California governor signs dam-safety bill prompted by crisis

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that seeks to beef up dam inspections following a near disaster that caused the evacuation of almost 200,000 people living downstream from the tallest U.S. dam.

The measure signed Monday implements several recommendations from experts who reviewed the crisis at Oroville Dam last year.

It sets standards for inspections and requires periodic review of dams' original design and construction records. It also requires inspectors to consult periodically with independent experts and makes inspection reports public.

AB1270 was written by Assemblyman James Gallagher of Yuba City, who was among the people forced  to flee when both the main and emergency spillways experienced catastrophic damage. Engineers feared the uncontrolled release of a millions of gallons of water. The crisis was averted.

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Photo: Getty Images

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