Public Hearing on the Safety of Dams and Other Structures Operated under International Joint Commission Orders

Audience publique sur la sécurité des barrages et autres structures opérés en vertu d'ordonnances de la Commission mixte internationale

19 February 1997

19 février 1997

Ottawa, Ontario

P. Béland Acting Chair, Cdn. Section
T.J. Baldini Chair, U.S. Section
F. Murphy Member, Cdn. Section
S.B. Bayh Member, U.S. Section
A.B. Chamberlin Member, U.S. Section




Upon commencing/À l'ouverture de l'audience (Commissioner Béland, The Acting Chair (Cdn. Section) (Commissioner Baldini, Chair (U.S. Section)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Good morning. Welcome to this Hearing.

My name is Pierre Béland, from Montreal. I am a Canadian Commissioner and currently the Acting Chair for the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission.

Let me introduce my colleagues.

Tom Baldini is the Chair of the U.S. Section of the Commission; Alice Chamberlin, U.S. Commissioner; Susan Bayh, U.S. Commissioner; and Frank Murphy, Canadian Commissioner.

On behalf of the International Joint Commission, I welcome you to this Hearing of the Commission under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909.

Our purpose is to receive information about the procedures that are in place and additional measures, if any, that are needed to ensure the safety of dams and other structures subject to IJC Orders, pursuant to the Treaty and the Rainy Lake Convention, as well as to consider the question of how long such Orders should remain in force.

Certains principes, obligations et procédures sont énoncés dans le Traité et visent à prévenir les différends et à règler les questions qui surgissent le long de la frontière commune.

Il est notamment précisé, à l'article III, qu'à moins d'une convention spéciale entre les parties, aucun usage, ou obstruction ou détournement des eaux limitrophes, d'un côté ou de l'autre de la frontière, influençant le débit ou le niveau naturels des eaux limitrophes de l'autre côté de la frontière, ne pourra être effectué sans l'approbation de la Commission mixte internationale.

En vertu de l'article IV, des dispositions analogues s'appliquent à l'établissement de certains ouvrages et dans certaines conditions, dans les eaux qui sortent des eaux limitrophes et dans les eaux qui coupent la frontière, si cela avait pour effet d'exhausser le niveau des eaux.

If required by the circumstances, application is made to the International Joint Commission for approval for the construction and operation of such structures. Upon consideration of the application, in light of the principles and requirements of the Treaty, the Commission generally issues Orders of Approval which are subject to various Conditions.

The Commission's powers with respect to emergency regulation of the Rainy Lake Watershed are set out in a Convention signed in 1938. The Commission has issued Orders for a number of structures along the Canada-U.S. boundary.

With respect to the functioning of the Commission and its mandate, the Treaty sets out various other provisions, some of which should be highlighted as they are directly pertinent to the conduct of this Public Hearing.

Article VIII sets out certain principles and an order of precedence for uses and gives the Commission the discretion to make its approval conditional, under certain circumstances, on the provision for the protection and indemnity of interests against injury. IJC Orders are therefore normally subject to a number of conditions that specify limits or operating bands for water levels and/or flows under various circumstances, as well as other restrictions.

For most Orders, many of which were promulgated several decades ago, the Commission did not specify a time limit or termination or review date. Nor in its earlier Orders did it generally specify that Orders were subject to review at any time.

A notable exception is the 1982 Order of Approval for construction of a new dam near the outlet of Osoyoos Lake on the Okanagan River, in the State of Washington, in which a period of time, twenty-five (25) years after the completion of construction, unless renewed, was designated for the termination of the Order.

In addition, time limits have been placed on Orders issued under the Rainy Lake Convention and provision for periodic review has been included in Orders governing the annual installation of the Lake Erie Ice Boom at Buffalo, New York and Port Huron, Ontario.

Toutefois, que les ordonnance aient ou non une durée de validité limitée, la Commission exerce une compétence durable sur les ordonnances qu'elle rend. La Commission a exercé cette compétence lorsqu'elle a rendu des ordonnances d'approbation modifiées concernant la régularisation du lac Supérieur. Les ordonnances relatives à la rivière Ste-Croix et au lac à la Pluie constituent d'autres exemples que nous examinons et où nous envisageons des modifications éventuelles pour tenir compte de l'évolution des besoins et de la situation.

Nous prévoyons que la Commission continuera d'exercer amplement cette compétence dans l'avenir, dans les cas où les conditions applicables à une ordonnance ont à ce point changé qu'il est impossible de défendre l'intérêt public sans en tenir compte.

Turning to the main subject of this Hearing, this is not the first time that the Commission has acted out of a concern for the integrity and safety of a structure under its jurisdiction.

