Press Room & News

1/29/15

Latest Dam & Levee Safety News

The content on this page is intended only as a summary of information published in various news outlets.  ASDSO does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficacy or timeliness of such information. Visit the ASDSO Online Bibliography to see more news articles.

 
LATEST UPDATES


U.S.
Movement to Take Down Thousands of Dams Goes Mainstream. 1/28/15, National Geographic News
As dam removal becomes a popular option, author weighs the pros and cons.

Association of State Dam Safety Officials Applaud and Support Introduction of Rebuild America Act 1/27/15, PR Web
Bill supports federal investment in rehabilitation of dams and levees.

Connecticut
Dangerous Dams. 1/28/15, NBC Connecticut
Lack of funding limits number of formal dam inspections.

Kentucky
Kentucky Dam progress, monolith constructed. 1/28/15, WPSD Local 6 - Paducah
$97 million construction at Kentucky Dam begins; Expected to be complete by 2023.

Ohio
Village wants to prepare for possible dam emergency. 1/27/15, Buckeye Lake Beacon
USACE conducts risk assessment on Buckeye Lake Dam.
 

MORE NEWS


Worldwide
12 Dams That Changed the World. 1/12/15, Huffington Post
International Rivers Policy Director summarizes global impacts of 12 large dams: Hoover, Kariba, Bhakra, Chixoy, Banqiao, Yacyreta, Nagmaros, Sardar Sarovar, Three Gorges, Merowe, Inga 3, Glines Canyon.

New method created to estimate global impacts of dams on river flow, fragmentation. 1/6/15, Press Release - McGill University
McGill University study of global dam and river data assesses impacts of dams from 1930-2030.

U.S.
Dams in 26 States Are Getting Some TLC. 12/30/14, ASCE
The 2014 Farm Bill that Congress passed in the summer provided USDA with $262 million to distribute to states for rehabilitating dams. The funding provided rehabilitation assistance for 150 dams in 26 states. This increased the typical annual investment in rehabilitation 20 times over. Blog provices a quick breakdown of the Watershed Rehabilitation assistance by state.

America’s roads, bridges, dams literally falling apart; where is Congress?. 1/15/15, Kentucky Forward
Congressional ban on earmarks stalls critical projects, endangering public safety.

Look Back 250 • Great Flood of 1993 overwhelms record set 20 years earlier. 1/18/15, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
330-year event caused $12 billion in flood damages in 9 states. Article includes photographs, links to related stories, and summaries of additional historic floods.

Every coin has two sides: Can dam site personnel survive the UAV tsunami?. 1/8/15, HydroWorld
Blog addresses use of unmanned aerial vehicles for monitoring dams. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, in 2014, 35 states considered UAV bills and resolutions and 10 states enacted new laws.

NOAA employee accused of stealing classified data innocent, attorneys say. 1/6/15, Dayton Daily News
Defense attorneys say NOAA hydrologist shared only public information from the National Inventory of Dams with Chinese officials.

NOAA Employee Charged With Computer Breach Met Senior Chinese Official in Beijing. 1/6/15, Washington Free Beacon
Court documents on National Inventory of Dams case made public on December 30.

Canada - British Columbia
Imperial reports 2014 production [and Mount Polley Tailings Breach]. 1/26/15, Journal/Market Watch
Restoration of area of 8/4/14 Mount Polley breach ongoing. Embankment repairs prior to spring runoff approved. Review panel expected to issue report on root cause of dam failure by 1/31/15.

Alabama
Power plant officials: Coal ash ponds are safe, regularly inspected . 1/11/15, Anniston Star
EPA's safety ratings of 18 sites at 9 coal-burning plants in state ranged from poor to satisfactory; one owner attributes 3 poor ratings to lack of design and construction documentation.

California
Plan to raise Shasta Dam takes hit after federal biologists say they can't support it. 1/27/15, Contra Costa Times
Biologists say raising Shasta Dam would have an impact on endangered salmon.

Safety - not drought - drains Auburn-area lake. 1/16/15, Auburn Journal
Lake Arthur drawn down to allow visual valve inspection after problems indicated. Valve judged in good shape.

Levee 'boil' triggered $100M disaster. 1/3/15, Manteca Bulletin
Stanislaus River levee failures of 1997 damaged 800 homes and caused $100 million in property damages.

