oversight

Actions Needed to Increase the Safety of Dams

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-06-30.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                         DOCUMENT RESUME

C?515 - [A1872911]
Actions Needed to Increase the Safety of Dams. June 30, 1977. 12
PP.
Testimony before the House Committee on Government Operations:
Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcoamittee; by
Henry Eschwege, Director, Community and Economic Development
Div.
Issue Area: ater and Water Related Programs (2500).
Contact: Community and Economic Development Div.
Budget Function: Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy:
    Water Resources and Power (301).
Organizaticn Concerned: Breau of Reclamation; Department of      he
    Army: Corps of Engineers.
Congressional Relevance: House Committee on Government
    operations: Environment, Energy, and Natural Pesources
    S ubcommittee.
Authority: National Dam Inspection Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-367.

          GAO testified and reported previously on Federal
aspects of dam building and on implementation of the National
Dae Inspection Act of 1972. After failure of the Teton Dam, a
comparative review was performed of rocedures and practices
used by the Bureau of Reclamation, che Corps of Engineers, the
Tennessee Valley Authority, California, and private frms. It
was found that the Bureau took unnecessary risks and placed too
such reliance on design and that emergency plans were
inadequate. The Corps of Engineers, unlike the Bureau,
emphasized uu]iple defenses in its dams to prevent erosion from
seep 7e, and used independent consultants more frequently.
Actionis taken by the Bureau and the Department of the Interior
to correct some of the weaknesses were approved by GAO.
Recommendations were made both to the Bureau and the Corps to
correct procedural gaps and for improving emergency preparedness
plans. In testimony on the National Dam Inspection Act of 1972,
which is concerned largely with nor-Federal dams, it was noted
that progress in achieving the objectives of the act was slow.
Approximately 5 years after enac-'sert, the provision for
inspection of all dams had not been carried out. A recent
directive by the President, aimed at insuring dam safety, will
develop data that should be considered by the Corps in
developing a national dam safety program. (HTW)
      i\\             UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
r\                            WASHINGTON, D.C. 20548
                                                FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY
                                                EXPECTED AT 10:00 A.M., EDT
'.4                                             THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 1977

                                   STATEMENT OF
yo                           HENRY ESCHWEGE, DIRECTOR
                    COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
                      UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
                                    BEFORE THE
              ENVIRONMENT, ENEPGY, AND  NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE
                                       OF THE
                        COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, H. R.
                                           ON

                   ACTIONS NEEDED TO INCREASE THE SAFETY OF DAMS

            MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE:

                 WE ARE HERE TODAY AT YOUR REQUEST TO DISCUSS ACTIONS NEEDED

            TO INCREASE THE SAFETY OF DAMS IN THE UNITED STATES.     ON JUNE 3,

            1977, WE REPORTED TO THIS SUBCOMMITTEE ON "ACTIONS NEEDED TO

            INCREASE THE SAFETY OF DAMS BUILT BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

            AND THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS" (CED-77-85).    THIS REPORT ADDRESSES

            THE FEDERAL ASPECTS OF A NATIONAL DAM BUILDING PROGRAM.     PREVIOUSLY

            WE HAD TESTIFIED BEFORE THIS SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE PROGRESS BEING

            MADE IN IMPLEMENTING THE NATIONAL DAM INSPECTION ACT OF 1972

            (P.L. 92-367) WHICH LARGELY CONCERNS NON-FEDERAL DAMS.     WE WILL

            BE DISCUSSING TODAY A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT MATTERS WHICH NEED

            TO BE CONSIDERED IN DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING A SAFETY PROGRAM

            FOR BOTH FEDERAL AND NON-FEDERbL DAMS.

            GAO'S JUNE 3, 1977,   REPORT

                 OUR REPORT OF JUNE 3, 1977, RESULTED FROM A REVIEW MADE

            AT YOUR REQUEST AFTER THE FAILURE OF THE TETON DAM.    WE MADE
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES USED

AT THE BUREAU'S TETON DAM AND THE CORPS' RIRIE DAM BOTH LOCATED

IN EASTERN IDAHO.   ALSO, WE COMPARED ASPECTS OF THESE PROCEDURES

AND PRACTICES WITH THOSE USED ON 17 OTHER BUREAU AND CORPS DAMS

LOCATED IN FIVE WESTERN STATES AND THOSE USED BY THE TENNESSEE

VALLEY AUTHORITY, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AND PRIV?.TE FIRMS.

