Oroville crisis drives harder look at aging US dams

Oroville crisis drives harder look at aging US dams
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal dam regulators say they are looking hard at how they missed the built-in weaknesses of the nation’s tallest dam.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says in a letter sent late last month it wants owners of the 1,700 hydroelectric dams it regulates to look just as hard at their own dam safety.

The call for internal organizational reviews at dams nationally comes one year after devastating spillway collapses at California’s 70-story-high Oroville Dam. Dam industry veterans call the crisis the worst failures at a major U.S. dam in decades. Authorities ordered the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downstream the night of Feb. 12, 2017.

No one died, but California one year later is facing billions of dollars in repair bills and legal claims.

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