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Emergency Action Plans

All dams classified or reclassified as high hazard potential shall have an Emergency Action Plan

Regulatory Requirements

MGL Chapter 253 and 302 CMR 10.00 requires Emergency Action Plans be prepared, maintained and updated, by dam owners, for High Hazard Potential dams and certain Significant Hazard Potential dams:
302 CMR 10.11: Emergency Action Plans

(1) All dams classified or reclassified as high hazard potential shall have an Emergency Action Plan ("EAP"). If the Commissioner requires it, the owner of a non-high hazard potential dam shall also be required to provide an EAP. Approval to construct a new significant hazard potential dam or high hazard potential dam shall be contingent upon the submission of an EAP to the Commissioner. All EAP's are subject to approval by the Commissioner. The EAP shall, at a minimum, contain the following:
(A) the identification of equipment, manpower and material available for implementation of the plan; 
(B) a notification procedure for informing the local emergency agencies;
(C) a dam failure inundation map for high hazard potential dams and a topographic map for significant hazard potential dams showing the stream which will be flooded; and
(D) a procedure for warning nearby local residents if failure of the dam is imminent and a listing of addresses and telephone numbers of downstream residents who may be affected by the failure of the dam

(2) Prior to submission of an EAP to the Commissioner, the owner shall submit a copy of the proposed EAP to the local and state emergency agencies, and all local emergency coordinators involved in the plan, for review. The owner shall submit with the EAP, recommendations received from said agencies and coordinators, if any.

(3) Annually, the owner shall review the EAP, update it and provide the updated EAP to all involved agencies for review.

(4) EAP'S shall be provided by the owner in both hard copy and electronic format to the Commissioner and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Available emergency action planning technical assistance and guidance information.

The Office of Dam Safety has available a library of information for dam owners pertaining to Emergency Action Plans. Staff are available to provide technical assistance and overview guidance on preparation, maintenance and updating emergency action plans.

Additional Resources

Hazard Reconsideration

An owner may at any time request the Commissioner to reconsider the hazard determination. The owner’s request must be filed by a registered professional civil engineer, specifying the findings and analyses with which the owner disagrees. The Commissioner will issue a written decision to the owner and the registered professional civil engineer within 30 days of receipt of a request for hazard reconsideration, and such decision shall be final and binding upon the parties.

Additional Resources


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