Association of State Dam Safety Officials - January 2016
Make an Impact
Contact Your Alma Mater and Local Universities
Distribute materials describing ASDSO's
Nominate a Deserving Individual or Organization for an ASDSO Award
June 9 is the deadline for submitting nominations for ASDSO awards
, including the Rehabilitation Project of the Year, the Terry Hampton Medal, the Danny McCook Medal, and Regional Awards of Merit. Please note that small dam projects are eligible for the national Rehabilitation Project of the Year award.
Raise Public Awareness of Dam Safety
Help ASDSO distribute the informational guides, Living With Dams: Know Your Risks, and Living With Dams, Extreme Rainfall Events, available at livingneardams.org. Contact ASDSO for hard copies.
Dam Safety 2016 Call for Presentations Closing Soon
ASDSO invites all persons interested in the safety of dams or levees to submit abstracts of papers to be considered for presentation at Dam Safety 2016, to be held September 11-15, in Philadelphia. ASDSO is accepting abstracts through February 9.
Thanks for Supporting ASDSO
ASDSO would like to thank everyone who participated in our annual donor drive this year. Through the first seven months of the 2016 fiscal year ASDSO has received donations from 83 individuals and organizations totaling $24,417, including $1,790 in donations being earmarked for the ASDSO Capital Campaign.
If you have not yet made a contribution and would like to do so at this time please visit our donation page.
Looking Back at January
Looking Ahead to February
ASDSO held a webinar on Intro to Application of 2D Hydraulic Modeling for Dam and Levee Safety.
The ASDSO Board of Directors met.
The National Dam Safety Review Board met.
100th anniversary of the Sweetwater, CA dam failure.
9 Deadline to enter 2016 Student Paper Competition and to submit abstracts for Dam Safety '16
9 ASDSO Webinar: Dam Safety with 3D Weirs
21-27 National Engineers Week
40th anniversary of the Newfound Creek, NC dam failure
Dams Sector meeting in Arlington, VA
ASDSO Seminar: HEC-RAS, Phoenix, AZ
ASDSO participates in Engineering Day at the University of Kentucky
Know Any Interns? Tell Them About Our Scholarship!
Student interns are the perfect candidates for ASDSO's scholarship. Experience gained from working in a professional setting is a great way to set apart one candidate from another. We highly encourage you to pass along information about our scholarship to any undergraduate interns or students planning to graduate in May or December 2017. Scholarship amounts have ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 in recent years, and winners also have the opportunity to attend our annual conference in Philadelphia.
For more information, or to download the scholarship application, visit our scholarship page
. Hurry - applications are due March 31.
Paper Competition Deadline Approaching
ASDSO invites students to submit papers on dam and levee safety for the Dam Safety 2016 Student Paper Competition. Among suggested topics are dam or levee design, structural and geotechnical analysis, hydrology, hydraulics, construction, risk management and hazard mitigation, emergency action planning, security, and policy. A $500 award and a Dam Safety '16 travel stipend will be awarded for each winning paper. Entry deadline: Feb. 9, 2016. Learn more on the 2016 Student Paper Competition page.
National Engineers Week 2016
This year marks the 65th birthday of Engineers Week (February 21-27) and the first annual Global Day of the Engineer, on February 24. The 2016 E-Week theme is 'Engineers Make a World of Difference' - a message that ASDSO heartily endorses and strives to spread through the efforts of our Education Outreach and Scholarship committees.
We encourage our members to seek out opportunities to spread this message through participating in established events throughout the U.S. and/or making opportunities by volunteering to speak at your local schools, from elementary to university level. ASDSO's Speakers Bureau offers presentations and other educational resources for members' use; contact Brittany Lewis
for information. For additional ideas for promoting engineering careers, visit DiscoverE.org
ASDSO E-Day Activities
ASDSO will exhibit its model dam at the University of Kentucky's annual Engineering Day on February 27. The dam (shown at right) was constructed in 2012 by University of Kentucky engineering students with plans provided by the New Jersey DEP Dam Safety Program, and "rehabilitated" in 2014 by volunteers from Stantec.
Look for E-Day pictures in next month's issue of the E-News!
Dam Failures and Incidents (Mark Baker, Chair)
The DFIC accomplished much in 2015:
- Participated in conference calls with South Carolina officials during the October 2015 flood event;
- Developed a dam failure data collection guideline at the request of FEMA;
- Supported a new partnership agreement between ASDSO and the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association for prompt dam failure investigations;
- Followed the November 2015 Brazil mining dam failure disaster;
- Collected information for and reviewed ASDSO's 2015 Decade Dam Failure Anniversary press releases;
- Committee member Irfan Alvi conducted an ASDSO webinar on human factors in dam failures.
