Idaho has a dam problem

Idaho has a dam problem
Posted at 2:14 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 16:14:51-05

The Department of Water Resources is pushing legislation that deregulates dozens of dams across Idaho.

A House panel introduced the bill Tuesday. It calls for dams smaller than 10 feet or holding less than 50 acre/feet of water to be off that state's radar. Jeff Peppersack with the DWR says this applies to a little more than 100 dams throughout Idaho.

"It would allow the department to focus on the big dams," he told the committee. "Most of these dams take a day to reach, then we have to conduct surveys."

The bill also adds regulation for the next bigger size of dams. Current law only requires dams that are 20 feet or hold more than 100 acre/feet of water require engineering specification approval. This bill would make all dams, except the ones it precludes, from requiring that approval.