 265-5516
Helena: (406) 444-6999
Kalispell: (406) 752-2288
Lewistown: (406) 538-7459
Missoula: (406) 721-4284

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