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AB-1270 Dams and reservoirs: inspections and reporting.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/12/2017 06:42 PM
AB1270:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  September 12, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  September 08, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  July 20, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  June 28, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1270


Introduced by Assembly Member Gallagher
(Coauthor: Senator Nielsen)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 6103 to, and to repeal and add Section 6102 of, the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1270, as amended, Gallagher. Dams and reservoirs: inspections and reporting.
Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources, from time to time, to make inspections of dams and reservoirs at state expense for the purpose of determining their safety.
This bill would repeal those provisions and instead would require the Division of Safety of Dams to inspect dams, reservoirs, and critical appurtenant structures within its jurisdiction once per fiscal year with the exception of low hazard potential dams which the bill would require to receive inspections, at a minimum, every two fiscal years, as specified. The bill would provide that the dam inspection reports are public records subject to the California Public Records Act. The bill would require the Division of Safety of Dams, in consultation with independent, national dam safety and dam safety risk management organizations to, on or before January 1, 2019, and every ten years thereafter, propose amendments to its existing dam safety regulations to incorporate updated best practices, including risk management, to ensure public safety. The bill would require the Division of Safety of Dams to report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the department on amendments developed pursuant to these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6102 of the Water Code is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6102 is added to the Water Code, to read:

6102.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The Division of Safety of Dams as part of the department inspects and re-evaluates its jurisdictional dams and reservoirs for the purpose of determining their safety.
(2) Globally and nationally, there is recognition that dam maintenance and repairs have not kept pace with aging infrastructure. California needs to lead efforts and go beyond the minimum standards set by regulatory agencies to ensure public safety.
(3) In order to ensure the safe operation of dams and to maintain public confidence in dam safety, the Division of Safety of Dams must inspect dams within its jurisdiction once per fiscal year with the exception of low hazard potential dams which will receive inspections every two fiscal years at a minimum. California’s dam safety procedures must stay on par with, or ahead of, best practices and must continually update those procedures based on the best available knowledge.
(4) In order to ensure that the practices of the Division of Safety of Dams continue to reflect the best available knowledge, and in light of the recommendations arising from the independent Forensic Team’s review of the Oroville Dam spillway incident, the Division must consult with independent dam safety and dam safety risk management organizations to propose additions to the Division’s existing dam safety program in order to incorporate updated best practices to ensure public safety, as set forth in Section 6103.
(b) The Division of Safety of Dams shall inspect dams, reservoirs, and critical appurtenant structures within its jurisdiction once per fiscal year with the exception of low hazard potential dams which shall receive inspections, at a minimum, every two fiscal years. The department shall require owners to perform, at the owner’s expense, such work as necessary to disclose information sufficient to enable the department to determine conditions of dams, reservoirs, and critical appurtenant structures in regard to their safety and to perform, at the owner’s expense, other work necessary to secure maintenance and operation that will safeguard life and property. An inspection pursuant to this subdivision shall include, but is not limited to, visual inspection of major features of the dam, including its groins, abutments, and toe areas, the dam’s spillway, and the dam’s outlet works. The inspection shall also evaluate seepage conditions and available instrumentation and geological data, if applicable.
(c) (1) Dam inspection reports conducted by the Division of Safety of Dams shall be public records subject to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(2) With respect to the reports to be made available pursuant to paragraph (1), a dam owner may consult with the department regarding sensitive data, images, or other information that may disclose a dam’s vulnerability, or may pose security threats.

SEC. 3.

 Section 6103 is added to the Water Code, to read:

6103.
 (a) (1) On or before January 1, 2019, the Division of Safety of Dams, in consultation with independent, national dam safety and dam safety risk management organizations, including, but not limited to, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the United States Society on Dams, shall propose amendments to its existing dam safety regulations to incorporate updated best practices, including risk management, to ensure public safety.
(2) Each proposed amendment, at minimum, shall provide an estimated range of potential cost to implement the new regulation and resulting required remediation, if any. The proposed amendments shall specify which dams the regulation applies to.
(3) The regulations shall provide, at a minimum, that re-evaluations of extremely high hazard and high hazard dams include the review of the original design and construction, geotechnical, structural, hydraulic, hydrological, geologic, seismic hazard, monitoring and instrumentation, and overall dam performance, as applicable to the feature being re-evaluated.
(b) Every ten years, the Division of Safety of Dams, in consultation with national dam safety organizations, shall reassess the previously adopted amendments and propose additional regulatory amendments as necessary. This section does not preclude more frequent revisions as needed.
(c) (1) The Division of Safety of Dams shall report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the department on amendments developed pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b). The Division of Safety of Dams shall continue to coordinate with appropriate federal entities.
(2) A report to be submitted to the Legislature pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.