(a) Emergency certificates. The other requirements of these regulations notwithstanding, in the event of an emergency requiring immediate action to protect the public health, safety and welfare or to avoid substantial and irreparable injury to any person, property, or water resources when circumstances do not permit a review and determination in the regular course of the regulations in this part, the Executive Director, with the concurrence of the chairperson of the Commission and the commissioner from the affected member state, may issue an emergency certificate authorizing a project sponsor to take such action as the Executive Director may deem necessary and proper in the circumstances, pending review and determination by the Commission as otherwise required by this part. In the exercise of such authority, consideration should be given to actions deemed necessary to sustain human life, health and safety, or that of livestock or food, fiber or forage crops, the maintenance of electric system reliability to serve such needs, to avoid significant disruption of employment, or any other such priorities that the Commission may establish from time to time utilizing its authority under Section 11.4 of the Compact related to drought emergencies.

(b) Notification and application. A project sponsor shall notify the Commission, prior to commencement of the project, that an emergency certificate is needed. In the case of a project operating under an existing Commission approval seeking emergency approval to modify, waive or partially waive one or more conditions of such approval, notice shall be provided to the Commission prior to initiating the operational changes associated with the request. If immediate action, as defined by this section, is required by a project sponsor and prior notice to the Commission is not possible, then the project sponsor must contact the Commission within one (1) business day of the action. Notification may be by certified mail, facsimile, telegram, mailgram, electronic mail or other form of written communication. This notification must be followed within one (1) business day by submission of the following:

(1) A completed emergency application form or copy of the State or Federal emergency water use application if the project sponsor also is requesting emergency approval from either a state or federal agency.

(2) At a minimum, the application shall contain:

(i) Contact information.

(ii) Justification for emergency action (purpose).

(iii) Location map and schematic of proposed project, or in the case of a project operating under an existing Commission approval, the project approval reference and a description of the operational changes requested.

(iv) Desired term of emergency use.

(v) Source(s) of the water.

(vi) Quantity of water.

(vii) Flow measurement system (such as metering).

(viii) Use restrictions in effect (or planned).

(ix) Description of potential adverse impacts and mitigating measures.

(x) Appropriate fee, unless reduced, waived or delayed with the approval of the Executive Director.

(c) Emergency certificate issuance. The Executive Director shall:

(1) Review and act on the emergency request as expeditiously as possible upon receipt of all necessary information stipulated in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) With the concurrence of the chairperson of the Commission and the commissioner from the affected member state, issue an emergency certificate for a term not to extend beyond the next regular business meeting of the Commission.

(3) Include conditions in the emergency certificate which may include, without limitation, monitoring of withdrawal and/or consumptive use amounts, measurement devices, public notification, and reporting, to assure minimal adverse impacts to the environment and other users.

(d) Post approval. Actions following issuance of emergency certificates may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) The Commission may, by resolution, extend the term of the emergency certificate, upon presentation of a request from the project sponsor accompanied by appropriate evidence that the conditions causing the emergency persist.

(2) If the condition is expected to persist longer than the specified extended term, the project sponsor must submit an application to the Commission for applicable water withdrawal or consumptive use, or the emergency certificate will terminate as specified. If the project sponsor has a prior Commission approval for the project, the project sponsor must submit an application to modify the existing docket accordingly.

(e) Early termination. With the concurrence of the chairperson of the Commission and the commissioner from the affected member state, the Executive Director may terminate an emergency certificate earlier than the specified duration if it is determined that an emergency no longer exists and/or the certificate holder has not complied with one or more special conditions for the emergency withdrawal or consumptive water use.

(f) Restoration or mitigation. Project sponsors are responsible for any necessary restoration or mitigation of environmental damage or interference with another user that may occur as a result of the emergency action.

[71 FR 78579, Dec. 29, 2006, as amended at 79 FR 15909, Mar. 24, 2014]

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