The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 1095. Unsafe dam; petition; hearing; emergency
(a) On receipt of a petition signed by no fewer than ten interested persons or the legislative body of a municipality, the State agency having jurisdiction shall, or upon its own motion it may, institute investigations by an engineer as described in section 1087 of this title regarding the safety of any existing nonfederal dam or portion of the dam of any size. The agency may fix a time and place for hearing and shall give notice in the manner it directs to all interested persons. The engineer shall present his or her findings and recommendations at the hearing. After the hearing, if the agency finds that the nonfederal dam or portion of the dam as maintained or operated is unsafe or is a menace to people or property above or below the dam, it shall issue an order directing reconstruction, repair, removal, breaching, draining, or other action it considers necessary to improve the safety of the dam sufficiently to protect life and property as required by the State agency having jurisdiction.
(b) If, upon the expiration of such date as may be ordered, the person owning legal title to such dam or the owner of the land on which the dam is located has not complied with the order directing the reconstruction, repair, breaching, removal, draining, or other action of such unsafe dam, the State agency having jurisdiction may petition the Superior Court in the county in which the dam is located to enforce its order or exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire the rights that may be necessary to effectuate a remedy as the public safety or public good may require. If the order has been appealed, the court may prohibit the exercise of eminent domain by the State agency having jurisdiction pending disposition of the appeal.
(c) If, upon completion of the investigation described in subsection (a) of this section, the State agency having jurisdiction considers the dam to present an imminent threat to human life or property, it shall take whatever action it considers necessary to protect life and property and subsequently shall conduct the hearing described in subsection (a) of this section. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 100, § 2; 1969, No. 281 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; 1981, No. 242 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2017, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)