Castaic Dam undamaged by earthquake. 1/5/15, Santa Clarita Valley Signal
CA DSOD inspections of Castaic and Pyramid dams after 4.2 earthquake of Jan. 3 reveal no damages.

Canada
Nova Scotia does not have specific dam safety regulations. 1/19/15, CBC News
Province is home to more than 600 dams; safety inspections left to dam owners.

Lake Major dam mandatory evacuation lifted. 1/17/15, CBC News
Precautionary measure taken during fish ladder repairs; ladder damaged during heavy rain on Dec. 10.

Colorado
Disaster scenario for Cherry Creek Dam weighed. 1/23/15, Denver Post
USACE studying alternatives for ensuring safety of dam situated upstream of Denver; holding public meetings for input.

Denver Water to drain Antero Reservoir. 1/7/15, Cherry Creek News
100-year old Antero Dam will be drawn down this summer to bring it up to current standards.

Levee coming down piece by piece. 1/5/15, Pueblo Chieftain
$3.6 million Arkansas River levee removal project is first phase of 3-year, $15 million reconstruction of 90-year-old, 2.8-mile-long Pueblo levee.

Florida
Time to tear down dam, restore what was once 'the sweetest water-lane in the world'. 1/13/15, Florida Times-Union
Agreement signed 1/12/15 could lead to removal of Rodman Dam, built in the 1960s as part of the defunct cross-state canal project.

Georgia
Dam delay costs Oconee. 1/7/15, The Oconee Enterprise
Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir construction costs up by $410K, to $1.3M due to various project delays.

Illinois
For floodplain school, aging levees aren't only worry. 1/17/15, The Southern Illinoisan
Shawnee High School students are studying consequences of local Mississippi River levee failures. Students have contacted politicians, organized fundraisers for levee repairs, and hosted speakers, the latest of whom discussed flood impacts of wing dikes. A recent lawsuit seeks an injunction against the construction of additional wing dikes in the region.

Forest preserve district OKs Carpentersville dam removal study. 1/13/15, Daily Herald
Kane County Forest Preserve District approves study for potential removal of the Carpentersville dam on the Fox River for public safety and environmental benefits. IL DNR to pay $500K for engineering study; estimated cost of removal: $2.4M.

N. Aurora takes step toward possible dam removal. 1/5/15, Kane County Chronicle
Intergovernmental agreement between North Aurora Village, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Fox Valley Park District sets plan for removal of dam to improve recreational safety, water quality and aquatic habitat. The dam is maintained by the Park District and owned by IDNR, which has allocated $2.5 million for the demolition.

Iowa
Iowa is removing deadly dams, making whitewater parks. 1/27/15, Des Moines Register
12 low-head dams have been removed or altered in past 4 years.

Kentucky
EPA wrong on coal ash rule. 1/5/15, Lexington Herald-Leader
Editorial notes risks posed by large number of high-hazard-potential coal ash dams in Kentucky.

Louisiana
Four-wheelers damaging levees, costing taxpayers. 1/12/15, New Orleans Advocate
Repairs to four-wheeler and feral hog damages to West Jefferson levees are costing taxpayers about $4,000 per acre.

Massachusetts
Hadley group hoping to save Lake Warner needs to raise more money as state cuts funding. 1/5/15, Springfield Republican
State budget shortfall leads to withdrawal of $125,000 earmarked to repair Lake Warner dam, owned by the non-profit Kestral Land Trust. Other funding sources for the $248,100 project include Friends of Lake Warner fund raisers, the Community Preservation Act fund, and Whole Foods Market, which is donating 5% of a day's sales. The Friends hope to line up additional funding by May 2015.

Mississippi
Dam failure could put hunters, campers in danger. 1/21/15, Picayune Item
Emergency operations underway at leaking 50-acre unnamed lake.

Potential Dam Break on Lake in Amackertown. 1/21/15, Press Release: Pearl River County Emergency Operations Center
Public notice regarding imminent dam break danger at Amackertown lake. A private contractor was been brought to the scene to perform a controlled breach.

Storm downs trees, power lines. 1/3/15, Blue Ridge Times-News
Heavy rains cause failure of small dam in Northeast Lauderdale County; Raymond Cobb Road was flooded but no homes impacted.

