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February 13, 2018

Calif. dam crisis prompts closer look at aging hydro dams in U.S.

  • Dam safety officials, regulators and watchdog groups call Oroville Dam a wake-up call — but is it being heard?
    Associated Press

    SAN FRANCISCO — One year after the worst structural failures at a major U.S. dam in a generation, federal regulators who oversee California's half-century-old, towering Oroville Dam say they are looking hard at how they overlooked its built-in weaknesses for decades.

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is telling owners of the 1,700 other hydroelectric dams it regulates nationally that it expects them to look equally hard at their own organizations and aging dams, in the wake of the sudden collapse of much of first one, then both spillways last February at the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam, the nation's tallest.

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