     MR. CHAIRMAN, AS YOU ARE AWARE, THE   INDEPENDENT PANEL

TO REVIEW CAUSE OF TETON DAM FAILURE" AND THE "U.S. DEPARTMENT

OF THE INTERIOR TETON DAM FAILURE REVIEW GROUP" ISSUED REPORTS

IN DECEMBER 1976 AND APRIL 1977, RESPECTIVELY, WHICH REVEALED

A NUMBER OF WEAKNESSES IN THE WAY TETON WAS DESIGNED.   OUR

REPORT GOES BEYOND THE FINDINGS OF THESE TWO REPORTS IN THAT

WE EXAMINED THE SITE SELECTION, DESIGN, MONITORING, AND EMERGENCY

PREPAREDNESS PROCESSES USED IN CONSTRUCTING DAMS.   WE MADE RE-

COMMENDATIONS TO THE SECRETARIES OP THE INTERIOR AND DEFENSE

AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL COORDINATING COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE,

ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY WHICH SHOULD ASSIST IN REDUCING THE

RISK OF DAM FAILURES THROUGH IMPROVED POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND

PRACTICES,

     WHAT WETT WRONG AT TETON DAi!

     MR. CHAIRMAN, WE FOUND THAT CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO THE

TETON DAM COLLAPSE SHOWED THAT:

     -- THE BUREAU USED QUESTIONABLE PRACTICES OF DESIGN RELATING

       TO SAFETY,

     -- IT DID NOT USE AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW PROCESS TO CONFIRM

       ITS DECISIONS AS TO DESIGN,


                               2
    -- fI DID NOT ALWAYS CARRY OUT DURING CONSTRUCTION THE INTENT
      OF ITS DESIGNERS,
                                                           TOO MUCH
    -- THE BUREAU TOOK UNNI;CESSARY SAFETY RISS AND RELIED
      Cl THE ADEQUACY OF ITS DESIGN INSTEAD OF KEEPING WATCH

       OVER, AND CONTROLLING, DAM SAFETY DURING RESERVOIR FILLING,
    -- IT DID NOT HEED A SEEMINGLY VALUABLE LESSON ABOUT CONTROLLING

      RESERVOIR FILLING WHICH IT IDENTIFIED WHEN ANOTHER DAM

      ALMOST FAILED ABOUT 10 YEARS EARLIER, AND

    -- IT DID NOT ESTABLISH AN EFFECTIVE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

      PLAN FOR NOTIFYING PEOPLE DOWNSTREAM WHAT TO DO IN THE

       EVENT OF DAM FAILURE.

    THE INDEPENDENT PANEL CONCLUDED THAT AN UNFORTUNATE CHOICL
                                                           LED
OF DESIGN TOGETHER WITH LESS THAN CONVENTIONAL PRECAUTIONS

TO THE FAILURE OF TETON.   FOR EXAMPLE, THE PANEL QUESTIONED
                                                          DAM'S
THE COSTLY PROGRAM THE BUREAU USED TO ATTEMPT TO SEAL THE

LEAKY FOUNDATION WITH A CEMENT AND SAND MIXTURE CALLED GROUT.

THE PANEL ALSO QUESTIONED WHY THERE WERE NOT OTHER MEANS

DESIGNED INTO TNE DAM, SUCH AS AN ADEQUATE DRAINAGE AND FILTER

SYSTEM, TO PROTECT AGAINST EROSION CAUSED BY THE AMOUNT OF
SEEPAGE THAT WOULD INEVITABLY OCCUR.

