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In The News

EPA wrong on coal ash rule
1-5-15 | Lexington Herald-Leader Op-Ed | By Deborah Payne
Deborah Payne is health coordinator of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation.
It was Christmas time in 2008 when the wall of a coal combustion waste impoundment pond collapsed, inundating Kingston, Tenn., with over 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge.

Last month, almost six years later, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited rule on the classification and management of coal combustion waste, or coal ash, the byproduct that results when coal is burned to produce electricity.

The development of the rule involved an extended series of public hearings, a comment period and then a long wait — over two years — to hear how new federal policies would impact the way we manage coal ash. Health advocates hoped for better storage practices, a classification as a toxic waste and federal oversight.

And the verdict is in: Industry will remain in charge of its own practices, which means, without much oversight things may roll on with "business as usual."

Coal ash typically contains some of the world's most dangerous metals: arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, selenium, and a host of others that in elevated doses can cause cancer, neurological disorders, lung disease, heart disease, birth defects, kidney failure, asthma and many other health problems.

And yet, the new rule does not classify coal ash as hazardous waste.

Kentucky has 56 ponds, and generates about 9.2 million tons of coal ash annually, ranking fifth in the nation for the amount of coal ash created.

The EPA reports that Kentucky has the most coal ash dams rated "high hazard" in the nation. read more

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EPA coal ash standards a setback for environmental groups
12-20-14 | Raleigh News & Observer | By Dylan Lovan, Travis Loller and Dina Cappiello, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Six years ago, there was a massive spill of coal ash sludge in Tennessee. Three years later, tons of coal ash swept into Lake Michigan. Last February, there was another spill and gray sludge spewed into the Dan River in North Carolina.

With each disaster, environmentalists sounded alarms and called for the byproduct of burning coal to be treated as hazardous waste. On Friday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the first standards for the coal-burning waste, but they were hardly what environmental groups were hoping for.

The EPA ruled that the ash can be treated like regular garbage, meaning regulating the stuff will be left up to states and watchful citizens.

"We had to go to court to force EPA to issue this first-ever coal ash rule, and unfortunately, we will be back in court to force coal plants to clean up their ash dumps and start disposing of their toxic waste safely," said EarthJustice attorney Lisa Evans.

Added Scott Slesinger of the Natural Resources Defense Council: "Unlike the majority of environmental standards — which are backstopped by federal enforcement — this rule all but leaves people who live near coal ash dumps to fend for themselves." read more

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EPA won't regulate coal ash as hazardous waste
12-19-14 | Raleigh News & Observer | By Bruce Henderson
The first federal rules on coal ash from power plants, released Friday, set the bar generally lower than North Carolina did in responding to Duke Energy's February spill into the Dan River.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it will regulate coal ash as solid waste, such as municipal garbage, instead of as a hazardous waste. Ash contains elements that can be toxic in water.
That decision leaves it to utilities to comply with the new federal rule, without federal enforcement. States can adopt similar standards if they choose, but enforcement is otherwise left to citizens by filing lawsuits.

"It's good that EPA is setting the first national standards for groundwater monitoring and cleanups," said Eric Schaeffer, a former EPA enforcement chief now at the Environmental Integrity Project. "But we're concerned that it relies too much on industry self-policing."

Industry groups praised the federal decision, saying the designation as non-hazardous would continue to make ash available for reuse in products such as concrete. Environmental advocates said EPA missed a chance to rein in a waste that's known to contaminate water.

The federal rule requires groundwater monitoring and says contaminating ash ponds have to be closed. It sets design, siting and inspection standards for ash ponds or landfills, including protective liners for new ones.

North Carolina's law, which took effect in September, bans new ash ponds and closes existing ones over 15 years. It expands groundwater monitoring, already underway, that has found contamination at each of Duke's 14 North Carolina power plants.

Unlike the EPA rule, the state doesn't allow inactive ash ponds to be capped without further study of their environmental impacts.

Industry practices and some state standards already eclipse the EPA in some ways, said Frank Holleman, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which has filed citizen lawsuits against Duke.

"This is not the industry standard, but the industry minimum," Holleman said of the federal rule.
read more

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Emergency plans coming for "high hazard" Louisville dams
9-25-14 | WDRB-TV Louisville | By Marcus Green
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Jefferson County dams that pose the biggest threat if they fail are set to have emergency plans in place by the end of the year, the Metropolitan Sewer District said in a report issued this week.

