California lawmakers increase dam safeguards after dam scare

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would beef up dam inspections under legislation sent to Gov. Jerry Brown a year after a near disaster prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 residents.

The Assembly on Monday gave final approval to a bill requiring annual inspections for higher-risk dams.

The final vote came as repairs of the Oroville Dam's main and emergency spillways continue following the worst structural failures at a major U.S. dam in decades.

The measure also sets standards for inspections; requires periodic review of dams' original design and construction records; requires inspectors to consult periodically with independent experts; and requires that inspection reports be public.

Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher, who represents Oroville, authored the bill.

Federal regulators are ordering a review of other aging dams nationwide.

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Photo: Getty Images

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