HELENA — The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is waiving application fees for water users affected by flooding in Montana as one way to support recovery efforts.
DNRC made the announcement Monday. Counties included in the fee waiver are Flathead, Sweet Grass, Treasure, Park, Carbon, Stillwater and Yellowstone. Fees for these forms will be waived through the end of 2022.
“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 Gianforte administration asked state agencies to determine ways to help relieve the financial burden being experienced by Montanans affected by this year’s damaging floods. DNRC identified waiving application fees for the required forms as an opportunity to reduce the cost of recovery on Montanans. The department says the fee waivers could save citizens $400 in fees for mandatory form submissions.
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.
Additional information on flooding resources from DNRC can be found on the state’s website.
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