Kentucky doesn't require the plans – documents that typically include evacuation maps and key information for first responders – but the National Dam Safety Board "strongly recommends" dam owners prepare them.

MSD, the Kentucky Division of Water and Metro Parks are working on the emergency action plans, or EAPs, which are part of the sewer district's long-term strategy to address hazards related to dam failures and involve funding from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In all, four of the dams have EAPs, according to Division of Water documents obtained under a public records request earlier this year. Those include an LG&E coal ash dam at the company's Mill Creek generating station in southwestern Louisville.

The dams lacking EAPs include three privately-owned structures, two Metro Parks dams at Jefferson Memorial Forest and one MSD dam, according to the state records. read more

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U.S. awards dam safety site stabilization at 270-MW Wolf Creek Dam
8-25-14 | Hydro World
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $950,088 contract to Aspen Construction Co. for dam safety site stabilization work at 270-MW Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky.

The Corps' Nashville District took bids for the work in June.

Aspen, of Hackensack, Minn., is to perform site stabilization at the hydropower project including downstream berm regrading, a trench drain system, tailwater piping removal, and excavation and disposal area seeding.

Identifying the earthfill and concrete gravity dam as critically near failure or having extremely high life or economic risk, the Corps awarded dam safety contracts in 2011 for a grout curtain and in 2013 for geotechnical engineering. Also in 2013, the Corps poured the last of 1,200 concrete piles required to mitigate seepage through the karst geology deep in Wolf Creek Dam's foundation. read more

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Updated Earthquake Map Shakes Up Risk Zones
7-17-14 | LifeScience.com, Louisville | By Laura Geggel
Parts of 42 states are at risk of earthquakes during the next 50 years, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey.USGS map showing risk levels of future earthquake occurances in US

The report includes updated maps that show geologists' predictions of where and how often future earthquakes may occur, and how strongly they may shake the ground.

Many of the at-risk states are in the country's western half, but the map also highlights hotspots in the Midwest and Southeast.

There are 16 states that have regions labeled as being at high risk for seismic activity, because they have histories of earthquakes measuring a magnitude of 6.0 or greater: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

In making the new maps, geologists considered data from earthquakes that have struck since the maps were last updated, in 2008.

In California, new information about faults in San Jose, Vallejo and San Diego have raised earthquake risks there. In contrast, the cities of Irvine, Santa Barbara and Oakland have reduced risks, thanks to new insights on the faults in those areas.

The new USGS maps are part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, a partnership of four federal agencies: USGS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation.

The information in the report could guide new building codes, geologists at the USGS said in a statement. The maps will also help set insurance rates and emergency preparedness plans. Private homeowners can consult them when deciding whether to reinforce their homes to make them more earthquake-safe.

Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project, noted that "It is important to understand the threat you face from earthquakes at home and the hazards for the places you might visit." read more

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USDA Farm Bill Investment Funds 150 Dam Rehab Projects
7-21-14 | Farm Futures
USDA will spend $262 million on rehabilitating dams per the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA announced on July 18.

The funding, which will provide rehabilitation assistance for 150 dams in 26 states, can be used for planning, design or construction. The outlay is detailed in the 2014 Farm Bill, which increased the typical annual investment in watershed rehabilitation by almost 21-fold to recognize infrastructure's role in flood management, water supply, and agricultural productivity.

Photo of dam

Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller and Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, recognized the announcement in Oklahoma, where the first full watershed plan and structure was completed by USDA on private lands in the 1940s.

USDA invests $262 million for dam rehabilitation per farm bill outlays.

From the 1940s through the 1970s, local communities using NRCS assistance constructed more than 11,800 dams in 47 states. These watershed management projects provide an estimated $2.2 billion in annual benefits in reduced flooding and erosion damages, and improved recreation, water supplies and wildlife habitat for an estimated 47 million Americans.

In addition to the 150 dam projects that will be funded, 500 dam sites will be assessed for safety through NRCS' Watershed Rehabilitation Program.

The projects were identified based on recent rehabilitation investments and the potential risks to life and property if a dam failure occurred. Overall, an estimated 250,000 people will benefit as a result of improved flood protection made possible by these rehabilitated dams.

