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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 11, 2009
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

State makes low interest loans available to dam owners

(Richmond, VA) – The Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has $2 million in low interest loans available to local governments and private dam owners for dam rehabilitation, mapping, flood hazard planning and dam related mitigation activities.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 14, 2009. Approximately $25,000 in dam related grants are also available. DCR administers the fund along with the Virginia Resources Authority. “This state loan and grant program is available to help dam owners repair and upgrade their dams to meet dam safety requirements,” said DCR director Joseph H. Maroon.

There are four categories of loans available. Local governments, private companies or individuals owning high and significant hazard dams can apply for money for repairs needed to bring dams into compliance with the state’s dam safety regulations. Local governments are also eligible for loans to set up their own low interest loan programs for privately-owned high and significant hazard dams in their localities. Local governments can also apply for loans to assist with the assessment of local flood risks, including developing new floodplain boundary information or to supplement existing floodplain studies or developing flood prevention and mitigation strategies.

The final category allows local governments to apply for loans to help fund flood prevention and mitigation projects, including the construction of floodwalls, the relocation of structures, and the installation of flood warning and response systems.

The fund also provides $25,000 in matching grants to eligible dam owners for dam break inundation zone mapping and incremental damage analysis. The funding for grants, which do not need to be paid back, comes from interest earned through the management of the Fund.

Regulated dams are generally 25 feet or higher with an impoundment of fifteen acre-feet or greater and dams six feet or higher with an impoundment of fifty acre-feet or greater. High hazard dams are those that would cause a probable loss of life or serious economic damage should a failure occur, while the failure of a significant hazard dam may cause loss of life or appreciable economic damage.

All applications will be competitively scored. All qualifying applicants must undergo an underwriting analysis by the VRA prior to final approval. Information on the this program, including a copy of the current loan and grant manual with application forms, can be found on the DCR website at: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam_safety_and_floodplains/index.shtml. You can also call (804) 786-1712 and press “5” for Dam Safety and Floodplain Management or write: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, ATTN: Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund, 203 Governor Street, Suite 206, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

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