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ASCE APPLAUDS HOUSE ACTION ON DAM REPAIR, REHABILITATION BILL

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CONTACT: Jim Jennings, 703-295-6406/540-272-1452c, jjennings@asce.org

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

ASCE APPLAUDS HOUSE ACTION ON DAM REPAIR, REHABILITATION BILL

Commends Reps. Carnahan and LaTourette for Introducing Bill to Provide Funds for States

Reston, Va.--The American Society of Civil Engineers today applauded Congressmen Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and Steve LaTourette (R-OH) for introducing the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act of 2012 which established a program to provide grant assistance to states for rehabilitation and repair of deficient dams.

According to federal officials, of the more than 85,000 dams in the United States, more than 15,000 are considered high hazard, meaning they would cause a loss of human life or severe property damage if they should fail.

“Dams provide tremendous benefit to society but they also represent a public safety issue. A dam failure can result in sever loss of life, economic disaster and extensive environmental damage,” said Andrew W. Herrmann, P.E., president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. “I commend Congressmen Carnahan and LaTourette for taking the lead on authorizing funding for rehabilitating and repair these dams.”

The legislation would amend the National Dam Safety Program Act which directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a risk-based priority system to identify deficient dams that should receive funding.

Only publicly-owned dams are eligible to receive assistance. The legislation states that dams that provide public benefits for flood control, public water and local irrigation, are eligible for funding. It has been estimated that to repair the nation’s deficit dams would cost $50 billion, of which $16 billion would be needed for high-hazard dams.

The National Dam Safety Program does not provide funding. The programs provides the public with an inventory of dams, encourages dam safety training for state dam safety staff and inspectors and funds dam safety research efforts.

Founded in 1852, American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org