Dam safety; Soil and Water Conservation Board to establish incremental damage analysis procedure. (HB438)

Introduced By

Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville) with support from co-patrons Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), and Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Dam safety.  Requires the Soil and Water Conservation Board to establish an alternate procedure that provides for a new standard for the spillway design requirement. This new spillway standard would apply to those dams in existence prior to July 1, 1982. The bill also allows an owner of a dam who has received a report from the Board containing recommendations for the correction of deficiencies in the dam to submit his own plan for such corrections. One of the two criteria for designating a dam as unsafe is changed. Currently, if there are serious deficiencies in the design or construction of the dam that, if left unaddressed, could result in a failure that may result in loss of life or damage to downstream property, the dam is cited as being unsafe. The new criterion would be that such deficiencies may result in "significant" damage to downstream property. The bill requires the Board to adopt regulations that consider the impact of downstream limited-use or private roadways with low traffic volume and low public safety risk in the determination of the hazard potential classification of an impounding structure. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/12/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10101507D
01/12/2010Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
01/20/2010Assigned ACNRsub: #2 Natural Resources
01/25/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB438)
01/27/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (7-Y 0-N)
02/03/2010Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2010Committee substitute printed 10104610D-H1
02/04/2010Read first time
02/08/2010Read second time
02/08/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10104610D-H1
02/08/2010Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB438H1
02/09/2010Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
02/09/2010VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB438H1)
02/10/2010Constitutional reading dispensed
02/10/2010Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
03/01/2010Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/03/2010Read third time
03/03/2010Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2010Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB438ER)
03/10/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB438ER)
03/11/2010Signed by Speaker
03/13/2010Signed by President
04/08/2010G Approved by Governor-Chapter 270 (effective 7/1/10)
04/08/2010G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0270)


Cindy Patterson writes:

Please, pass HB438.

We need to adopt regulations that consider the impact of downstream traffic and public safety for spillways of dams prior to Ju;y 1. 1982.

Thank you for keeping us safe, downstream from our older dams.

Cindy Patterson

Mary Martin writes:

This legislation would have a positive impact on many thousands of Virginians -- private dam owners and municipalities with dams -- who cannot possibly afford the huge and unnecessary expense associated with upgrading old but still safe dams to standards now applied to new dams. The legislation would give DCR more flexibility in assessing the need for these upgrades.

Peter Sevcik writes:

Private roads with little traffic that are on or downstream of a dam need to be treated differently than major public roads. This bill will let DCR adopt safety guidelines that are more appropriate to the wide range of situations that exist across the state.