It was primarily because of a concern raised by Commissioners for the integrity and operating capability of the old Zosel Dam near Osoyoos, following the need for emergency repairs, a side visit by Commissioners and a Technical Report confirming those concerns, that a replacement structure was planned and built, authorized by a new IJC Order in 1982, as previously mentioned.

The Commission and its Control Boards have also been concerned over the years about the maintenance and integrity of the Compensating Works at Sault Ste Marie and the dams on the St. Croix River.

More recently, the adequacy of maintenance of the dykes along the Kootenay River, near Creston, has also been raised. The Commission's attention to these aspects of projects under its jurisdiction has, however, tended to be exercised on an ad hoc basis to date.

There are, however, good reasons for addressing the question of dam safety (and that of other types of structure under our Orders) in a more comprehensive way at this particular time.

Most of the structures in question have been in place for quite some time. The Commission recognizes that age alone is not the determining factor for the useful life of a structure. Nevertheless, they don't last forever and all structures require an adequate program of inspection, maintenance and repair.

In addition, in recent years, as the Commission has been reviewing the terms of a few of its Orders, it has become fully aware of the condition of some of the structures under its jurisdiction. This process has suggested to the Commission that now is an appropriate time to take stock of the measures in place for assessing the stability of the structures the Commission has approved over the years.

Rappelons-nous les récentes inondations au Saguenay mettant en cause des barrages, dans des conditions d'approvisionnement en eau inhabituelles. Ces événements ont fait ressortir le lien entre la conception, la capacité et les pratiques d'exploitation des barrages, et les exigences nouvelles imposées à ces derniers, ainsi que l'incidence de ces facteurs sur les plans d'exploitation et la gestion des réseaux hydrographiques.

L'intégrité structurale durable de ces ouvrages et la volonté légitime du public d'avoir la certitude (en autant qu'il est possible d'avoir une certitude absolue à cet égard) que les barrages établis le long de la frontière internationale sont "sûrs" et en mesure de fonctionner convenablement demeurent, à notre avis, au coeur de toutes ces questions de gestion.

La Commission désire se tenir continuellement au courant des procédures et des exigences dans ce domaine et des mesures qui sont prises pour garantir la sécurité de la population dans la mesure du possible.

We would like therefore to hear an overview and appropriate details on inspection requirements and procedures, both at the level of the owner and the operator of the structures, and that of the Government agencies that have responsibility for water management and for the public safety related thereto. We would like to understand how these procedures work, how they are enforced, and what measures are taken to ensure regular accountability.

We would also welcome views on any changes in demand that may affect the safe operation, management and maintenance of the specific structures.

Finally, the issue again arises as to what time limits, if any, should be placed on existing and future approvals related to the structures and the management régimes related to them, in terms of safety considerations.

Consequently, the Commission requested information with respect to the various operating structures under its Orders. A good deal of information has been received from Applicants, and the Commission is holding this Public Hearing to receive additional information and opinions, on the subjects outlined above.

Following this Hearing, the Commission will review all of the evidence received and consider over the coming weeks what action, if any, it may consider to be appropriate in this matter.

Before we begin, let me outline the procedures for today's Hearing.

First, this is an international hearing in every sense, and any person who has an interest in this matter and wishes to speak may do so by informing the person at the table near the door, Mr. Garwood Tripp, who, on behalf of the Secretaries, will help you in filling out an appearance card.

Second, following our convention, elected persons who wish to speak will be heard first, followed by Applicants, then members of the public or other interests, and then government officials.

As participants are of course welcome to speak in either French or English, there are interpretation facilities available, including receivers.

Third, and in the interest of time, we would ask, as a general rule, that your initial statements be limited to 15 to 20 minutes for each Applicant, providing factual information on safety procedures; and five to ten minutes for any other speaker.

You can speak from your seats, wherever there are microphones. Those who wish to use slides or the overhead projector will have to come up to the front.

Subsequent or follow-up comments may be allowed later, time permitting.

For those who have submitted information in written form, we would ask that you briefly summarize, rather than read all the material which you have provided to us, and which has been distributed.

Fourth, all proceedings of this Hearing, including the transcripts, any documentary material submitted today or later, or statements provided in writing, will be on the public record and will be available for examination at the offices of the Commission, in Ottawa and Washington.

This public record will be held open until March 21, 1997, for further written or taped submissions.

Finally, I would note that there will be a lunch break at approximately 12:15. This Hearing will last until 4 o'clock. In the event that we have heard everyone who wishes to speak before that time, we will close the Hearing.

I will now call the first speaker.

First, we will hear from a Member of Parliament; following that will be representatives from the Corps of Engineers, from the Canadian Dam Safety Association, and then Applicants, in alphabetical order.

I now call Mr. Jim Abbott, Member of Parliament for Kootenay East, British Columbia.


