Emergency Action Planning



Dam Owner Responsibilities

About EAPs

What is the law in Kentucky?

Emergency Action Plans are not required under Kentucky law or regulations. Based on visual inspection of the dam by engineers in the Dam Safety and Floodplain Compliance Section, if determination of hazard to life is found the state can take immediate actions necessary to provide emergency protection. The costs of such emergency measures may be recovered by the State from the owners. (Kentucky statute 151.299 "Liability for costs of cabinet emergency work -- Action for recovery of costs -- Foreclosure sale to satisfy judgment.")

Dam owners are strongly urged by engineers of the Safe Dams Program, state and local emergency management directors, and federal dam safety authorities to have EAPs for their HHP dams. It boils down to a simple question for any dam owner: Without an EAP how will you know what to do if there is a dam emergency, and how will you know if everyone your dam puts at risk can be notified to evacuate?

EAPs on HHP dams may not be a legal obligation, but they surely are a social and moral obligation of dam owners, as well as a smart, proactive legal strategy. Dam owners and operating personnel must be prepared to act promptly and effectively when a dam begins to shown signs of failure. Early identification of a hazardous situation may provide additional time to warn and evacuate downstream residents and to implement measures to prevent or delay dam failure. Because failure of a dam may take only minutes or hours, it is imperative to have a detailed plan of action ready to use. This EAP should include procedures for notification and coordination with local law enforcement and other governmental agencies, information on potential areas of inundation, plans for warning and evacuation, and information on resources and procedures for making emergency repairs. An EAP is customized to a specific dam and helps assure an orderly, thorough, timely, and proper emergency response.