Current projects include:
- Working with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to plan activities for the 40th anniversary of the Teton dam failure;
- Researching roughly a dozen 2016 Decade Dam Failures and preparing abstracts for Dam Safety '16; and
- Updating the Dam Failure Investigation Guideline.
Design and Construction (Joe Monroe and Jeremy Franz, Co-Chairs)
The ASDSO Board recently approved a name change for this committee, formerly known as the Dam Design and Construction Technical Issues Committee. Committee members are making final edits to a white paper on design review process guidance. Its next area of study will be outlet works inspections.
Legislative (David Gutierrez and John Moyle, Co-Chairs)
The committee continues to push for full funding of the National Dam Safety Program and the National Levee Safety Program.
Security and Risk Mitigation for Critical Infrastructure (John Moyle, Chair)
The U.S. Society on Dams requested that John Moyle represent ASDSO on the USSD Committee on Public Safety and Security. President Jim Pawloski made this appointment in December. Three state Government Coordinating Council members will attend the February GCC meeting in Arlington, VA.
Dam Owner Outreach (Jason Campbell, Chair)
A subcommittee was formed in late 2015 to focus on the issue of safety around hazardous hydraulic structures (AKA low head dams). The committee will continue to create a package of webinars focused on dam owner education and hopes to have that project complete in 2016.
State dam safety chief Bill McCormick was interviewed for a story that aired this month on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." The story, available in both audio and text format, describes the work of dam and reservoir caretakers: As Technology Marches On, Reservoir Caretakers Stay at Their Posts
- In late December, residents living downstream of Briar Lakes in Oconee County were advised to evacuate after a large tree on the dam uprooted during heavy rains, damaging a spillway pipe and causing severe erosion of the embankment. Oconee County officials worked through the night to draw down the lake with siphons.Idaho
- On January 20, the House Resources and Conservation Committee introduced HB 351
, which would change the definition of a dam to remove some smaller sized dams from regulation requirements, and require written approval from the Department of Water Resources for plans, drawings, and specifications to be submitted by a professional engineer to construct, enlarge, alter or repair all dams based on the new definition.
|Indiana - On January 5, local officials reported the failure of a low head dam situated in the Little Wabash River, in the City of Huntington. Ownership of the dam is unclear; however, it was reported that the City owns land on one side of the river and that Huntington County owns the land on the opposite bank. The dam was about 160 feet long, 6 feet tall and about 2 feet wide, with reportedly a sizeable scour hole below the structure. |
|While this dam is a low hazard potential structure from the perspective of risk to downstream property owners, in its current failed condition with an extensive amount of rebar protruding from the rubble there is substantial risk to anyone using the stream for recreation. The matter has been coordinated with the Division of Law Enforcement and will be discussed with the Indiana Silver Jackets Low Head Dam Subcommittee.|| |
North Carolina -
In accordance with the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 (CAMA), the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on December 31, 2015 released draft proposed classifications
for all coal ash impoundments, including active and retired sites, for the purpose of closure based on the sites' risks to the public, environment and natural resources. In March, DEQ will conduct public meetings in counties where coal ash facilities are located in order to provide information on the proposed classifications and solicit comments to help inform the agency's final determinations. Under CAMA, all Duke Energy coal ash impoundments in North Carolina are required to be closed, with deadlines dependent on the hazard potential classification of each impoundment. Final proposed classifications will be made after the public participation process outlined in CAMA has concluded. Read more
On December 18, 2015 the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved the Private Dam Financial Assurance Act
in order to help private dam owners comply with a mandate to have a financial responsibility tool in place by January 8, 2016 in the event their dams need to be breached. The bill has been sent to the full House for its consideration.
- On December 10, 2015, two bills concerning dam safety were prefiled in the South Carolina House of Representatives for consideration during the 2016 Legislative Session: H. 4565, Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act
and H. 4527, Grants and Loans to Aid in Dam Repairs
. Both bills can be tracked through the South Carolina Prefiled Legislation
Web page. ASDSO will examine these bills and work with members and partners to support legislation that will strengthen the dam safety program in South Carolina. The State newspaper recently published a letter
from former ASDSO State Representative and South Carolina Dam Safety Chief Steve Bradley expressing the urgent need for stronger dam safety regulations in South Carolina. Virginia
- A statewide Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) study was completed in mid-November 2015 and was officially accepted for use by the Department of Conservation and Recreation Soil and Water Division and the state legislature in December. Results of the study, conducted by Applied Weather Associates, are posted on the Virginia DCR website: Probable Maximum Precipitation Study for Virginia and Associated PMP Evaluation Tool and Database
- A statewide PMP study is underway and is expected to be completed in late spring.Wisconsin
- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources accepted applications this month for Municipal Dam Grants. This competitive grant program provides a cost-sharing opportunity for dam maintenance, repair, modification, or abandonment and removal up to a maximum of $400,000. Eligible applicants include any Wisconsin city, town, village, county, Tribe or public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district that owns a dam.