MR. ABBOTT: Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, as you indicated, I, on behalf of my constituents in Kootenay East, submitted a letter to Mr. Clamen, Secretary of the Canadian Section of the IJC, on January 30th.

I would like to go through that letter, because it is now a matter of record that you can be working with. I would like to read three paragraphs -- and they are not necessarily the most important, but perhaps they give a flavour of the difficulties that the people in my constituency are currently experiencing.

The area that we are talking about is in the Creston Valley. It is where the Kootenay River returns to Canada, after having come down from Canada, from the Kootenay River/Koocanusa Lake and the Libby Dam, through Montana, into Idaho and back up.

I will read these three paragraphs and then I will make some comments that might expand a little bit on the presentation that was made on January 30th.

It reads:

As you know, the Columbia River Treaty and subsequent construction of Libby Dam provided a great benefit to the Creston Area by providing a large measure of flood control, which the Kootenay River Valley desperately needed. This is recognized and much appreciated by the members of the Dyking Districts. There is, however, a new problem that has arisen and seems to be becoming more serious as time goes by. This is the constant erosion of river banks by the increased velocities and flow rates by the Management of the dams involved, both for electrical power generation and now recently for sturgeon and salmon enhancement. This erosion, prior to Libby, was present. However, it was in a more noticeable form in that usually, depending on how fast the spring freshet receded, an occasional piece of riverbank and sometimes a portion of dyke would slip into the river. In those days land was considered cheap and the farmers would pull their dykes back and reestablish a new riverbank and dyke. This did not always work as most times it merely removed the erosion on downstream and, as attitudes changed, many farmers became reluctant to constantly be giving up good productive and more expensive land to the river.

Since Libby, we do not get the great elevation changes once a year, as before, but rather are bombarded with almost weekly flow changes, with some extremely high velocities, some almost approaching spring freshet speed, both for power generation and fish enhancement. This is causing small constant erosion all along the river, which slowly eats away the riverbank and set-back area and begins to encroach upon our dykes. It has occurred in so many places that we have been unable to keep up with repairs.

Another factor that enters in here is that many of the present landowners have appeared since construction of Libby and have no idea how serious the threat the Kootenay River can be. So this erosion is not taken as seriously as it should be. Since Libby, the main method of repair to these has been to place rip-rap on the slope rather than moving the dyke back.

And they get into how they are actually working with it.

Because this letter is a matter of record with the Commission, perhaps I could underscore, in a presentation style, three basic concerns that we have:

One, we have an immediate flooding problem.

I have lived in the Kootenays since 1971, and I have never seen in that time -- and all of the people who have been there for many years longer than I, have never seen -- the snow pack that we have in the lower Kootenays at this time, particularly out in the Elk River area that flows into Koocanusa Lake. It has been so serious that we have entered into a voluntary wildlife feeding program. Many of us don't like to get into intervention, but the problem was that of 20,000 animals, the mortality of those animals would probably be as high as 90 percent.

It is an unbelievable snow pack.

We have a problem, first, of the management of the levels in the Libby Dam.

To this point, I have been in touch with people in Montana, and other people that my Office has contact with, and I have a question mark in my own mind about the understanding that the people managing the Libby Dam have as to what is potentially facing them -- obviously depending on how this snow ends up melting.

With respect specifically to the dykes, we have this immediate flooding problem where we have four Dyking Districts who are going to be able to go to the bank, presumably, and get some money to be able to do patchwork repairs. Unfortunately, they are only going to be band-aid repairs to the dykes along the Kootenay Flats.

We have a very serious problem that I have addressed personally with Canada's Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin, who has been very cooperative --

and I credit him for that. His Department is looking into the fact that there will be up to perhaps as high as $300,000, required from somewhere, to patch about a half mile of dyke that presently flows through the Indian Reserve.

This is an immediate problem that is facing us.

The difficulty is when we get into the second element -- which is the jurisdictional dispute.

The second element is: Where are the dykes?

We physically know where we are. We can go and walk on them. But specifically where are they, as far as a map or a survey is concerned.

Over a period of time, as indicated in what I read from the presentation that the Dyking Districts made, these dykes have been moved.

So even finding out where they are, there is a jurisdictional issue between the Federal and Provincial Governments, and particularly with the Lower Kootenay Indian Band and the Department of Indian Affairs.

There has been an unfortunate history of some dispute about inspection, maintenance and repair between the Dyking Districts and the Lower Kootenay Indian Band, when the Lower Kootenay Indian Band took control of the area after certain leases expired about ten years ago.

Apart from that, I have in hand some correspondence between the Dyking Districts, also signed by the Lower Kootenay Indian Band, saying: We have a crisis at this particular point; let's worry about the jurisdiction later.

The issue is: Who is responsible? Under what Regulations should these come? What funding sources are there to be able to take care of efforts at mitigation?