     WE FOUND THAT THE CORPS, UNLIKE THE BUREAU AT TETON,

EMPHASIZED MULTIPLE DEFENSES IN ITS DAMS TO PREVENT EROSION

FROM SEEPAGE.   INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS WERE USED MORE FREQUENTLY

BY THE CORPS AND OTHER FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES INVOLVED

IN DAMBUILDING TO CONFIRM DESIGN ADEQUACY AND OTHER DECISIONS
ON WHICH DESIGNS WERE BASED.

                               3
     THE PRINCIPAL BUREAU DESIGNER SAID THAT HE INTENDED FOR OPEN

CRACKS IN THE FOUNDATION OF TETON TO BE SEALED.    YET OTHER BUREAU

OFFICIALS SAID THAT THIS INTENT WAS NOT FULLY CARRIED OUT BECAUSE

OF UNCLEAR INSTRUCTIONS, DRAWINGS, AND SPECIFICATIONS AND MISUNDER

STANDINGS BY PROJECT STAFF.    ANOTHER FACTOR WAS THAT DESIGNERS MADE

ONLY A FEW VISITS TO THE DAMSITE.    NONE WERE MADE WHEN THE CRACKS

WERE TO BE FILLED.   THE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERS AT THE SITE SAID THE

DESIGNERS DID NOT PROVIDE ADEQUATE DIRECTION OR GUIDANCE ON THE

TRLATMENT OF OPEN CRACKS.     THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCE OF THE INADE-

QUATE TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CRACKS WAS ADDRESSED BY THE PANEL, WHICH

SAID TAIAT THIS INADEQUACY WAS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN THE FAILURE
OF TETON DAM.

     SEVERAL KEY MONITORING AND CONTROLLING MEASURES WERE NEITHER

AVAILABLE NOR USED WHEN TETON FAILED.     FOR EX"MPLE-

     -- BUREAU DESIGNERS DID NOT INTEND TO INSTALL APPROPRIATE

       SEEPAGE DETECTING INSTRUMENTS AT THE TErON DAM BECAUSE THEY

       WERE CONFIDENT THAT TETON WAS ADEQUATELY DESIGNED TO PROTECT

       AGAINST EROSIVE SEEPAGE.

     -- PERTINENT INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE BUREAU AT THE DAMSITE

       DURING THE WEEKZ PRECEEDING THE FAILURE, WHICH COULD HAVE

       GIVEN A CLUE AS TO THE SEEPAGE CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE DAM,

       WAS SENT ROUTINELY FROM THE PROJECT TO THE DESIGNERS.     IT

       ARRIVED THE DAY AFTER THE FAILURE.

     --'ISUAL OBSERVATIONS AT THE DAM WERE NOT MADE ON A 24-HOUR

       BASIS DURING THE CRITICAL RESERVOIR FILLING STAGE; CON-

       SEQUENTLY, EVIDENCE OF EROSION FROM THE LEAK IN THE TETON

                                 4
      DAM COULD NOT BE OBSERVED AD REMeIAL ACTIONS BEGUN UNTIL

      AFTER THE PROJECT STAFF ARRIVED AT THE DAMSITE ABOUT 5

      HOURS BEFORE THE FAILURE.

    -- WHEN THIS EVIDENCE WAS DISCOVERED, THE BUREAU'S STAFF

      AT TETON COULD NOT IMMEDIATELY OPEN THE MAIN RIVER OUTLET

      DRAIN BECAUSE A CONTRACTOR WAS BEHIND SCHEDULE IN COM-

      PLETING WORK ON THIS STRUCTURE.

    -- BUREAU DESIGNERS INTENDED TO FILL THE TETON DAM RESERVOIR

      SLOWLY TO OBSERVE THE BEHAVIOR OF TEE DAM AND ALLOW THEM

      TO TAKE REMEDIAL ACTIONS IF PROBLEMS DEVELOPED.     ACTUALLY

      DEVIATIONS OF UP TO 4 TIMES MORE THAN THE FILLING RATE

      ORIGINALLY APPROVED WERE PERMITTED BY THE BUREAU,

      APPARENTLY TO AVOID THE POSSIBILITY OF INCURRING CON-

      TRACTOR CLAIMS.

