Office of Dam Safety Permit Process

Permit Information for Dam Owners Pertaining to Dam Construction, Repair, Material Alterations, Breach or Removal

Any person(s), who proposes to construct, repair, materially alter, breach or remove a dam, pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 253, as amended by Chapter 330 of the Acts of 2002, must file with the Commissioner a notice for jurisdictional determination and/or file for a permit (if applicable). Further, any maintenance work or water level change(s) that affect safety conditions must file for a determination. No work is to commence before a determination is made by the Commissioner (PART A).

If the Commissioner determines that the proposed work falls within the jurisdiction of M.G.L. Chapter 253 the Owner(s) must apply for a permit (PART B).

The application and notices shall be sent by certified mail or delivered to DCR, Office of Dam Safety -Permits Section. All permit applications must comply with design and construction criteria as specified in 302 CMR 10.00: Dam Safety Rules and Regulations effective November 4, 2005. Certain dams and reservoirs as defined in 302 CMR 10.00 are excluded from filing. Also, the approval of the Commissioner shall not apply to small dams or embankments constructed for irrigation, detention, storage tanks, or other purposes that impounds less than 15 acre-feet, regardless of height and is not in excess of 6 feet in height, regardless of storage capacity provide that any discharge(s) shall not materially affect property.

Any action taken by the Commissioner in regard to this application does not release the owner(s) from the requirements of any other law or regulatory authority.

Low Level Outlet Policy

302 CMR 10.14 (7) requires a conduit to be provided to drain the impoundment.

This policy further clarifies 302 CMR 10.14 (7) (f) (5).

In the case when an alternative method(s) of drawdown is requested, the proponent shall submit   reasons why a waiver should be granted (i.e.: contaminated sediment, funding issues, complexity of construction, etc). The request for waiver shall demonstrate that the water in storage can be moved out of the reservoir by mechanical means. The project design report shall include a detailed description of the pumps, siphons, etc. that would be necessary to remove the stored water in a reasonable period of time and maintain the reservoir in a dry state if necessary. A detailed drawdown plan, must be included in the design,that identifies the volume of water in storage, the rate of inflow under average inflow conditions, identification of pump equipment, or other means necessary to remove stored water and maintain a drawdown condition, time it will take to lower the water level, etc. The alternative drawdown plan shall be included in the required Operation and Maintenance Manual (O&MM) and in the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) if required.

In the case where an existing conduit is in poor condition (i.e. severely deteriorated, structurally compromised, leaky,  etc)  and the condition could compromise structural stability of the  existing dam, the design report shall address the compromised conduit condition (relining, slip lining, grouting or other feasible means) and bring the existing conduit to safe and good condition.  

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