Maloney Leads Passage of Additional Dam Safety Provisions
Washington, D.C. – As the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) moves into Conference Committee, the House overwhelmingly passed Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s legislation that calls on members of the conference committee to fully fund and reauthorize dam safety programs. Passed in the House by a vote of 347-76 this motion calls on the conference committee to adopt dam safety provisions in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). Specifically, these provisions would reauthorize the dam safety program at $9.2 million a year for the next five years, and for the first time, it would provide public awareness and outreach funding – an essential step to ensure that all citizens understand the need to prepare for, mitigate for, respond to, and recover from dam incidents and failures. You can watch Rep. Maloney on the House Floor discussing the impact of the National Dam Safety Act on communities like Tuxedo and Warwick here and here.
“As frustrating as Washington can be for many of us new to the Congress, we can actually get results and make a difference by making critical dam safety programs even better. The Hudson Valley is home to over 800 dams and nearly 100 high hazard dams - this is critical to public safety in the area,” concluded Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
“The committee supports the National Dam Safety program. In fact, I commend the gentleman from New York in his freshman term to be working on the Dam Act,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “This is a critical program that saves lives, protects communities, and that is why we included language in H.R. 3080 to improve the dam safety program. There are minor differences between the House and Senate language. We look forward to reconciling those differences as the legislation moves forward.”
The bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) passed in October by a vote of 417-3 and contained critical reforms to dam safety programs authored by Rep. Maloney. Earlier this year, Representative Maloney introduced standalone legislation, the Dam Safety Act, to give communities the support they need to ensure dams have the highest safety standards possible. The Hudson Valley is home to over 800 dams, and nearly 100 dams known as “high hazard” whose failure would pose a serious risk to the economy and well-being of communities and families. Maloney’s Dam Safety Act of 2013 addresses the growing safety concerns caused by our nation’s aging dam infrastructure by reauthorizing the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP), which the last Congress failed to reauthorized. The NDSP provides vital support to assist states like New York in developing Emergency Action Plans (EAPs), implementing existing dam safety programs, assisting with the purchase of equipment, and conducting dam inspections.