Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dam progress

Highlighted for emphasis:
Commission backs Riley’s water policy efforts, wants dams checked
The commission also passed a resolution about the need for a statewide dam safety program, saying they hope planned legislation will rid Alabama of the shameful designation of being the only state that doesn’t inspect its dams.
A recent study showed there are approximately 10,100 dams in Alabama, said Leslie Durham, a branch chief at the Alabama Office of Water Resources.

Here are two links to the background of this development - here and here.
These links and other summarize the reporting done by The Star on dam safety:
The story so far
The Anniston Star has reported since January that the condition of Alabama's dams — even the number of them — is unknown because the state has no inspection program. Alabama is the only state in the nation without a Safe Dams program. The stories below followed the issue from Anniston to Montgomery to Washington.
Jan. 28 — State Office of Water Resources officials said they were pursuing legislative options to better monitor dam conditions.
March 4 — The last time Alabama counted the dams on its rivers, streams and ponds was in 1981. Critics say the lack of information could leave nearby residents vulnerable to loss of life or property.
Aug. 15 — The state Office of Water Resources and the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Montgomery began a random sampling to get an inventory of how many dams are in the state.
Sept. 23 — Lawmakers say creating legislation that regulates dam safety and maintenance is not a priority.
Oct. 5 — The lack of a dam safety program could cost Alabama $200 million in federal money under the National Dam Safety bill moving through Congress.