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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: January 27, 2006

Dam safety regulations under review

RICHMOND – Regulations concerning dams in Virginiaare currently being opened to consider amendments and the public is beingasked to comment. These regulations not only impact dam owners but also couldpotentially impact the growing number of Virginians living downstream fromdams.

The public is encouraged to comment on the need for changes and expresstheir opinions to state officials in a process that is scheduled to takeseveral months.
The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board is considering whether toamend to its “Impounding Structures Regulations.” The board isstaffed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Amendments to the regulations may be considered that, if adopted, wouldallow an alternative procedure to spillway or overflow designs where therewould be no unreasonable or significant threat to life and property, establishdam-alteration permit requirements similar to construction permit requirements,have emergency action plans meet federal requirements, have new and existingdams meet the same requirements, improve the risk-based dam classificationsystem, establish permit fees, and clarify language in the regulations.

A public meeting to receive comments on the dam safety regulations and generalideas on how they might be amended will be held Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. at the VirginiaDepartment of Forestry Offices, 900 Natural Resources Drive, in Charlottesville.

The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) and related informationcan be found on the Virginia Town Hall website at:

Persons unable to attend the meeting may provide comments by mail to: RegulatoryCoordinator, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 203 GovernorSt., Suite 302, Richmond, Va., 23219; by fax to the coordinator at 804/786-6141;or via e-mail to

All written comments must include the name and address of the sender. Theymust be received by 5 p.m. Feb. 24.

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