For a complete list of the projects, please visit the FY 2014 Watershed Rehabilitation Projects Funding Table page. read more

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Kentucky's push to upgrade dams lacks enforcement plan
6-5-14 | WDRB-TV, Louisville | By Marcus Green
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nearly half of the high-hazard dams in the Louisville area inspected within the last year failed to meet requirements for safely storing and passing massive amounts of rainfall, Kentucky Division of Water records show. [The regulations state that dams should handle a rainfall of 28 inches in 6 hours.]

Four of the nine dams were out of compliance with rules meant to ensure that the structures can withstand a torrential storm, and regulators have ordered the dams’ owners to make upgrades.
Kentucky’s dam safety branch is increasingly focusing on whether dams can handle extreme -- and possibly unprecedented -- amounts of rainfall. Scarcely mentioned before 2013, “hydraulic capacity” now occupies its own place in inspection reports.

A WDRB.com analysis of inspection records obtained under an open-records request, and interviews with engineers, dam experts and safety advocates, raises questions about how the state is proceeding as it requires dam upgrades:

  • There is no enforcement strategy.
  • Building a new spillway or making other changes may be cost prohibitive, and the state offers no dedicated funding source
  • The current Kentucky standards may change.

read more

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Emergency plans lagging for high-hazard dams in Kentucky, Indiana
12-1-13 | WDRB, Louisville | By Marcus Green
SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Created by impounding a local creek in the early 1960s, Guist Creek Lake borders neighborhoods, rolling farmland and a ribbon of U.S. 60 east of Shelbyville.

Regulators consider the dam that contains the lake's 317 acres to have a "high-hazard potential" – not due to concerns about its condition, but because they believe a failure is likely to result in significant property damage and even death.

Yet the Guist Creek reservoir is a rarity among similar dams in Kentuckiana: it has an emergency plan in the event of a breach or other emergency.

In recent years, federal and state safety officials and regional engineering groups have urged owners of high-hazard dams to adopt emergency plans. The National Dam Safety Review Board strongly recommends states require the plans, and it advises owners of high-hazard dams to prepare them regardless of state law or regulation.

But those recommendations are falling short in Kentucky and Indiana, according to documents obtained under both states' open records laws and an independent evaluation by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

Most high-hazard dams overseen by the two states lack the plans, which typically include emergency contact information, detailed directions for first responders, evacuation maps and contact information for residents in the probable path of flood waters. read more

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Replacement of Dam No. 8 near Camp Nelson ahead of schedule
10-7-13 | Lexington Herald-Leader | By Greg Kocher
LITTLE HICKMAN — The 113-year-old dam on the Kentucky River that holds the water supplies for Nicholasville and Lancaster is being replaced.

Work began in June on the new Dam No. 8 near Camp Nelson between Jessamine and Garrard counties. The project, which will cost more than $12.6 million, should be finished by June 2015, said Jerry Graves, executive director of the Kentucky River Authority, the state agency that maintains the locks and dams.

Part of the existing dam was constructed of timbers that were filled with rock and then capped with concrete. It is the last "timber crib" dam on the Kentucky.

The lock and dam nine miles south of Nicholasville was built for about $300,000 from 1898 to 1900 by a contractor for the Army Corps of Engineers. The lock was able to lift a boat 18 feet, which was the highest lift of any lock and dam in the United States built prior to 1900, according to Kentucky River Development: The Commonwealth's Waterway.

John M.G. Watt, the engineer who designed Lock and Dam No. 8, later surpassed that by designing a lock on the Tennessee River with a 39-foot-lift in 1909; he followed that in 1912 with a lock on the Panama Canal with an even higher lift.

A significant amount of water leaks through the dam's foundation because of the underlying karst geology, which consists of fissures and fractures in the limestone rock. One estimate put the leakage at 12.7 million gallons a day, which is four times what the city of Nicholasville draws each day from the river. read more

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Plans Begin on Owsley Fork Dam Rehabilitation
7-14-13 | Kentucky Ag Connection
Karen Woodrich, Kentucky state conservationist with the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced Tuesday that watershed rehabilitation funds are available to begin planning on the Red Lick Multi-Purpose Structure (MPS) #1, located in Madison County, Ky.

