Lexington, Ky. — Representing experts dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of the nation’s more than 87,000 dams, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) applauds the work of Congress to pass the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). This legislation reauthorizes the National Dam Safety Program and establishes a new initiative to coordinate levee safety efforts across the country.

“Dams are integral to our nation’s infrastructure and provide important benefits, but in many cases, would put people and property at risk should they fail,” said Lori Spragens, executive director of ASDSO. “We all have a role to play in creating a future where all dams are safe. A national commitment to improving dam safety today will save lives and property tomorrow.”

The Senate voted 91 to 7 to adopt the Senate-House conference report for the WRRDA bill (HR 3080). The House of Representatives passed the measure Tuesday with a bipartisan vote of 412 to 4. The legislative package will now go to the president to be signed into law.

The levee safety portion creates levee safety guidelines and provides funding assistance to states for establishing participating levee safety programs, among other initiatives. ASDSO leaders have supported creating a national levee safety program since the idea was proposed after Hurricane Katrina.

These programs improve public safety and allow our dam and levee infrastructure to perform as intended. By having these programs in place, the federal government helps to mitigate failures and save Americans money by reducing emergency relief spending.