THE ASSOCIATION OF STATE Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) has announced that the US House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved the National Dam Safety and Security Act of 2002 (HR 4727) on 24 July 2002.

Congressman Bill Shuster of the 9th Congressional District in Pennsylvania championed the reauthorisation of the National Dam Safety Program, says ASDSO, by introducing this critical dam safety legislation.

‘We rely so much on dams for drinking water, for protection from floods, hydroelectric power, irrigation and recreation,’ remarked Congressman Shuster. ‘We do not want to overlook the importance of dam safety, and we never again want to bear the burden of another tragic failure like the Johnstown Flood that killed 2,209 people in Pennsylvania.’

The Bill continues an important and successful national programme, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with the purpose of improving the security of US dams. This programme will enable FEMA to continue to lead national efforts including research, technology transfer and much needed training for state dam safety engineers. The grant assistance component of the bill provides vital support for the improvement of state dam safety programmes, which regulate 95% of the more than 78,000 dams in the US.