Bill Status of HB5844 102nd General Assembly
Short Description: PUBLIC ACCESS-NAVIGABLE WATERS
Rep. Janet Yang Rohr - Terra Costa Howard - Mark Batinick - Anne Stava-Murray and Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz
Statutes Amended In Order of Appearance
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act. Provides that the public right to access and use navigable waters includes all rights recognized by State or federal law, including the rights set forth in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the federal navigational servitude, and all rights arising under the public trust doctrine, which shall be understood and applied in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Act to maximize the full and free enjoyment of State waters by the public. Provides that any segment of a lake, river, or stream that is capable of supporting use by commercial or recreational watercraft for a substantial part of the year, or that is actually so used, shall be deemed navigable, and shall be open to public access and use, unless the contrary is proven in litigation by a preponderance of the evidence. Provides that no action or inaction by the Department of Natural Resources shall create a presumption, in any civil or criminal litigation, against the navigability of any waterway segment. Provides that the public right to access and use navigable waters shall be subject to specified protections and limitations, and a violation shall be punished as otherwise provided by law and, if likely to continue, enjoined by a court of competent jurisdiction. Provides that nothing in the Act shall limit the right of any person to challenge the legality of alleged interference with the public right to access or use navigable waters in any appropriate civil or criminal litigation.