Press Room & News

3/2/15

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.
Infrastructure. 3/1/15, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Humorous feature on urgent need for maintaining nation's infrastructure, including dams, and lack of action by policymakers. The full segment is available on YouTube.

Spain
Los Frailes mine - which caused one of Spain’s worst environmental disasters - to reopen in Andalucía 17 years later. 3/2/15, The News Hub

West Virginia
February 26, 1972: Coal Mining Dam Collapses in Buffalo Creek. 2/26/15, West Virginia Public Broadcasting
43rd anniversary of Buffalo Creek dam failure in West Virginia.
 

MORE NEWS

Alabama
How safe are Oak Mountain State Park's dams? Indian Springs Village leaders want answers. 2/24/15, AL.com
Mayor of Indian Springs Village asks lawmakers for help getting dam inspections at Oak Mountain State Park.

Alaska
Mount Polley Review Panel Delivers Final Report [Viewpoint from Alaska]. 2/10/15, Sit News
Group of Alaskans says Mount Polley mine report highlights threats posed to state's resources by mines in British Columbia.

California
Santa Clarita Residents Invited To St. Francis Dam Events. 2/9/15, KHTS News
A tour and symposium on the 3/12/28 St. Francis Dam disaster will be held in March.

Canada [see also: Alaska]
Review boards will study B.C. tailings dams, but reports may be secret. 2/15/15, Vancouver Sun
B.C. government plans to make mine review boards mandatory, but is considering reporting requirements.

B.C. Moves to Implement all Recommendations after Mount Polley Tailings Breach. 2/11/15, Kelowana Now - Canada
Chief Inspector of Mines orders independent tailings dam review boards for operating mines, and establishes 6/30/15 deadline for reports on tests of tailings impoundment foundation materials. BC government has accepted all seven recommendations made by the independent panel that analyzed the 2014 breach.

B.C. officials implement Mt Polley tailings dam recommendations. 2/2/15, Mineweb
B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines says government will act immediately on key recommendations of the independent panel and launch a code review to consider others.

Mount Polley Review Panel Delivers Final Report. 1/30/15, Press Release - Mount Polley Review Panel
On January 30, the Mount Polley Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel delivered a Final Report on its investigation into the cause of the failure of the tailings storage facility at the Mount Polley Mine on August 4, 2014. The report also contains recommendations on actions that can be taken to ensure a similar failure does not occur at other mine sites in B.C. The Panel concluded that evidence indicates the breach was the result of a failure in the foundation of the embankment. The report and supporting information are posted at www.mountpolleyreviewpanel.ca.

U.S.
ASDSO recognizes Paul Schweiger for commitment to dam safety. 2/2/15, HydroWorld
Paul Schweiger receives President's Award at Dam Safety 2014.

Press Release: President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request for Reclamation is $1.1 Billion 2/2/15, Bureau of Reclamation
Budget request includes $88.1 million for dam safety projects at Reclamation dams.

Dam removal in Pennsylvania tops for 12th year in a row. 2/1/15, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
American Rivers tallies 17 dam removals in Pennsylvania in 2014, among 72 across the nation. California ranked second, with 12 removals; Michigan third with 6.

California
Will California's Levee System Hold up in an Earthquake? 2/2/15, NBC - Bay Area
Report from 2011 notes that many levees in the state are high hazard.

Florida
Lake Okeechobee Seepage Barrier May Have Changed Salinity in Portions of Aquifer. 2/24/15, USGS Press Release
USGS study indicates that the first section of a seepage barrier designed to prevent catastrophic failure of the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee may have unintentionally caused changes in the salinity of portions of the shallow aquifer near the lake.

Massachusetts
Plan to remove 1883 Upper Roberts Meadow Dam to be vetted by Northampton Historical Commission. 2/6/15, MassLive.com
State dam safety program says high-hazard structure is in poor condition and poses risks to downstream dams and up to 250 homes. Proposed removal plan would preserve dam abutments and reuse dam blocks in park renovations. Estimated removal cost: $1.3 million.

