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James Gallagher on Recently Passed Dam Safety Bill

The assemblyman talks with reporter Hayley Skene about the success of the bill to improve quality and frequency of dam maintenance and inspections.

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 11:36 AM

Yuba City, Calif.-- In the wake of the Oroville Dam Spillway Crisis last year, a new set of rules for dam safety and maintenance have been adopted for the state of California.

Assemblyman James Gallagher has authored several pieces of legislation recently and one of the greatest accomplishments many would say this year was the Dam Safety Bill

Gallagher says that in the aftermath of the Oroville crisis, his team started looking at the law and surprisingly, the current law stated that dams would be inspected 'from time to time'.

He says, that was totally unacceptable so he put together bill that would require high-hazard dams like the one in Oroville to be inspected at least once a year.

There would also have to be more substance to what they're looking at.

Gallagher says his team had to work through some hurdles and got it passed this year, on the one-year anniversary of the crisis where 180,000 people were evacuated when the broken spillway ruptured and water poured down the hillside used as an emergency spillway.

"It's really only the first step to making sure Oroville is a safer place," said Gallagher.

Gallagher says that when it comes to making sure that the people most impcted have a seat at the table moving forward, he's worked with Senator Jim Nielsen who's authored legislation to create a local oversight body to give people more of a voice in how the dam is operated - that bill is still making it's way through committee.

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