New Hampshire
Nonprofit groups continue raising money to repair Lake Warner Dam after ex-governor’s veto. 1/8/15, Gazette Net - Belchertown
Friends of Lake Warner and the Mill River leads fundraising drive for dam repairs.

New Jersey
Safe Dam Act Casts Broad Net - New Jersey. 1/6/15, The National Law Review
Commentary on the NJ DEP vs. Alloway Township case which confirmed state's stance on joint responsibility for Cobb's Mill Dam.

Appellate division rules in favor of DEP in Cobb's Mill Lake Dam dispute. 1/4/15, NJ.com
Court confirms ruling regarding three-way responsibility for upkeep of Cobb's Mill Lake Dam.

North Carolina
State orders Osceola Lake drained to repair dam. 1/11/15, Blue Ridge Times-News
DENR wants plan and schedule for dam repair or breaching by March 16; progress delayed by encroachment agreement issue with NCDOT.

Ohio
Lake White State Park Dam to Undergo Repairs. 1/20/15, Press Release - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
State will make long-term risk reduction improvements to 4,200-foot earthen dam to meet regulatory and safety requirements prior to restoring the lake level to its normal pool. A significant seepage event at the base of the dam and spillway in August 2014 required an emergency response and temporary repairs.

Oklahoma
Conservation dinner to focus on flood control 1/8/15, Pauls Valley Daily Democrat
Garvin Conservation District discusses good stewardship practices at area dams.

Oregon
Eugene Water & Electric Board’s third Leaburg gate locked open. 1/7/15, The Register-Guard- Eugene
Operators lock open rollgate that malfunctioned in late December. Cause of the malfunction is unclear. The other two gates at the dam previously failed and require repairs.

Tennessee
Gaylord loses appeal over 2010 flood damage. 1/5/15, The Tennessean
Federal appeals court affirms decision to dismiss entertainment company's lawsuit claiming that USACE's misoperation of Old Hickory Dam caused flood damages at the Grand Ole Opry in 2010.

Texas
Longhorn Dam Safety Concerns. 1/5/15, TWC News - Austin
Austin Energy's Longhorn Dam needs extensive repairs, particularly to floodgates. Estimated cost: $14 million.

Utah
Flood-damaged historic Shem Dam threatens bridges; rehabilitation bid awarded. 1/17/15, KCSG Television
Historic CCC dam damaged by recent floods; rehab bid of approx. $1.6 million awarded to local contractor. Project funded by USDA NRCS.

Virginia
New 2015 Report Card for Virginia's Infrastructure. 1/20/15, ASCE
Report card released 1/20/15 assigned grades ranging from B- to D+ for 13 infrastructure categories; dams graded at C. Key points: (1) Virginia’s dam safety program has 10 Full-Time Employees that each oversee an average of 194 state regulated dams. (2) Virginia has 360 high hazard dams. (3) 71% of the state regulated dams in Virginia have an Emergency Action Plan. (4) Virginia’s state dam safety program has an annual budget of $819,949.

TVA still searching for cause of seepage, sinkhole at Boone Dam 1/13/15, TriCities.com
Sinkhole discovered in October; reservoir lowered an extra 10 feet to allow detailed study.

Dam issues leave future of Lynchburg's College Lake in limbo. 1/4/15, Roanoke Times
Because of inadequate spillway and sedimentation, 80-year-old dam will be rehabilitated or removed; either option would cost $8 to $10 million.

Washington, Canada
Cash-strapped Washington State seeks funding to build new dam in British Columbia. 1/14/15, Castlegar News
Washington office proposes $1.6 million to study dam construction on Similkameen River.

Wisconsin
DNR gives Milwaukee County 2 years to repair or remove Estabrook Dam. 1/13/15, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
WI DNR gives county 2-year extension, to the end of 2016, on repair or removal of dam on Milwaukee River dam. Lack of funding and a lawsuit over safety hazards have delayed actions to date. Removal costs estimated at $2.5M; annual maintenance costs for repaired structure estimated at $160K per year. WI DNR previously approved $400K from municipal dam grant program for repairs. County to report to Circuit Court on pros and cons of options by end of month; court date set for July.

 

 

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