" ....dams play a crucial role in maintaining the vitality of Montana's economy. The state therefore has a legitimate and compelling interest in encouraging the construction of dams."  "The legislature further finds that one impediment to the construction of new dams is the potential liability associated with dam construction and operation. The legislature understands the inherent risks to public safety associated with dam construction and operation but finds that compliance with the Montana Dam Safety Act reduces those risks to an acceptable level."

---- Montana Code Annotated 85-15-215

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Recent Administrative Rules Update / Red Tape Reduction
Several modifications to the Administrative Rules of Montana for Dam Safety were adopted in September 2022.  These modifications are part of a statewide Red Tape Reduction Effort. Modifications to the rules included the following:
  • Clarified terminology
  • Repealed rules requiring performance bonding (considered redundant)
  • Removed outdated references to federal guidelines
  • Provided a waiver option for certain hazard classification situations
  • Provided flexibility for scheduling the Five-Year Visual Inspection to better accommodate reservoir operation.
  • Removed signature requirements for Emergency Action Plans
Guidance for Five Year Dam Evaluations
Draft Guidance to assist engineers and dam owners complete the Five Year Dam Evaluation is now available.  The guidance is part of a larger effort to ensure:
  1. Dams are evaluated according to state laws and
  2. Provide tools and templates to make the evaluation process clear and efficient for dam owners and their engineers. 
The main purpose of the guidance is to clarify requirements for the Safety Evaluation portion of the Five Year Dam Evaluation (ARM 36.14.6) to promote consistency and remove uncertainty. In the past, High-Hazard dams were all expected to complete a rigorous analyses of hydrology, stability, and hydraulics every five years.  However, for dams with lower downstream consequences, it is appropriate for engineers to consider simplifying assumptions in these analyses. The Guidance lays out a pathway for owners, engineers and DNRC to consider downstream consequences in their decision making. DNRC welcomes comments and feedback on the draft guidance.  Please go to the Five Year Dam Evaluation Page for more information and a link to download the draft guidance document.


DNRC Dam Safety Program
1424 9th Avenue
PO Box 201601
Helena, MT 59620-1601

Contacts                                                                                   REGIONAL ENGINEERS MAP (pdf)
Steve Story, PE, CFM Bureau Chief (406) 444-6816 Helena Central Office
Michele Lemieux, PE Dam Safety Program Manager / Civil Engineer (406) 444-6613 Helena Central Office
Chadrick Hill  Dam Safety Engineer
(406) 444-1358 Helena Central Office
Amanda Peterson Administrative Assistant (406) 444-0862 Helena Central Office

Havre Regional Engineer
(Dam Safety, Floodplain, State Water Projects)

(406) 808-7127
210 Sixth Ave, Havre, MT 59501
Blaine, Choteau, Daniels, Glacier, Hill, Liberty, Phillips, Pondera, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Teton, Toole, Valley
Brent Zundel, PE, CFM

Engineering Services Section Supervisor

Bozeman Regional Engineer
(Dam Safety, Floodplain, State Water Projects)

(406) 556-4508
2273 Boot Hill Court, Ste 10, Bozeman, MT 59715
Beaverhead, Broadwater, Deer Lodge, Gallatin, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Madison, Powell, Silver Bow
Larry Schock, CFM Missoula Regional Engineer
(Dam Safety, Floodplain, State Water Projects)
(406) 542-5885
2705 Spurgin Road, Bldg C, Missoula, MT 59806
Granite, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli
Sam Johnson, PE, CFM Billings Regional Engineer
(Dam Safety, Floodplain, State Water Projects)
(406) 247-4423
1371 Rimtop Drive, Billing, MT 59105
Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Fallon, Park, Powder River, Prairie, Rosebud, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Treasure, Wibaux, Yellowstone
Ryan Murphy, EI Lewistown Regional Engineer
(Dam Safety, Floodplain, State Water Projects)
(406) 535-1926
613 NE Main, Ste E, Lewistown, MT 59457
Cascade, Dawson, Fergus, Garfield, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, McCone, Meagher, Musselshell, Petroleum, Richland, Wheatland
VACANT Kalispell Regional Engineer (406) 752-2713
655 Timberwolf Parkway Ste 4, Kalispell, MT 59901
Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Sanders