Minnesota
Lanesboro seeks public support for historic dam. 2/11/15, Bluff Country News Group
State legislature considers future of Lanesboro dam, an unmortared limestone block, 25' high, 220' long gravity arch dam built in the late 1800s and one of only six remaining masonry arch dams in the U.S. Last repaired in 1985, the high hazard potential dam is unstable. State historic preservation rules require rehabilitation to conform to the original design, which raises rehab costs to more than $1 million, well above which the community of Lanesboro can afford. The Minnesota Historical Society contributed $300,000 toward historic restoration and the MN DNR has contributed $450,000 for construction. The USDA Rural Development may provide funding, which the city would need to match. A bill before the legislature seeks to waive the city's matching requirement. The community realizes significant economic benefits from the dam.

Flooding forces closure of Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. 2/6/15, ABC Newspapers
Malfunctioning dam gate controller causing flooding; dam undergoing $17 million rehabilitation.

New York
Judge Dumps Dam Back on New York. 2/24/15, Courthouse News Service
Appeals court rules in favor of two couples who challenged DEC enforcement action regarding Honk Lake Dam. The couples own the land adjacent to the dam, but argued that its maintenance should be the responsibility of New York City, due to legal ramifications from a long-ago condemnation of nearby land for development of the city's water supply system. DEC is reviewing the decision.

2 dams in Cattaraugus Co. eyed as potential hazards. 2/9/15, Oleans Times Herald
USDA NRCS studying potential risks and upgrades for dams in Conewango and Ischua Creek watersheds.

Six Mile Creek dam called sub-standard. 2/11/15, Ithaca Journal
104-year-old, high-hazard potential water supply dam unstable; rehab plan involves post-tensioned rock anchors. Estimated cost: $4 million.

North Carolina
Criminal charges in spills to cost Duke Energy $100 million . 2/19/15, Charlotte Observer
Charges against utility for Dan River coal ash spill expected to be filed within next few days. Story cites settlement amounts for other environmental disasters.

Removal of trees at Lake Tomahawk upsets residents. 2/17/15, Black Mountain News
More than 50 trees removed from dam in February; lake will be drained in March to remove stumps and roots. State official explains risks posed by trees on dams.

Lake Tomahawk Tree Removal. 2/9/15, WLOS News
State dam safety division ordered trees removed due to piping risk; project will cost about $40,000.

Monday Marks 1 Year Since Massive Coal Ash Spill. 2/2/15, WFMY News 2 - Greensboro
Incident of 2/2/14 spilled 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River.

Pennsylvania
Army Corps to redirect $58 million for upgrades to Pittsburgh locks, dams. 2/2/15, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Philippines
Pinoy engineer giving a 'dam' about PH. 2/5/15, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
ASDSO member and Southern California Edison Engineer Roderick Dela Cruz was awarded with a Presidential Award by Philippines President Aquino for dam safety efforts in the Philippines.

Related story, Balitang America TV
SC Edison Press Release, with photos from the awards ceremony

South Carolina
Langley Dam costs could run between $650K and $800K 2/3/15, Aiken Standard
Leak discovered at Langley Dam in November; City Coucil to be presented with final plans and costs soon.

South Dakota
Dam fix would help ducks, golfers. 2/20/15, Courthouse News Service
City of Custer seeking FEMA grant to repair and modify West Dam to reduce its hazard potential. A spillway leak prompted the lake's draining three years ago.

Tennessee
TVA: Boone Lake to stay at below normal water levels for next year. 2/25/15, WJHL - Bristol
News conference held to discuss water levels at Boone Lake Dam.

TVA continues Boone Lake investigation. 2/19/15, Herald & Tribune - Jonesborough
Sinkhole discovered at Boone Reservoir dam in November; TVA continues to investigate cause.

Texas
Dangerous Dams in Texas. 2/19/15, KVUE News
Report on dam conditions in Texas highlights risks to public from indeterminate dam ownership and lack of funding for the state dam safety program. Film clip features interview with head of Texas dam safety program; online article includes interactive map of dam conditions in Texas.

A Shift in Thinking. 2/18/15, Fort Worth Weekly
Citizens' concerns about drilling near Joe Pool Lake lead to national study on hydraulic fracturing operations near dams.

Vermont
A cautionary tale for Vermont. 2/16/15, VT Digger
Commentary urges support for H.37, which would require registration and inspection of dams, establishes a process to remove abandoned, unsafe dams and provides additional resources for the Vermont dam safety program.

 

 

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