State Lawmaker Proposes Law Requiring More Inspections Of CA Dams

A California lawmaker wants to require more spillway inspections in the wake of evacuations prompted by damaged spillways at the country's tallest dam.

Assemblyman Marc Levine announced the legislation Friday.Days earlier, nearly 200,000 people were evacuated for fear the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam in Northern California would fail.

The San Rafael Democrat's bill would require annual physical inspections for all auxiliary spillways on state-managed dams.

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Officials diverted water to the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway over the weekend after severe erosion damaged the main spillway. The emergency spillway had never been used. Levine's office says the state performed visual inspections of the dam annually that found the spillway appeared to be stable.

Levine called the visual inspections "not good enough" and said physical inspections are essential for public safety.

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