The Senate passed dam safety legislation filed by State Senator Marc R. Pacheco Thursday afternoon ensuring further state oversight, the establishment of a revolving loan fund and various safety measures relative to dams in the Commonwealth.
“Back in October of 2005, the Commonwealth experienced a series of severe storms, which resulted in record breaking levels of rain that threatened the safety of public and private dams throughout the state, including in my hometown of Taunton,” said Pacheco. “In response to widespread public concern, the Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee, which I chaired at the time, launched an investigation into dam safety and maintenance in the state. The Committee released a report (Decades of Neglect: Recommendations to Improve Dam Safety and Maintenance in Massachusetts.) with its findings and recommendations in May of 2006."
In January 2011, five years after the committee’s report, Auditor DeNucci released a Financial Impact Review of dam safety in the Commonwealth. While focusing primarily on the dams regulated by the Office of Dam Safety, the report found that many of these problems still had not been addressed.
“This legislation passed today will finally address many of the problems outlined in previous reports on dams in the commonwealth,” said Pacheco. I am so pleased that we have moved forward on the issue of dam safety. This bill will significantly improve the safety of communities that have vulnerable dams while providing a funding mechanism to help municipalities and private dam owners address dam repair and removal costs”
“We appreciate Senator Pacheco’s leadership on this bill that will increase opportunities to remove unneeded dams and help restore rivers to a more resilient, natural condition reducing the risks of flooding and enabling aquatic animals to survive,” said Wayne Klockner, State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.
This legislation ensures that the state:
The bill now goes to the House for further action.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Office of Marc R. Pacheco