     MR. CHAIRMAN, IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER THE LEAK AT TETON WOULD

HAVE DEVELOPED AS QUICKLY AS IT DID, OR WHETHER THE FAILURE COULD

HAVE BEEN PREVENTED, IF THE RESERVOIR WOULD HAVE BEEN FILLED SLOWLY

AND THE MAIN RIVER OUTLET DRAIN HAD BEEN AVAILABLE, AS PLANNED, TO

RELEASE WATER.   WHAT TS EVIDENT IS THAT THE BUREAU TOOK UNNECESSARY

RISKS AND PLACED TOO MUCH RELIANCE ON THE ADEQUACY OF ITS DESIGN.

NO INSTRUMENTATION WAS AVAILABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE LEAKY

FOUNDATION ROCK HAD BEEN SEALED OR WHETHER POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS

CRACKS WERE DEVELOPING.   NO ADEQUATE MEANS HAD BEEN DEVELOPED TO

QUICKLY RECOGNIZE CONDITIONS THAT COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT DAM SAFETY.

THERE WERE NO MEANS TO OPEN THE MAIN RIVER OUTLET DRAIN IMMEDIATELY
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY.

                                5
    RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTIONS
                                                          THAT'
    DURING THE COURSE OF OUR REVIEW, THE BUREAU ANNOUNCED
                                                          BY
A REVIEW OF ITS DESIGN FOR ALL STORAGE DAMS WOULD BE MADE

INDEPENDENT CNSULTANTS.   IN ADITION, THE DEPARTMNNT OF THE
                                                       WHETHER
INTERIOR ASKED FOR BIDS FROM CONSULTING FIRMS TO STUDY

THE BUREAU'S INTERNAL REVIEW SYSTEM AND ITS TECHNICAL PROCEDURES
                                                          REASON-
USED IN PLANNING, DESIGNING, AND CONSTRUCTING DAMS FOLLOW

ABLE SFFTY STANDARDS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF EXISTING TECHNOuOCGY.
                                                         THE
WE FULLY SUPPORT THE ACTIONS ANNOUNCED BY THE BUREAU AND
                                                          SECRETARY
DEPARTMENT AID WE MADE A SERIES OF RECOMMFNDATIONS TO THE
                                                       PROCEDURES.
OF THE INTERIOR TO STRENGTHEN DESIGN AND DESIGN REVIEW
     WE ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT THE CORPS RLVISE ITS PROCEDURES

AND PRACTICES TO MAKE SURE THAT THE DFSIGNS FOR ALL STORAGE
                                                       PUBLIC
DAMS, WHERE THERE IS OR COULD BE A POTENTIAL HAZARD TO
                                                     WE FOUND.
SAFETY, BE REVIEWED BY INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS SINCE
THAT THIS WAS NOT ALWAYS DONE.
                                                            THAN
     ALTHOUGH THE CORPS' PRACTICES WEREL FOUND TO BE BETTER
                                                      THE BUREAU
THOSE USED BY THE BUREAU AT TETON, BOTH THE CORPS AND
                                                        CAPABILITIES
HAVE PROCEDURAL GAPS WHICH COULD SERIOUSLY REDUCE THEIR
                                                            INITTAL
TO DETECT aND RECTIFY PROLEMS THAT DEVELOP IN A DAM DURING
                                                               ARE
RESERVOIR FILLING. THEREFORE, A NUMBER OF OUR RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                           AS RE-
 DIRECTED AT BOTH THE BUREAU AND THE CORPS ON MATTERS SUCH
                                                      FOR MONITORING
 QUIREMENTS FOR THE AMOUNT AND USE OF INSTRUMENTATION
                                                      AND APPROPRIATE
 CHANGING CONDITIONS INSIDE THE DAM AND THE ABUTMENTS
 RESERVOIR FILLING CRITERIA.
    OUR REPORT ALSO DISCUSSES THE NEED FOR IMPROVED       MERGENCY

