Slow Progress in Developing and Implementing a National Dam Safety Program

CED-77-94: Published: Jun 29, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 1977.

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The National Dam Inspection Act directed that the Secretary of the Army, through the Corps of Engineers, inspect most of the Nation's dams and report inspection results and inventory all dams meeting the law's criteria. In addition, a comprehensive national program for dam safety was to be recommended to Congress.

Five years after the authorizing legislation was passed, the inspection of all dams has not been carried out; an inventory of dams has been prepared but has not been verified; and the national program for dam safety proposed by the Secretary of the Army is lacking in scope, depth, and alternatives. The Army has never requested sufficient funding from Congress to design or implement a comprehensive program. The Corps program emphasizes voluntary participation by the States, even though many of them maintain they need Federal funding for the program.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Corps should obtain and verify inventory data on all dams that the law covers; make at least a statistical sample of dam inspections; determine whether Federal participation is needed for a program to be effective, and, if so, the nature of involvement; and present possible alternatives to the Congress.


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