WRRDA Hearings Expected in February
Adapted from ASCE's This Week in Washington, Jan. 8, 2016
One of the infrastructure areas Congress is expected to work on this year is water resources. In 2014, Congress passed the first major water resources bill in seven years- the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). Historically, WRRDA bills were passed every two years, but congressional gridlock over the last decade has resulted in only two bills - one in 2007 the other in 2014. WRRDA bills are the major legislative tool for authorizing projects at the Army Corps of Engineers and other significant navigation, flood control, and ecosystem restorations projects across the country. Congressional leaders have signaled they want to put WRRDA legislation back on a two-year cycle and have committed to passing one in 2016. Some topics in the new WRRDA bill are new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief's Reports which signify that the Chief of Engineers approves the project recommendation, the expansion of public private partnerships for water resources projects and other alternative financing models, and project permit streamlining. It's expected that Congress will hold hearings in early February with a goal of passing a bill before the end of the year.
ASDSO recently sent a letter to Pennsylvania State Representative Rosemary Brown in support of a low-interest loan program for dam safety rehabilitation and repair. HB1712 also proposes a financial responsibility fund, but, as the letter mentions ASDSO did not take a position and asked that the Representative work with the state Department of Environmental Protection on the final wording. ASDSO Supports Proposal for Low-Interest Loan Program in Pennsylvania
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
USBR's International Affairs Office will host the 27th Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams International Technical Seminar and Study Tour, June 6-14, 2016, beginning with three days of classroom presentations and discussions at the Denver Federal Center. The post session study tour, June 10-14, will take participants to Washington for site visits at Cle Elum, Easton Diversion, and Kachess dams, all part of Reclamation's Yakima Project. Details: usbr.gov/international/seminars
Levees Graded Lowest on D.C. Infrastructure Report Card
The American Society of Civil Engineers released the 2016 Report Card for D.C.'s Infrastructure
on January 14, 2016. The report card notes that the District's lowest category-grade, for levees, results in part from "unacceptable" safety ratings by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which regularly inspects its two systems spanning more than three-miles-long. Still, despite $1.2 million of improvements planned in 2007, "an additional $5 million would be needed to finish the work on the levees to protect the capital area."
ASDSO Training Calendar
Attendee registration is now open for the following events:
- February 9. *Approved for continuing professional education credits for NY-licensed engineers.
- February 23-26 in Phoenix, AZ. *Approved for continuing professional education credits for NY-licensed engineers.
- March 29-31 in Baltimore, MD
Remember to Check Your Email
ASDSO's Training & Education Newsletter is sent on the 15th of each month.
Now in the ASDSO Bookstore
ASDSO Webinar CDs are great items to keep in your company library as training materials for staff members. If you missed this month's webinar, you have the opportunity to purchase the CD version from the ASDSO Bookstore.
Recent improvements in the computational capacity of computers and in the availability of high-quality terrain data have allowed 2D hydraulic models to become highly valuable tools in dam and levee safety analyses. Today, there are several free and commercially-available 2D models on the market. This webinar provides a background on 2D hydraulic modeling theory, identifies steps to set up a 2D model, describes important specifications for 2D models, and summarizes features available in 2D models. Applications of 2D models for dam and levee safety are highlighted.
Research and Publications
Dam Decommissioning Guidance The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has issued the final version of its Guidance for Decommissioning U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Low Hazard Dams (October 2015). The first 11 pages of this 120 pp. publication, developed by Gannett Fleming, Inc., lists general steps in a USFWS low hazard dam decommissioning project, noting that each dam will have different site-specific engineering, environmental, and resource value issues. The remainder of the document consists of appendices detailing USFWS dam decommissioning examples: Crystal Lake Dam, in the Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota; Martin, Martin East, Martin West, and New Salem dams, in the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Texas; and Hailstone Dam in the Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge in Montana.
Visual Documentation of Damages from 2015 Brazil Mining Dam Failure
Professional photographer Marcio Pimenta documented damages from the November 2015 tailings dam failure in Brazil: Brazil's worst environmental disaster, in pictures.
