2:16pm

Fri April 12, 2013
Environment

Schumer pushes for more inspection and emergency action plans for NY dams

As spring rain showers fall, Sen. Charles Schumer is warning that more dams in the state should be inspected and have emergency action plans drawn up. 

More than 1,100 dams in upstate New York have been labeled "hazardous." The average age of the high-risk dams is 84 years old, according to a national registry.

The Democratic senator says recent major storms have shown examples of what can happen when dams fail.

"As we saw during Irene, 31 dams in New York were either damaged or broken, they all caused flooding, and those had all been labeled low or intermediate hazards," said Schumer.

Schumer says three-quarters of the dams labeled hazardous do not have emergency action plans.

"Clearly, these emergency plans are as critical as the dams themselves, and that's why I'm pushing a plan to safeguard upstate New York's residents and business owners from the threat of flooding due to an aging or a malfunctioning dam," he said.

The Senate will consider a dam safety bill that would provide funding for inspections and action plans in the coming weeks, according to Schumer.

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