Maloney’s Dam Safety Legislation to Be Signed into Law
WASHINGTON – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney announced that his Dam Safety Reauthorization Act passed its final legislative hurdle today and will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law. The provision reauthorizes the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) through 2024, and includes a variety of initiatives to protect Hudson Valley residents from over 100 “high hazard” dams in the area.
“With all of the intense hurricanes we’ve been seeing across the country, we need to be doing everything we can to protect our people and local businesses from potential flooding – that’s exactly what this bill does,” said Rep. Maloney. “The NDSP is one of the most important programs to places like the Hudson Valley, where we’ve got almost 100 dams that could cause loss of life or huge economic damages if they break – this is stuff we have to take seriously, and my legislation will make sure we do.”
The legislation originally passed the House of Representatives in June as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), and was included in the final conference report for a larger package of bills which passed the Senate today and will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law. Rep. Maloney introduced and worked to pass similar legislation into law in 2014. That legislation authorized the program through 2019, but to prevent a potential future lapse in funding, he introduced the Dam Safety Reauthorization Act to push the deadline to 2024. Rep. Maloney also wrote a letter to Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-IL) requesting that the committee include a “clean” dam safety reauthorization in the base text of the 2018 version of WRRDA to prevent a lapse in authorization for the program. That clean version was ultimately included in the bill.
Nearly 100 of the Hudson Valley’s 800 dams are designated as “high hazard,” meaning their failure would result in the loss of life and serious economic damage to the surrounding community. To combat this problem, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operates the NDSP, which provides support to states like New York in developing Emergency Action Plans (EAPs), public awareness campaigns, the implementation of existing dam safety programs, the purchase of equipment, and dam safety inspections.
Last week, Rep. Maloney announced that two more of his legislative provisions would be signed into law. The first provision requires FEMA to investigate a questionable contractor, Florida-based Bronze Star, which failed to deliver $30 million worth of supplies during Hurricane Maria. The second provision requires airlines to upgrade the contents of emergency medical kits, which have not been updated for nearly 20 years, to include appropriately-sized doses of medication for children.
Rep. Maloney worked to pass a total of three legislative provisions through the House this summer. In addition to the Dam Safety Reauthorization Act, Rep. Maloney’s Stop Online Opioid Sales Act and Know Your Vets Act each passed the House as parts of larger legislative packages. The Stop Online Opioid Sales Act would require the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to compile and issue an annual report on online drug sales, and the Know Your Vets Act would help bridge the gap between services provided for active duty servicemembers at the Department of Defense (DoD) and those provided to veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).