Report on Corrosion Mitigation of Steel Pipes
Now available from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS: ERDC/CERL TR-15-33: Demonstration and Validation of Controlled Low-Strength Materials for Corrosion Mitigation of Buried Steel Pipes
(December 2015), BY Scott M. Lux, Charles P. Marsh, James B. Bushman, Bopinder S. Phull, Christopher Olaes, and Larry Clark. Researchers investigated the use of controlled low-strength materials (CLSMs) to reduce the corrosion rate of buried steel structures. Two CLSM blends were tested; both used cement and a flowability admixture, but one used native soil instead of standard fine aggregate. The specimens were monitored for 13 months by commercial probes and instrumentation and visually inspected after excavation. Results indicated that both flowable fill materials, as used with CP, can effectively mitigate corrosion.
Geotechnical Extreme Events Reports
The Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association coordinates National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored reconnaissance efforts of geotechnically important extreme events, such as the October flood event in South Carolina. An NSF-supported, GEER-organized team spent several days in South Carolina taking soil samples and assessing damages from this event, and will post their findings on the GEER website. GEER reports are posted at this link
Recently Published Papers and ArticlesEngineers Work to Ensure Dam Safety as Earthquakes Increase
, published in Civil Engineering, December 2015. Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington begin $1 million project to examine seismic stability of Eagle Mountain Dam. "Smart Governance of Infrastructure Programs: Facing the Next Generation of Challenges and Succeeding"
, Eric Halpin and Ignacio Escuder-Bueno: XXV ICOLD Congress
, Stavanger, Norway (June 2015)."Safety Investments In Horcajo Dam (Spain): A Process Informed by the Application of SPANCOLD Guidelines on Risk Analysis"
, Manuel Setrakian, Ignacio Escuder-Bueno, Adrián Morales-Torres, and Dolores Simarro: XXV ICOLD Congress
, Stavanger, Norway (June 2015). "A Risk-Informed Journey Towards Improved Dam Safety Governance in Spain"
, Jesica T. Castillo-Rodríguez, Adrián Morales-Torres E Ignacio Escuder-Bueno, Second International Dam World Conference
, Lisbon, Portugal (April 2015).
For additional dam safety resources, search
Robert Bennett, who had served as the state representative for Virginia for the last several years, is no longer with the VA Department of Conservation and Recreation. Many thanks to Robert for his leadership and service to dam safety and to ASDSO. David Dowling, Deputy Director of Dam Safety and Floodplain Management and Soil and Water Conservation with the DCR is the new state representative. You can contact Dave at David.Dowling@dcr.virginia.gov
South Carolina DHEC's Bureau of Water has undergone some restructuring recently, particularly in the dam safety program. John Litton
and Jill Stewart
are ASDSO's new contacts for South Carolina, taking the place of David Graves
and Bill Chaplin
, Ph.D., P.E., of Hayward Baker, is the new chair of the Deep Foundations Institute Ground Improvement Committee. Blackburn is chief engineer in the central engineering group of Hayward Baker. He earned a B.A. in physics from Middlebury College in Vermont and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from Northwestern University in Illinois. He also serves on technical committees of the ASCE Geo-Institute.