In Kentucky, over 200 watershed structures were built by NRCS under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (PL-566)with most of them being constructed in the 1960's and 1970's. Many of the local sponsors are facing infrastructure issues, such as material deterioration, flood pool encroachment and downstream development.

The Red Lick MPS #1, locally known as Owsley Fork Dam, was built in 1975 as a moderate hazard dam, under the PL-566 program. Due to downstream development, the dam hazard classification was changed to high, consequently the structure is considered non-compliant with state and federal dam safety laws. To assist with this issue, a request for federal assistance was received from the Red Lick Watershed Conservancy District and the City of Berea, the local entities who operate and maintain the dam. Approximately $500,000 has been allocated to begin the rehabilitation process for this dam. read more

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Ky. Voices: Time to invest in improving, regulating D-graded dams
6-7-13 | Lexington Herald-Leader Op-Ed | By Lori Spragens
From state and national policymakers to dam owners, to those who live and work near our state's nearly 1,000 state-regulated dams, we all have a role to play in ensuring that our nation's dams are safe. Unfortunately, too many of us have adopted an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to dams and other aspects of American civil infrastructure in dire need of rehabilitation.

Now Congress has a chance to act.

Potholes and backups caused by water main breaks can be aggravating. A bridge failure can be deadly, as we learned in Minneapolis in 2007 and in the last few weeks. But history shows that no infrastructure failure can be as devastating as a dam failure. May 31 marked the 124th anniversary of the Johnstown, Pa., dam failure.

When the South Fork Dam suffered a catastrophic failure as a result of heavy rainfall and flooding, coupled with poor design and maintenance, more than 2,000 people were killed.

Since then, hundreds of dams have failed in the United States causing, collectively, billions of dollars in property and environmental damage and killing thousands.

Kentucky has five full-time employees to oversee our 967 state-regulated dams. That's nearly 200 dams per employee.

So far, their hard work and good fortune have prevented a failure in Kentucky, but a truly reliable regulatory program requires greater resources.

Also, most other states have legislative authority to require dam owners to create emergency action plans — evacuation plans for downstream communities that guide dam owners and first responders when a dam is showing signs of failure.

Kentucky does not have such a law in place. read more

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With water level higher, optimism rises around Lake Cumberland
5-25-13 | Lexington Herald-Leader | By Bill Estep
 JAMESTOWN — The water is back up in Lake Cumberland. Now, businesses in lake country hope visitation will rise as well. This Memorial Day weekend is the first in seven years with the water level in the giant lake close to its normal level for the beginning of tourist season.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had kept the surface of the lake about 40 feet below the traditional early-summer level since 2007 to facilitate repairs to Wolf Creek Dam.

Visitation at the lake suffered during the drawdown, but with the repair project nearly complete, the agency let the water begin rising earlier this year.

Excitement among users of the lake also seems to be rising.

The Corps of Engineers made an emergency decision to quickly lower the water level in January 2007 in order to take pressure off the dam after engineers said there was a high risk the dam would fail.

The dam, finished in the early 1950s, was built across the Cumberland River in Russell County at a spot where the earth is honeycombed with caves and fissures. Water seeping through those channels under the earthen section of the mile-long dam caused leaks.

The corps oversaw a project to build a wall inside the dam in the 1970s, but the project didn't cut off all the places water could seep through.

The corps hired contractors in 2007 for a massive, $594 million project to build another concrete wall inside the dam, spanning the length of the earthen part and reaching into the rock below.

The lake level at the beginning of the summer season had traditionally been 723 feet above sea level. The corps quickly released enough water in early 2007 to reduce it to 680 feet, setting off a scramble around the lake.
Marinas had to spend millions to move docks and utilities. Several cities lowered their water-system intakes, and the lower water left many boat ramps out of water, requiring upgrades.

Worse, perhaps, news of the decision created a perception that there wouldn't be enough water in the lake for boating, skiing and fishing. read more

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Repair of Wolf Creek Dam expected to be done by spring
1-17-13 | Lexington Herald-Leader | By Bill Estep
SOMERSET — Officials are making plans to raise the water level in Lake Cumberland to near normal this summer, buoying hopes for increased visitation after six tourist seasons of below-normal water levels because of leaks at Wolf Creek Dam.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday that a contractor is on target to finish a massive repair project on the dam by spring. The Corps had earlier estimated it would take until December 2013 to finish the $594 million project, meaning the lake level wouldn't return to normal until the summer of 2014.

