Senate Refuses Vote on Bill to Improve Dam Saftey

From an Office of Assemblyman James Gallagher Press Release

SACRAMENTO — Assembly Bill 1270, Assemblyman James Gallagher’s (R-Yuba City) bill to improve dam inspections and evaluations, stalled early Saturday morning before the legislature adjourned for their fall recess.  The legislation comes in light of a recently released forensic report on the possible causes of the failure at the Oroville dam facility earlier this year.

 

“The Oroville disaster highlighted that we must do more to ensure we are taking care of the critical water infrastructure we rely on.  AB 1270 would have helped California lead national and global efforts to update and modernize dam safety requirements to ensure public safety,” said Gallagher.  “I am disappointed that Senate leadership refused to take a vote on a bill that would have done a lot to make sure a disaster like Oroville doesn’t happen again,” Gallagher continued.

 

Gallagher’s legislation would have required the Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams to consult with independent dam safety and risk management organizations to propose amendments to existing dam safety regulations in order to update best practices, including risk management, to ensure public safety.  These regulations would have included things like the review of the original design and construction, which the forensic team noted may have helped identify design shortcomings.  The bill would also have codified an inspection schedule and set minimum standards for inspections.

 

Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), co-author of the bill said, “The Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Independent Forensic Team report emphasizes that California dams must be inspected on a regular basis, inspected with the highest level of vigilance and that continued attention to maintenance and upgrading is essential.”

 

AB 1270 had no formal opposition, and had received unanimous support in the legislature prior toSaturday.  Gallagher looks forward to working with legislative leaders and the Governor to pass this measure on an urgency basis when the legislature returns from recess.

 

For more information on Assemblyman Gallagher, and to track legislation visit www.assembly.ca.gov/Gallagher

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