The following individuals joined ASDSO in January:
Kofi Addo, BC Hydro, Burnaby, BC
Aaron Ashcroft, Central Arizona Project, Phoenix, AZ
Russell Bagwell, Santee Cooper, Moncks Corner, SC
Darel Ball, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, Fannin, TX
James Barbis, AMEC Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Inc., Blue Bell, PA
Jonathan Berry, US Forest Service, Portland, OR
John Bietel, OH Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH
Skylar Bragers, GA Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA
Alexander Brey, New York Power Authority, White Plains, NY
James Brown, Newton County Cornish Creek, Covington, GA
Katherine Caley, EIT, HDR Engineering, Inc., Syracuse, NY
Chris Carpenter, Cornforth Consultants, Inc., Portland, OR
Douglas W. Carr, AECOM, Morrisville, NC
Rusty Collyer, Arkansas Electrical Cooperative Corporation, Little Rock, AR
Aimee Corn, Gannett Fleming, Inc., Englewood, CO
Pedro de Lara, Fractal, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
Blake Dolve, CA Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, CA
Eric Dykes, GA Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA
Tim Eaton, Mr., Alberta Energy Regulator, Calgary, AB
Robert Ellis, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Francisco, CA
Lindsay Flangas, GeoEngineers, Inc., Redmond, WA
Justin Gardner, OH Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH
Matthew George, OH Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH
Darrin Harris, Black & Veatch Corporation, Denver, CO
Cassandra Harvey, Virginia Tech, Stephens City, VA
Lewis Hays, GA Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA
Kellen Heavin, Earth Exploration, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
Jarrod Hittle, OH Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH
Wesley Hollenbach, Gannett Fleming, Inc., Harrisburg, PA
Amber Hughes, GA Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA
Ushakar Jha, Mr., Rye Development, Boston, MA
Nathan Lieberum, OH Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH
Owen Lindblom, Cloud Peak Energy, Gillette, WY
Ian Maki, CA Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, CA
Dennis McCarville, Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Las Cruces, NM
Mohammadreza Mostafa, MWH Americas, Inc., Sacramento, CA
David Olson, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Chicago, IL
Natalie Pirvu, OH Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH
Frederick Powell, Hazen & Sawyer, P.C., Atlanta, GA
Doug Schwenke, JDS-Hydro Consultants, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO
Dan Smith, US Army Corps of Engineers, Alexander, AR
Cindy Wang, Ms., Kohn Crippen Berger, Vancouver, BC
Shentang Wang, PhD, Yogi Kwong Engineers LLC, Honolulu, HI
Matt Weil, SAGE Engineers, Inc., Roseville, CA
Paul T. Wessel, P.E., GA Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA
Chase White, Kleinfelder, Inc., Rancho Cordova, CA
Kevin Williams, GA Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA
Mike Williams, OH Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH
News & Events from Other Organizations
American Society of Civil Engineers Geo-Institute
- Professor Jean-Louis Briaud's 2015-2016 Cross-USA lecture tour continues, with lectures in Pittsburgh, PA; Cleveland, OH; and Berkeley, CA in February. In March, he will visit Seattle, WA; Fairbanks, AK; Valley Forge, PA; Melbourne, FL; Atlanta, GA; and Fayetteville, AR. For details and additional events, see Professor Briaud's Cross-USA Lecture Schedule.
- Nominations for the Karl Terzaghi Lecture are accepted year-round. ASCE membership is not a requirement for consideration. Click here for more information, including a list of previous award winners.
- The 2015 Karl Terzaghi and Ralph Peck lectures are now available for viewing via the Geo-Institute YouTube channel.
- The Geo-Institute Deep Foundations Committee provided review coments to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration on Geotechnical Engineering Circular 12, Reference Manual on Design and Construction of Driven Pile Foundations, which is expected to be released this spring.
Canadian Dam Association
International Commission on Large Dams
Registration for ICOLD 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa is now open, with early-bird rates available until February 12. The Final Bulletin for the May 15-20 Symposium is available at icold2016.org.
U.S. Society on Dams
USSD is accepting scholarship applications and nominations for awards through February 19. The award categories are Lifetime Achievement, and Excellence in the Constructed Project.One $10,000 and three $1,000 scholarships, including conference expenses, will be awarded. Award winners and scholarship recipients will be recognized at USSD's 2016 Annual Meeting and Conference in Denver, April 11-15. For details, visit ussdams.org.
The following positions are posted in the ASDSO Career Center:
Soil and Water Engineering Specialist
NYS Canal Corporation
Albany, New York
Post Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Close Date: Saturday, March 26, 2016
RJH Consultants, Inc.
Denver (Metro Area), Colorado
Post Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016
Close Date: Monday, March 21, 2016
Civil Engineer (Geotechnical)(Pathways Recent Graduate)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Date: Thursday, January 14, 2016
Close Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Visit the ASDSO Career Center
to learn more about these positions, view student resumes, or to post career and internship opportunities.
|This newsletter is written and distributed by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 239 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40508. Contact ASDSO by phone (859.550.2788; toll-free: 855.228.9732), fax (859.550.2795), or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).|
ASDSO 2015-2016 Board of Directors: Jim Pawloski, PE (President) - Michigan; Dusty Myers, PE (President-Elect) - Mississippi; Jon Garton, PE (Treasurer) - Iowa; Roger Adams, PE (Secretary) - Pennsylvania; Tom Woosley, PE (Past President) - Georgia; Charlie Cobb, PE - Alaska; Shane Cook, PE - North Carolina; Jim Gallagher, PE - New Hampshire; Michele Lemieux, PE - Montana; Bill McCormick, PE - Colorado; Art Sengupta, PE - Florida; Paul Simon, PE - Missouri; Charles Thompson, PE - New Mexico; Hal Van Aller, PE - Maryland. Advisory Committee Representatives: Eric Ditchey, PE; Paul Schweiger, PE
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