Assemblyman Gallagher Introduces Bill to Prevent Dam Failures like Oroville

Posted on 20 Apr 2017 for representative James Gallagher

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Gallagher (R-Yuba City) has introduced AB 1270, legislation aimed to prevent another failure of critical water infrastructure like Oroville Dam. The legislation will enhance State Dam inspections and require the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to issue an annual report on dams and reservoirs it operates. “While the investigation about the cause of the failure of Oroville Dam is ongoing, one thing has become clear- this was not just the work of Mother Nature. We have to learn from the construction, design, and maintenance issues that led to the failure at Oroville. Not only will this require more comprehensive inspections, but it will require complete transparency from the Department regarding the funding and maintenance of the dams it operates,” said Assemblyman Gallagher. The water infrastructure California relies on for storage, water delivery, and flood protection is aging. 1,100 of California’s 1,585 dams were built before 1969 and as population around many of these dams has increased, dams that were previously considered low-risk have become high-risk. Current law only requires dams to be inspected “from time to time” and does not specify what type of inspection (visual or physical) is required. AB 1270 would require DWR to perform annual visual and physical inspections of dams and reservoirs. Additionally, the bill would require DWR, on an annual basis, to submit a 5-year infrastructure improvement, maintenance, and funding plan for dams and reservoirs maintained by the State. The legislation is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife committee on April 25th. *Sound clips of Assemblyman Gallagher discussing AB 1270 are attached* For more information on Assemblyman Gallagher, and to track legislation visit www.assembly.ca.gov/Gallagher ###