With work ahead of schedule, the Corps is making plans to raise the lake level this summer, the agency said Thursday. Still, no final decision about raising the lake level will be made until after the agency and outside experts review whether the repairs have stabilized the dam, according to the Corps.

Thursday's announcement was welcome news for businesses that depend on the giant lake, which generates millions of "visitor days" a year as the centerpiece of the regional tourism economy.

"It's the beginning of the recovery," said J.D. Hamilton, owner of Lee's Ford Marina Resort in Pulaski County. "It starts to bring the lake back to the lake we all knew."

The Corps, which operates the 101-mile long lake, made an emergency decision in January 2007 to quickly lower the water level after engineers said the dam was at high risk for failure.

The dam, finished in the early 1950s, was built in terrain that is shot through with caves and fissures. Water seeping through those channels under the foundation of the earthen part of the mile-long structure created the potential for failure.

The lake level is usually 723 feet above sea level in the summer. The Corps dumped enough water in early 2007 to reduce the level to 680 feet, and has kept it there since while repairing the dam.

The move shook tourism interests and local governments. The lower water left many boat ramps out of water, requiring upgrades; cities had to lower their water intakes, and marinas spent millions to move their docks and make other adjustments. read more

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Emergency plans for slurry dams essential
3-12-12 | Lexington Herald-Leader Op-Ed | By Lori C. Spragens 
Kentucky is home to more than 1,000 dams with 277 of those deemed high-hazard potential. Of those high-hazard potential dams, Kentucky government regulates 178; the rest are owned or regulated by the federal government.

Of those state-regulated dams with high-hazard potential, only eight have an emergency action plan on file with state regulators, according to 2010 data.

Most of the other states have legislative authority to require dam owners to create these plans. Kentucky has seen bills come and go over the past few years — bills that died due to heavy lobbying by opposition groups, which were more concerned about the costs of creating the plans than public safety or disaster cleanup costs.

It is true that Kentucky hasn't seen a high-consequence dam failure for a while — a fact that breeds complacency. But failures do happen annually in various parts of the United States (go to www.damsafety.org to learn more), some with very high consequences, including loss of life. It is proven that when good emergency-action plans are in place and implemented in times of emergency, consequences are mitigated. read more

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In case of dam break: No plan
2-26-12 | Lexington Herald-Leader editorial
On Feb. 26, 1972, a wave of coal waste and water roared down Buffalo Creek in West Virginia, killing 125 people and leaving 4,000 people homeless. Pittston Coal Co. knew its dam was failing, but warned no one.

On the 40th anniversary of the Buffalo Creek tragedy, ponder this: Kentucky has 270 high-hazard dams or impoundments but nothing that requires emergency action plans from the owners and operators.

Kentucky is one of just 10 states that have no emergency action plan requirement.

High-hazard dams are those where failure could cause a loss of human life or substantial damage to private or public property.

If Kentucky required the plans, there would be protocols for notifying authorities when a dam shows signs of failure. The public and emergency responders would have maps of where there would likely be flooding. Without the plans, warnings and evacuations will be haphazard or too late.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration and the American Society of Civil Engineers recommend requiring emergency action plans from dam owners.

But despite repeated attempts in the legislature, and Kentucky's own wake-up call when a Massey Energy coal-waste impoundment in Martin County failed, nothing has been done.

The Martin County spill in 2000 released twice as much coal waste and water as the Buffalo Creek flood. No one died or was injured, probably because the water exploded from a mine portal leading to a creek along which few people lived, while the toxic residue from coal-washing escaped through another portal and oozed into yards and gardens along a heavily populated creek bottom.

There was no warning from the coal company to residents on either creek.

The coal industry operates 105 of Kentucky's high-hazard impoundments. read more

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Environmental groups criticize Kentucky's regulation of coal ash
Groups say pollutants threaten water supply

8-18-11 | Lexington Herald-Leader | By Bill Estep 
Kentucky and other states do a poor job of regulating coal ash in order to protect water supplies, two environmental groups said in a study released Wednesday.

The report said Kentucky falls short on a number of fronts, such as not requiring liners under coal-ash ponds, groundwater monitoring or emergency plans covering failures of dams at ash-storage facilities.