PREPAREDNESS PLANS AND PROCEDURES.     WE FOUND THAT CONFUSION

BETWEEN THE BUREAU'S PROJECT STAFF AD LOCAL OFFICIALS EXISTED

WHEN THE TETON DAM COLLAPSED.   THESE INDIVIDUALS WERE ALMOST

TOTALLY UNPREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A DAM FAILURE.         WE

BELIEVE THAT OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING EMERGENCY PRE-

PAREDNESS PLANS AND PROCEDURES SHOULD BE APPLIED TO THE CORPS

AS WELL AS THE BUREAU BECAUSE WE WERE ADVISED THAT THERE ARE

NO WRITTEN CORPS PROCEDURES IN THIS REGARD.
                                       "   ISSUED A MEMORANDUM
     ON APRIL 23, 1977, THE PRESIDE.

DIRECTING THE HEAD OF EACH FEDERAL AGENCY THAT HAS A ROLE

AFFECTING THE SAFETY OF DAMS TO IMMEDIATELY UNDERTAKE A THOROUGH

REVIEW OF ITS PRACTICES.   THESE REVIEWS WILL BE USED TO COORDINATE

DAM SAFETY PROG EMS AND DEVELOP PROPOSED FEDERAL DAM SAFETY GUIDE-

LINES.   WE RECOMMENDED THAT ACTIONS TAKEN OR PLANNED BY THE BUREAU

AND THE CORPS ON OUR RECOMMENDATIONS BE SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED IN

THE REPORTS ON THE REVIEWS PERFORMED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE

APRIL 23, 1977, MEMORANDUM; AND THAT THE APPLICABILITY OF OUR

RECOMMENDATIONS TO FEDERAL AGENCIES, IN ADDITION TO THE BUREAU

AND THE CORPS, BE EVALUATED IN DEVELOPING THE PROPOSED FEDERAL

DAM SAFETY GUIDELINES.

NATIONAL DAM INSPECTION ACT OF 1972

     NOW I WANT TO BRIEFLY RETURN TO THE SUBJEZT OF OUR

MARCH 15 TESTIMONY BEFORE THIS SUBCOMMITTEE WHEN WE DISCUSSED

THE PROGRESS BEING MADE IN IMPLEMENTING THE NATIONAL DAM

INSPECTION ACT OF 1972 (P.L. 92-367).       THIS ACT IS CONCERNED


                                7
LARGELY WITH NON-FEDERAL DAMS.       THE SUBSTANCE OF OUR TESTIMONY

WAS THAT PROGRESS IN ACHIEVING THE IMPORTANT OBJECTIVES OF

THE 1972 ACT HAS BEEN SLOW AND UNCERTAIN.

     THE 1972 ACT DIRECTED THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, ACTING

THROUGH THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, TO INSPECT ALL DASq IN THE

UNITED STATES EXCEPT (1) DAMS UNDER THE JURISDICTiON OF THE

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, AND

THE INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY AND WATER COMMISSION, (2) DAMS

CONSTRUCTED PURSUANT TO LICENSES ISSUED UNDER THE AUTHORITY

OF THE FEDERAL POWER ACT, (3) DAMS WHICH HAD BEEN INSPECTED

BY A STATE AGENCY WITHIN THE 12-MONTH PERIOD IMMEDIATELY PRE-

CEEDING THE ENACTMENT OF THE LAW AND FOR WHICH THE GOVERNOR OF

THE RESPECTIVE STATE REQUESTED EXCLUSION, AND (4) DAMS WHICH THE

SECRETARY OF THE ARMY DETERMINED DO NOT POSE ANY THREAT TO HUMAN

LIFE AND PROPERTY.   THE SECRETARY WAS ALSO REQUIRED TO REPORT

ANY POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS TO THE CONCERNED STATE

GOVERNORS AND, UPON REQUEST, TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ADVICE

RELATED TO THE REMEDIAL MEASURES NECESSARY TO RECTIFY OR

ELIMINATE ANY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS.

     THE LAW FURTHER PQUIRED THE SECRETARY TO REPORT TO THE

CONGRESS BY JULY 1, 1974, ON HIS ACTIVITIES UNDER THE LAW.

