Emergency Action Planning



About EAPS

About EAPs

Georgia dams graded D-

The Georgia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers recently published its 2014 Georgia Infrastructure Report Card. Dams received a D- grade.

Once every five years, the Georgia engineers assess the state's infrastructure. Using a simple A to F school report card format, the Report Card provides a comprehensive assessment of current infrastructure conditions and needs, assigns grades and makes recommendations for how to raise the grades. The Report Card is written by ASCE members in Georgia who assign the grades according to the following seven criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, and resilience. This is the same criteria used by the national ASCE to develop the Report Card for America's Infrastructure.

A committee of nearly 50 practicing civil engineers was assembled to collect, review and evaluate data, and develop grades and recommendations. The committee volunteers were organized into fourteen major categories of infrastructure. For each infrastructure category, each of the grading criteria was assigned a weighting factor. In most categories, more weight was placed on condition, capacity, funding and future needs because these are core criteria and better data were usually available for evaluation in these areas. The data were evaluated against objective grading criteria and a grade was assigned. Grades were assigned as follows:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 51-69%
F = 50% or lower

The grade for Georgia's dams went down to D- from D
in the Report Card of 2009.

"The issue of dam inspection and maintenance requires immediate attention. As the number of dams in Georgia continues to grow, regulatory staff is shrinking due to budget cuts. The number of dams per regulatory staff member is five times the national average. The backlog of permits and dam inspections is unacceptably long. This public safety issue requires the Georgia Legislature to step up and fund the Georgia Safe Dams Program," the Report Card states.

"Ensure Emergency Action Plans for High-Hazard Dams: Ensure that all high-hazard (Category I) dams have emergency action plans that can be used in the event of a dam failure to identify and notify people residing below the dam, and to coordinate their evacuation."

"The Georgia Safe Dams Program identifies 130, or 27 percent, of the state's 484 high-hazard dams as deficient. Additionally, there has been a fifty percent decrease in Georgia Safe Dams staff and almost 10 percent increase in the number of regulated dams since 2008 … in the last 10 years the Program's staff decreased in number from 10 to 4 and the number of regulated dams increased from 3,412 to 4,053. As the population in Georgia continues to increase, the state will continue to rely heavily on dam structures for water storage, recreation and flood management. The inspection and maintenance of dams is a public safety issue and the state's failure to address these pressing issues by providing proper funding and adequate staff levels results in a D- grade."

Read the full Report Card on dams here.