|A map of U.S. dams shows that many are rated "high hazard." (FEMA map)|
In Virginia, about $1.15 million in state grants has recently been dedicated to upgrading 72 dams in the state. More than half are classified as "high hazard", which means they pose the greatest threat to life and property if they fail, Spencer Burke reports for WVIR-TV in Charlottesville. Albemarle County Environmental Services Chief Greg Harper told Burke, "Some of the dams around here started out as being farm ponds, so a lot of the construction techniques maybe weren't that great."
In Kentucky, where the eastern coalfield has many dams rated as high hazards, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate awarded the state Division of Water a $200,000 grant for a pilot project on dam safety. The funds are to be used to research and "develop instrumentation monitoring and flood warning systems for dams," The Associated Press reports. The state anticipates additional funding in 2018 to execute the plan on a state-owned dam.
In Oregon, legislators have approved a bill that would "require the owners or operators of high-hazard dams to develop emergency action plans for their structures," Michael Harris reports for HydroWorld.