Dam safety proposals approved by legislators - DatelineCarolina

Dam safety proposals approved by legislators

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Detours from road and bridge damage took some people 20 minutes out of their way. Detours from road and bridge damage took some people 20 minutes out of their way.
The special South Carolina House Dam Safety Committee has approved two proposals that will put more safety measures on South Carolina dams. The special South Carolina House Dam Safety Committee has approved two proposals that will put more safety measures on South Carolina dams.

By Victoria Broughton

The special South Carolina House Dam Safety Committee has approved two proposals to make dam owners more responsible for upkeep of the dams.  The Department of Health and Environmental Control has requested dam owners update their contact information, have a dam specialist inspect the dam annually, and have the dam specialist report their findings to the state. The legislators are giving DHEC authority over small dams that threaten utilities and have small back roads crossing over them.

The floods in the past year broke 51 dams in 2015 and 25 in 2016.  The floods damaged hundreds of homes and business. These disasters sparked safety doubts in the minds of legislators. 

Twenty-nine dam owners received a notice of violation in 2015 for not submitting the required reports after an emergency orders had been sent out by DHEC. 

The major damage inspired these new proposals to prevent dam failures  and resulting damages. 

The legislators compared these proposals to the safety of an airbag or a seat belt.  They will add extra protection but will not make the dams indestructible.

Here is more information on the 2015 flood regulations, 2016 Hurricane Matthew, and dam safety laws.

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