Water Infrastruture Bill Includes Dam Safety Act

May 20, 2014
Courtesy of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

The House of Representatives Tuesday passed a major water infrastructure bill that contains $70 million for dam safety programs. It is legislation that Congressmen and local lawmakers alike say will help the Hudson Valley.  

The House passed the final conference report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, or WRRDA, by a vote of 412-4. Within this legislation is the Dam Safety Act, sponsored by Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney. Maloney mentions a classification of dams that poses a serious risk.

Dave Lucas / WAMC

A pair of high-ranking officials are taking steps to ensure safety of New York's Dams -  Since twin storms Irene and Lee hit in 2011, there's been increased awareness and concern about the safety of New York's 2-thousand-odd dams ... there are about 400 Class C "high-hazard" dams - the state Office of Emergency management says 26 of them are in Orange County, 14 in Sullivan and 9 in Ulster. This class of dam would cause serious damage and would threaten people's lives upon failure.


A bill that would provide funding for the removal and replacement of aging dams across Massachusetts has passed the state legislature and is now awaiting final approval by Governor Deval Patrick. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas reports…

Advocates from a variety of backgrounds including those representing cities and towns, conservationists, and public safety are now awaiting Gov. Patrick’s signature on a bill that would create a special fund to remove, replace, and remediate aging infrastructure from interior to coastal Massachusetts.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Officials with the US fish and Wildlife service, the Massachusetts Dept of Fish and Game, stakeholders, conservationists, and others today came together in Cheshire to celebrate the completion of the Thunder Brook restoration project. Thunder Brook runs down Mount Greylock and feeds into the Hoosic River.

Town officials in the Berkshire County town of Cheshire report that work is underway on a project to restore a local dam, while a bill that expand state protection of dams in Massachusetts failed to pass the state’s legislature.

According to the Berkshire Eagle, town officials in Cheshire, Massachusetts say that work to restore the Thunder Brook Dam is near completion, and should be finished in the coming days. The project is being funded in part with a $75,000 public grant from Massachusetts Environmental Trust. The next phase of the project will replace a culvert.