Alaska Statutes.
Title 46. Water, Air, Energy, and Environmental Conservation
Chapter 15. Water Use Act
Section 65. Determination of Existing Rights.
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next: Section 70. [Renumbered as AS 46.15.133

AS 46.15.065. Determination of Existing Rights.

(a) A claimant of an existing right under AS 46.15.060 shall file a declaration of appropriation with the commissioner as set out in this section. The declaration shall be considered correct until a certificate of appropriation is issued or denied. Priority of the right dates from the day work was begun on the appropriation if due diligence was used in completing the work; otherwise, from the day water was applied for the beneficial use.

(b) The commissioner shall, as soon as practicable, determine the rights of persons owning existing appropriations. To accomplish this, the commissioner shall

(1) by order set a definite period for filing a declaration of appropriation within a specified area or from a specified source;

(2) publish notice of the order once a week for three weeks before the beginning of the period in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area;

(3) give notice of the order by certified mail to any appropriator within the specified area or from the specified source who has requested mailed notice or of whom the commissioner can readily obtain knowledge including each owner of a recorded mining claim.

(c) The commissioner shall make investigations as necessary of rights asserted by declarations filed under this section and shall determine each existing appropriation and mail a summary of the determination to each person who has filed a declaration with respect to the specified area or source. Any person adversely affected by a determination may file with the commissioner a request for a hearing within 20 days of the date the notice is mailed. If a hearing is requested, the commissioner shall, after consulting with the office of administrative hearings (AS 44.64.010), send a notice of the time and place of the hearing to each person who has filed a declaration.

(d) If a hearing is not requested with respect to a determination, or if, after the hearing, the commissioner finds the determination to have been correctly made, the commissioner shall immediately issue a certificate of appropriation. If the commissioner finds the determination to be incorrect, the commissioner shall correct it and either issue a certificate of appropriation or refuse the certificate according to the commissioner's findings.

(e) A person aggrieved by the action of the commissioner may appeal to the superior court within 30 days of the date on which that action is final.

(f) The adjudication process for a declaration filed under (a) of this section that is pending before the commissioner on June 10, 1986, continues under the procedures set out in this section until the commissioner finally determines whether the declarant is entitled to a certificate. If a certificate is issued under this section, the certificate holder may be included as a participant in an adjudication under AS 46.15.165 or 46.15.166.

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