Emergency Action Planning



Dam Owner Responsibilities

About EAPs

What the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Does

The DNR's Water Resources Center operates under the general guidance of the Dam and Reservoir Safety Council in enforcing dam and reservoir safety laws. This council is responsible for the development of the rules and regulations, and the determination of enforcement procedures to make the law operative. All seven council members are appointed by the governor.

The Water Resources Center is responsible for ensuring that all new and existing non-agricultural, non-federal dams 35 feet or more in height meet minimum safety standards. The program staff reviews engineering plans and specifications; conducts hydrologic, hydraulic and structural analysis of dams; monitors construction of new dams and modification of existing dams; oversees safety inspections of existing dams; and responds to dam safety emergencies so that public safety, life and property are protected. The basic functions of the program are:

Permit Issuance

The program's permit activity involves the issuance of construction, registration and safety permits. Minimum safety standards set by the Dam and Reservoir Safety Council must be met before permits are issued. Registration and safety permits require implementation of operation and maintenance plans.

Engineers on staff perform registration and safety permit renewal inspections for dam owners who apply for permit renewals. The purpose of the inspections is to identify defects that could jeopardize the safety of the dam. The dam owner is required to correct defects identified during these inspections. Staff engineers also review applications that are submitted by licensed, professional engineers for construction permits to build new dams or modify existing dams. The applications are reviewed to ensure that the dam will comply with the requirements of the regulations when construction is complete.

Data Management

Data management includes maintaining data on more than 5,000 dams. This information is used by emergency management officials, private owners, professional engineers, mining companies, educational institutions, other government agencies and the general public.

Inundation Mapping

The program's inundation mapping activity involves the development of a map to be provided to the recorder of deeds of each county showing the downstream area that would be affected in the event of a dam failure.

The Council

The Dam and Reservoir Safety Council of Missouri oversees the safety of dams and reservoirs (Sect. 236.410.1 RSMo). Membership on the governor-appointed council is described in Section 236.410.2 RSMo. The council has responsibility to provide adequate protection of public safety, life and property, and has statutory powers for policy making, adopting rules, regulations, standards and guidelines, and issuing permits. The council takes recommendations on the above from the DNR. The DNR has the authority to administer and enforce the rules, regulations, standards, and guidelines adopted by the council, and assists the council in their enforcement of the law.

According to the law, the Chief Engineer of the Dam and Reservoir Safety Program is responsible for administering the law for the council. The chief engineer reviews and approves permit applications, inspects dams and reservoirs, enforces the law and rules, employs staff, recommends rules, standards and guidelines, and mitigates unsafe conditions. The chief engineer may, at any reasonable time, enter upon private land as necessary to make an inspection. (Sect. 236.425 RSMo.) The chief engineer may take any action deemed necessary in emergency conditions to ensure safety. (Sect. 236.455 RSMo.) The chief engineer has the statutory authority to hold public hearings and must do so before regulations are approved. (Sect. 236.425 RSMo.)

The Council is a non-paid policy-making body appointed by the governor with the consent of the state Senate. Communication with the Council is normally handled through the paid staff, which is directed by the Chief Engineer. Questions, comments, requests, and other inquiries should be addressed to the Chief Engineer for action or referral to the Council. That contact information is:

Robert A. Clay, P.E.
MO Department of Natural Resources
Water Resources Program
111 Fairgrounds Road
Rolla, MO 65401
Phone: 573/368-2177
Fax: 573/368-2193

For more information on the Missouri Dam Safety Council and its members, see the DNR website: http://dnr.missouri.gov/env/wrc/damsft/dam_res_council.htm