THE REPORT WAS TO INCLUDE (1) AN INVENTORY OF ALL DAMS

LOCATED IN THE UITED STATES,     (2) A REVIEW OF EACH INSPECTION

MADE, AND (3) RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL

PROGRAM FOR THE INSPECTION AND REGULATION OF DAMS FOR SAFETY




                                 8
                                                SHOULD BE
PURPOSES, INDICATING THE RESPONSIBILITIES WHICH
                                                     BY
ASSUMED BY FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INTERESTS.
                                                      YET
     AT THE TIME OF OUR EARLIER TESTIMONY, WE HAD NOT

COMPLETED OUR WORK.    WE HAVE NOW FINALIZED OUR CONCLUSIONS
                                                   TO
AND RECOMMENDATIONS AND WILL BE ISSUING OUR REPORT
THE CONGRESS IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
                                                          DAM
     WE BELIEVE THAT THE NEED FOR AN EFFECTIVE NATIONWIDE
                                                OVER THE YEARS
SAFETY PROGRAM HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED REPEATEDLY
                                                       PROGRAM
BY A SERIES OF DISASTERS. THE NATIONAL DAM INSPECTION
                                                 ON A NATIONAL
OF 1972 WAS AN ATTEMPT TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM

SCALE, BUT THE LAW HAS NEVER BEEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED.

     APPROXIMATELY FIVE YEARS AFTER ENACTMENT OF P.L. 92-367,
                                                 OF ALL DAMS,
THE FUNDAMENTAL PROVISION OF THE LAW, INSPECTION

HAS NOT BEEN CARRIED OUT; AN INVENTORY Ok   DAMS HAS BEEN PREPARED
                                                     FOR DAM
 BUT HAS NOT BEEN VERIFIED; AND THE NATIONAL PROGRAM
                                                 LACKING IN
 SAFETY PROPOSED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY IS
 SCOPE, DEPTH, AND ALTERNATIVES.
                                                        TO
      WE BELIEVE THAT THE DAM INSPECTIONS ARE ESSENTIAL
                                                       DAM
 PROTECT HUMAN LIFE AND PROPERTY BY IDENTIFYING UNSAFE
                                                        TO
 STRUCTURES AND DETERMINING REMEDIAL MEASURES NECESSARY

 MAKE THE DAMS SAFE.    IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL TO INSPECT ALL DAMS
                                                   BUT INITIAL
 BEFORE A NATIONAL DAM SAFETY PROGRAM IS DESIGNED,
                                                   CORPS WOULD
 INSPECTION OF A STATISTICAL SAMPLE OF DAMS BY THE
                                                 SAMPLE OF
 BE DESIRABLE BEFORE THE PROGRAM IS APPROVED. A
                                                    NECESSARY
 INSPECTIONS CAN PROVIDE THE CORPS WITH INFORMATION

                                 9
                                           NATURE, AND COST
TO MAKE REALISTIC ESTIMATES OF THE SCOPE,
                                      MAKIN' THIS POINT, WE
OF A NATIONAL DAM SAFETY PROGRAM. IN
                                                WITH IMPLEMENTING
RECOGNIZE THAT THERE WILL BE COSTS ASSOCIATED
                                                THE LOSS OF LIFE
A GOOD DAM SAFETY PROGRAM, BUT IT CAN PREVENT
                                          COSTS WHICH THE
AND PROPERTY DAMAGE AND THE LARGE RELIEF
                                             IF A DISASTER OCCURS.
GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE TO PROVIDE
                                                OF DAMS AS CALLED
      ALTHOUGH THE CORPS PREPARED AN INVENTORY
                                          DATA COLLECTED USING
FOR BY THE LAW, THE INVENTORY IS BASED ON
                                           MOST OF THE DATA
INADEQUATE DEFINITIONS AND PROCEDURES, AND

