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Mine Tailings Impoundment Structures & Safety of Dams Rules

IDAPA 37.03.05 – Mine Tailings Impoundment Structures & IDAPA 37.03.06 – Safety of Dams

The IWRB is negotiating these rules as part of its requirement to review each rule every 5 years consistent with the Governor’s Zero-Based Regulation Executive Order 2020-01.


Public Hearing Requests

Written Public Comments

Deadline to submit public comments to the Department was November 2, 2022.


Idaho Code § 42-1711(b):

“Dam” means any artificial barrier or embankment, together with appurtenant works, constructed for the purpose of storing water or that stores water, which is ten (10) feet or more in height from the natural bed of the stream or watercourse at the downstream toe of the barrier, as determined by the department, or from the lowest elevation of the outside limit of the barrier, if it is not across a stream channel or watercourse, to the maximum water storage elevation, and has or will have an impounding capacity at maximum water storage elevation of fifty (50) acre-feet or more.

Idaho Code § 42-1711(l):

“Mine tailings impoundment structure” means any artificial embankment which is or will be more than thirty (30) feet in height measured from the lowest elevation of the toe to the maximum crest elevation constructed for the purpose of storing mine tailings slurry.

Idaho Code § 42-1711(q):

“Hazard” means the potential consequences to downstream life and property resulting from a dam failure and uncontrolled release of water, exclusive of the size or the physical condition of the dam or mine tailings impoundment structure. Hazard classifications shall be assigned to new and existing dams or mine tailings impoundment structures based on the severity of failure consequences to life and property.


Statutes & Rules

Listed below are legal considerations regarding mine tailings impoundment structures and safety of dams.

Idaho Constitution
Idaho Statute
Idaho Administrative Code

National Dam Safety Organizations

Listed below are organizations that provide information and guidance to states in the interest of promoting the safety and regulation of dams. The information and guidance provided by these organizations is not binding upon Idaho. 

(The links below will take you to third-party websites, which are not owned or operated by the State of Idaho.)

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