In September 2009, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent letters to its dam owners to have them assess the timing involved with their Emergency Action Plans (EAPs). The goal of this initiative was to ensure the effectiveness of the EAPs and minimize response times during a dam failure to make it possible for:
- The dam owner to detect and verify an emergency,
- The dam owner to notify the local Emergency Management Agency, and
- Local emergency responders to warn and, if necessary, evacuate people.
The FERC developed a procedure called a Sudden Failure Assessment to help determine if current emergency procedures are adequate and assess proposed modifications to decrease response times. If the assessment indicated additional measures were needed to reduce response times, we asked the dam owner to submit a plan and schedule for implementing the enhancements.
The following describes measures dam owners have taken to reduce response times and implement public education: