MISSOURI
Emergency Action Planning

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Dam Owner Responsibilities

About EAPs

Know Your Missouri Dam Safety Laws

One of the missions of the Water Resources Center within the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is to ensure that dams in the state are constructed, maintained and operated in a safe manner. This is accomplished by regulation of all non-agricultural, non-federal dams more than 35 feet in height and by providing technical assistance and informational resources to all dam owners. The DNR website provides further information.

The Missouri Secretary of State posts the Code of State Regulations for the DNR dam safety program.

Not all dams in Missouri are under the regulatory jurisdiction of the DNR. Jurisdictional dams are defined as any artificial or man-made barrier which does or may impound water and is 35 feet or more in height. (Section 236.400(5) Revised Statutes of Missouri.)

Dams exempt from jurisdiction include those licensed under the Federal Power Act, agricultural dams, and dams regulated by other agencies with standards as stringent as the Missouri dam safety law. (10 CSR 22-1.020). For example, while Truman Reservoir and Lake of the Ozarks are certainly HHP dams, Truman is regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Lake of the Ozarks falls under the Federal Power Act. Both have EAPs that were exercised (rehearsed) in 2008.

Dam height means the difference in the elevation of either the natural bed of the stream or watercourse, or the lowest point on the toe of the dam and the dam crest elevation. (See this website's glossary for further terms and definitions.)

Laws pertaining to Missouri dam safety are found in Sections 236.400 - 236.500 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo.) -- enacted in 1889 and last amended in 1993. Rules are found in Code of State Regulations 10 CSR 22-1.010 to 10 CSR 22-4.020. A summary of laws and regulations can be found at the DNR's Publications and Audio Visual Aids website.

DNR also posts dam safety laws, rules, and regulations online.

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) has posted a Summary of Missouri Dam Safety Laws and Regulations 2007.