Coal ash is the substance left over from coal combustion. Kentucky is a top producer of ash because it has numerous coal-fired power plants.

Coal ash contains pollutants such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and selenium, which leach out of storage facilities and into streams and water supplies, threatening human health and wildlife, said the report from Earthjustice and Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

"The level of threat to communities from coal ash in Kentucky, cited in this report, is both shocking and shameful, and the health of people all over Kentucky may be suffering unnecessarily as a result of these toxic chemical exposures," Deborah Payne, energy and health coordinator for the Kentucky Environmental Foundation, said in a news release.

R. Bruce Scott, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, said monitoring has shown some elevated levels of contaminants near ash ponds, on the same property as the ponds.
However, the department has not seen cases of chemicals from ash ponds contaminating public water supplies or private wells, Scott said. read more

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Henry County officials end evacuation after dam inspected
4-26-11 | Louisville Courier-Journal | By James Bruggers 
NEW CASTLE, Ky. — People who live below the Lake Jericho Dam were told Tuesday afternoon that they could relax and go home, after being instructed to evacuate the prior evening.

"We got the all clear," said Bruce Owens, the Henry County emergency management coordinator. But only about half of an estimated 300 residents living below the damaged Lake Jericho Dam had followed the evacuation notice that went out Monday evening to people living in the town of Sulphur just north of Interstate 71 and others along the Little Kentucky River, local authorities said.

Marilyn Thomas, an engineer with the Kentucky Division of Water, which regulates dam safety, evaluated the condition of the dam Tuesday afternoon and confirmed that a small slide of sod discovered Monday afternoon was on the surface only, authorities said. But Henry County officials had said they didn't want to take any chances.

Sulphur sits in a bowl a few miles below the dam, which holds back the 137-acre lake. read more

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Region dams in need of repairs
3-27-11 | Park City Daily News | By Robyn L. Minor 
Kentucky has more than 1,000 dams on its waterways, with the bulk of them falling under state regulation, which means many are regularly inspected.

A little more than 200 of those dams are considered high hazards, designated as such because of the damage to property, people or animals that could occur if the dams were breached, according to Marilyn Thomas, environmental engineer consultant for the Dam Safety Branch of the state's Division of Water.

"The designation has nothing to do with the actual condition of the dams," Thomas said.

Low-hazard dams are inspected every five years and high- and moderate-hazard dams are inspected every two years. The latter categories include some dams in southcentral Kentucky, Thomas said.

Among them is Lake Herndon at a Boy Scout camp in Logan County. Thomas said that dam has had leaking problems over the years.

Another Logan County dam with previous problems was at Logan Aluminum. While just a moderate hazard, it leaked as well after a sinkhole caused erosion. The water is used for processing at the manufacturer.

The leak was repaired in 2008 at a cost of about $150,000, paid in part by the city of Russellville and Logan County. The state also contributed funding to the project because of its effect on economic development.
The Logan County dams hold back anywhere from six acres to 240 acres of water.

Warren County has three low-hazard dams, including one at Shanty Hollow, and two moderate hazard, including the Jack Hunt dam in Allen Springs. Shanty Hollow Lake, with 135 acres of water, is the largest in Warren County.
Simpson County has had issues with two of its dams over the years. Many years ago, the lake at the former KAEC plant leaked treatment water from its premises that made the town's water taste like alcohol.

Franklin also has had issues with its moderate-hazard dam on Drakes Creek leaking over the years. That dam impounds the city's drinking water. read more

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More than 200 Ky. dams considered high hazards
3-27-11 | WKMS-FM, Murray, KY The Associated Press
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — More than 200 of Kentucky's 1,000 dams in Kentucky are considered high hazards, which threaten property, people and animals if breached.

Marilyn Thomas, environmental engineer consultant for the Dam Safety Branch of the state's Division of Water, told The Bowling Green Daily News that Kentucky needs as $1.5 million of an estimated $16 million in rehabilitation funds. Thomas says the funds would cover only public dams, because repairs for private dams are the owner's responsibilities.

The dam data were part of a recent report, "The Cost of Rehabilitating our Nation's Dams," published by the Association of Dam Safety Officials. That report said the needs are evenly split between private and public dams. read more