The owner of a proposed new dam 35 feet or more in height is required to obtain a construction permit to build the dam and a safety permit to operate the dam and reservoir. If significant modifications are proposed to an existing dam that meets the height threshold, a construction permit is also required. Owners of existing dams built prior to Aug. 13, 1981, are required to obtain a registration permit. Details about each type of permit required and exemptions that exist in the law are provided in the tabs below, as are forms. 

Locate permitted dams using GeoSTRAT.

Construction

A construction permit is required for a new dam or a dam for which modifications are proposed. The minimum safety parameters a dam must meet are defined in the rules and regulations. An engineering report must be submitted by a registered professional engineer in Missouri to prove the dam or the modifications to a dam meet the minimum standards of the state law. Refer to the Engineering Analysis of Dams for guidance in completing an adequate construction permit application. 

Checklists

Construction Permit Application - Earth Dam
Construction Permit Application - Modification to Existing Earth Dam
Construction Permit Application - Industrial Water Retention Dam

Fact Sheets

Frequently Asked Dam and Reservoir Questions - PUB1351
How to Measure the Height of a Dam - PUB2816
Installing a Reservoir Siphon - PUB3026

Fees

None

Forms

Dam Inventory Questionnaire MO 780-1755
Application for Construction Permit MO 780-1763
Certification - Construction Permit Application MO 780-1764
Inquiry and Information MO 780-1762

Laws, Rules and Regulations

Federal Law - Federal Clean Water Act
State Law - Dams, Mills and Electric Power - Chapter 236, RSMo
State Rules and Regulations - Division 22 - Dam and Reservoir Safety and Council, 10 CSR 22

Registration

Safety

A safety permit is an operating permit that is issued for a dam built after Aug. 13, 1981. Once a dam is completed by means of a construction permit, a safety permit can be applied for. A simple form providing the engineer's certification that states the project is complete and a form providing the owner’s information are required. 

Checklists

Safety Permit Application - Earth Dam
Safety Permit Application - Industrial Water Retention Dam

Fees

None

Forms

Application for Safety Permit MO 780-1759
Certification - Safety Permit Application MO 780-1760
Application to Renew Safety Permit MO 780-1761

Agriculture Exemption

The law provides for exemptions to the federal government’s “Dams licensed under the Federal Power Act,” and dams whose reservoirs are for primarily agriculture use. 

Prior to applying for an agricultural exemption, it is highly recommended that you contact staff with the department’s Dam and Reservoir Safety Program to discuss operation and use of the reservoir.

Fact Sheets

Frequently Asked Dam and Reservoir Questions - PUB1351
How to Measure the Height of a Dam - PUB2816
Installing a Reservoir Siphon - PUB3026

Fees

None

Form

Agricultural Exemption Information Sheet MO 780-1765

Laws, Rules and Regulations

Federal Law - Federal Clean Water Act
State Law - Dams, Mills and Electric Power - Chapter 236, RSMo
State Rules and Regulations - Division 22 - Dam and Reservoir Safety and Council, 10 CSR 22

Other Permits

It is the responsibility of the owner of the dam to obtain all required permits associated with the construction of a dam. Permits listed below should be accounted for as well.

Clean Water Act 401 Water Quality Certification MO 780-1922
Clean Water Act 404 
Stormwater Permits
Land Disturbance Permits