"To ensure Reclamation dams do not
present unacceptable risk to people, property, and the environment."
Dam Safety Overview
Reclamation's Dam Safety Program was officially implemented in 1978 with passage of the Reclamation Safety of Dams Act, Public Law 95-578. This act was amended in 1984 under Public Law 98-404. Program Development and administration of safety of dams activities is the responsibility of Reclamation's Dam Safety Office located in Denver, Colorado.
Dams must be operated and maintained in a safe manner, ensured through inspections for safety deficiencies, analyses utilizing current technologies and designs, and corrective actions if needed based on current engineering practices. In addition, future evaluations should include assessments of benefits foregone with the loss of a dam. For example, a failed dam can no longer provide needed fish and wildlife benefits.
The primary emphasis of the Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams (SEED) program is to perform site evaluations and to identify potential safety deficiencies on Reclamation and other Interior bureaus' dams. The basic objective is to quickly identify dams which pose an increased threat to the public, and to quickly complete the related analyses in order to expedite corrective action decisions and safeguard the public and associated resources.
The Safety of Dams (SOD) program focuses on evaluating and implementing actions to resolve safety concerns at Reclamation dams. Under this program, Reclamation will complete studies and identify and accomplish needed corrrective action on Reclamation dams. The selected course of action relies on assessments of risks and liabilities with environmental and public involvement input to the decisionmaking process.
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