Dam bill passed on anniversary

If approved by Gov. Brown, would require yearly inspection of high-hazard dams

Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher (pictured), whose district includes Oroville, introduced a bill this month requiring yearly inspections of high-hazard dams, reservoirs and secondary structures, and biennial inspection of low-hazard dams.

It was passed by the California Legislature on Monday (Feb. 12), a year after the emergency evacuation of more than 180,000 people downstream of the Oroville Dam. The bill, co-authored by state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

Other requirements would include consultation with the state Division of Safety of Dams and independent organizations to review inspection methods every 10 years, starting on or before Jan. 1. Dam owners would have to operate critical outlet and spillway features every year, and inspection records would be made public.