Bill that Would Allow Riparian Property Owners to Dredge Without a Fee Receives a Favorable Report
April 10, 2017
HB 403, sponsored by Representative Randy Davis (R-Daphne), received a favorable report in the House Committee on State Government last week.
Rep. Davis introduced the bill in committee and explained that HB 403 would allow riparian property owners to dredge on their property with the use of sand and sediment without paying a fee from the State Lands Divisions of Conservation of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Management. Riparian property owners would only have to obtain a permit at no cost from the Departments. Under current law, the Conservation of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Management charge riparian property owners a fee for the use of sand and sediment to restore their shoreline.
Rep. Davis further explained that the use of sand and sediment for dredging within a property owner's riparian use area provides the highest degree of success in living shoreline restoration and reduces erosion, improves and restores wildlife habitation, and increases coastal infrastructure resiliency. Rep. Davis stated he worked with an engineer in Baldwin County to draft the legislation in response to the BP oil spill. A friendly amendment was offered that clarifies that the legislation is limited to property bounded by the Gulf of Mexico, including the Mobile Bay and other bodies of water located parallel to or south of Mobile. The amendment was accepted, and HB 403 received a unanimous favorable report.
HB 403 is pending final passage in the House.
Alabama REALTORS® support HB 403 and the benefits it provides to riparian property owners.