 'AS NOT VERIFIED.   THE CORPS SHOULD ENSURE THE REASONABLE
                                              IS ASKED TO DE-
ACCURACY OF THE INVENTORY BEFORE THE CONGRESS
                                        WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT
CIDE ON A NATIONAL DAM SAFETY PROGRAM.
                                            DATA WOULD BE
THE BEST METHOD FOR VERIFYING THE INVENTORY
                                            ARE MADE TO EACH
 TO REQUIRE THE CORPS TO ENSURE THAT VISITS
 DAMSITE.
                                                  FOR A COMPRE-
      THE CORPS' RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE CONGRESS
                                            PRIMARY EMPHASIS
 HENSIVE NATIONAL DAM SAFETY PROGRAM PLACE
                                            EVEN THOUGH THE
 ON VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION BY THE STATES,
                                             CANNOT CARRY OUT
 CORPS WAS ADVISED BY MANY STATES THAT THEY
                                           THE CORPS DID NOT
 SUCH A PROGRAM WITHOUT FEDERAL FUNDING.
                                         COST OF INSPECTIONS,
 OBTAIN SUFFICIENT INFORMATION REGARDING
                                               OF NON-FEDERAL
 COST OF REMEDIAL ACTIONS NEEDED, AND ADEQUACY
                                         AS TO WHETHER OR NOT
 FUNDING SOURCES TO JUSTIFY A CONCLUSION
                                                  IMPLEMENTED
 A NATIONAL DAM SAFETY PROGRAM CAN BE EFFECTIVELY
                                      FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.
 ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS WITHOUT FEDERAL
                                        ONLY AN INSPECTION
 WE BELIEVE THAT THE CORPS HAS DESIGNED

                                10
PROGRAM WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE BROADER ASPECTS OF DAM SAFETY

SUCH AS WARNING SYSTEMS AND PUBLIC EDUCATION.

    WE WIL   BE RECOMMENDING A SERIES OF MEASURES TO CORRECT

THESE SHORTCOMINGS.

     IN COMMENTING ON OUR DRAFT REPORT CORPS OFFICIALS DD

NOT OBJECT TO ITS GENERAL MESSAGE.     THEY POINTED OUT, HOWEVER,

THAT THEY WOULD NEED ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS TO IMPLEMENT

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS      - SUPPLEMENTING ITS REPORT TO CONGRESS.

     IT IS NOT CLEAR AS YET, MR. CHAIRMAN, THE EXTENT TO WHICH

THE PRESIDENT'S RECINT ACTIONS WITH REGARD TO ENSURING THE SAFETY

OF DAMS OVER WHICH THI    FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS JURISDICTION MAY

IMPACT ON NON-FEDERAL DAZS.    SINCE THE OBJECTIVE OF THL' PRESIDENT'S

DIRECTIVE IS TO IMPROVE TE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE GOVERNMENT-WIDE

DAM SAFETY EFFORT, WE BELIEVE THAT DATA DEVELOPED IN CARRYING OUT

THE PRESIDENT'S DIRECTIVE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BY THE CORPS

IN DEVELOPING A NATIONAL DAM SAFETY PROGRAM.

     BEFORE CONCLUDING MY STATEMENT, MR CHAIRMAN, I WOULD LIKE

TO MENTION THAT WE ARE ALSO IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING A

REPORT ON THE PROBLEMS OF ENSURING THE SAFETY OF MINE WASTE

IMPOUNDMENTS.   MINE WASTE IMPOUNDMENTS ARE, IN EFFECT, EARTHEN

DAMS WHICH ARE CREATED IN THE DISPOSING OF COAL OR OTHER

MINERAL WASTE MATERIAL.    THE BUFFALO CREEK DISASTER OF 1Q72

IN WEST VIRGINIA INVOLVED SUCH AN IMPOUNDMENT.     THIS REPORT

IS BEING PREPARED FOR THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE SUBCOMMIT'EE

ON ENERGY AND POWER, COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN




                                11
COMMERCE, AND WE HOPE TO ISSUt       '       : ' CHAIRMAN OF THAT

SUBCOMMITTEE WITHIN THE NEXT

     AT THIS POINT, MR. CHAIp    .               :-;D BE HAPPY TO RESPOND

TO ANY QUESTIONS YOU OR OTHEF            .   -       HE SUBCOMMITTEE MAY

HAVE.