Dam bill becomes law

Gallagher and Nielsen’s bill requiring inspections signed by Gov. Brown on Monday

On Monday (Feb. 26), Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1270 into law, requiring yearly inspections of high-hazard dams, reservoirs and secondary structures, and biennial inspections of low-hazard dams, effective immediately.

The bill was co-authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber). Gallagher tweeted that it was a “team effort” and a “win for our region as a whole.”

Other requirements of the bill include consultation with the state Division of Safety of Dams and independent organizations to review inspection methods every decade. Dam owners have to operate critical outlet and spillway features every year, and demonstrate their effective operation to the Department of Water Resources. Inspection records must be public; however, sensitive information that could “disclose a dam’s vulnerability or pose a security threat” can be withheld.