And, finally, one that seems esoteric but it is part of the jurisdictional dispute, which is: How is the B.C. Treaty process going to end up impacting this issue?

My third point is taking a look at it from the point of view of my constituents.

We see that there are certain dollars that are derived from having turned the Kootenay River into a pipeline between Libby and the Coral Inn, where dollars are generated by B.C. Hydro or the Bonneville Power Authority, or Kootenay Power.

We also see that there are some dollars available from somewhere -- and, of course, we are not privy to where it might be with respect to the administration of the Endangered Species Act in the United States: the flooding of the river in mitigation efforts for the Kootenay River sturgeon and, more importantly, for the release of water that happens from the Libby Dam in mitigation to work on the downstream salmon problem.

Obviously, there are some dollars there, and we are not privy to that.

The bottomline to the exercise is that the Kootenay River has been turned into a pipeline: a pipeline between power flood projects, to the advantage of people outside of our Constituency. And while my constituents are prepared to step up to the bat and do what is necessary to protect their own land, quite bluntly, there is a feeling that, having turned this river into a pipeline between power projects -- and particularly with the flows being dictated by powers completely out of our control for environmental mitigation that is totally out of our Constituency --

we feel ourselves a little bit hard-pressed to be fully on the hook for this.

As a Member of Parliament, I have enrolled the Columbia Basin Trust -- I have had their full cooperation; and I thank the Chairman of the Columbia Basin Trust, Josh Smienk for his cooperation

-- and I have inserted myself into some discussions with the Northwest Power Planning Council.

The Columbia Basin Trust, again, is working very closely with the Northwest Power Planning Council over this issue. And we have developed, I think, good working relationships in the longer term.

In summary -- and I would be very happy to answer any questions that you may have to clarify my presentation -- I say again that the Kootenay River has been converted into a pipeline between power and flood projects for the advantage of people outside of our Constituency, and we need some help.

Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Abbott, for this information and for expressing the concerns of your constituents.

Do any of my colleagues have questions at this time?

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Prior to the dam being built, was there flooding on the Kootenay River in your District?

MR. ABBOTT: Yes. I believe the last time there was flooding was 1948.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: If the dam was not there, where would you be right now?

MR. ABBOTT: Undoubtedly, we would be in a panic, the same panic that we are in right now.

In fairness, I think the Libby Dam is going to be an advantage to us, if it is managed correctly. I do have a concern, that I have expressed here today. I am not really sure that the Management of the dam is fully aware of the potential problem.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: My question, though, is this: You were complaining about soil erosion and these dykes, but is there land that is now tillable by farmers that was not tillable before?

MR. ABBOTT: No. The dykes were there and were upgraded in, I believe, 1952. To the best of my knowledge, there has not been any breach of the dykes since that point.

The difficulty is the since the Libby was put in, and because of the constant higher velocity over a longer period of time, the dykes are consistently eroding. This erosion would not happen with a higher velocity in a spring freshet. It would be done; it would be gone.

Instead, what we have is a consistently higher velocity.

By the way, I forgot one very important issue.

There is a U.N. designated Ramsar site for waterfowl, the Creston Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, that is right there. Again, it could probably be impacted by this, as well.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: My last question: Have you brought these concerns to the Board of Control that works on the dam flows?

MR. ABBOTT: Yes, indirectly, through my work with ---

Basically, I have a totally informal approach to this, because I have no jurisdiction. I have an informal approach to this through the goodwill of the Governor of Montana.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: We have a Board of Control that covers the flows that come out of these dams.

(To the Acting Chair, Cdn. Section): Is that correct?

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): I imagine we do.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I just wondered if you had brought your concerns directly to that Board of Control.

MR. ABBOTT: No, I have not. I would appreciate receiving some information on that.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Murray Clamen could give that information to you. You would be talking with the right people then, in bringing your concerns directly to them.

MR. ABBOTT: With respect, our experience has been very frustrating. Our experience has been that the Endangered Species Act in the U.S., a well-intentioned domestic Act, has created unbelievable problems for us in my Constituency, in terms of relatively irrational drawdowns of Koocanusa Lake and this constant flowthrough.

We have been of the impression that the various litigation efforts that have been brought by various environmental groups under the ESA have been more of a driving force than Boards of Control.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: But until you speak to them, you won't know whether your cynicism is justified, or not.

MR. ABBOTT: I would be very happy to.

I am of the impression that the flows are basically controlled -- obviously, by the Army Corps of Engineers, who actually push the buttons. But the flows are basically controlled by the National Marine Fisheries Service in the U.S; and their process is driven by people who are acting and pushing under the U.S. ESA.

But I would be very happy to talk to the Canadian group.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Mr. Abbott, the Kootenay Board of Control meets every summer or fall. Two years ago it met in Nelson in October; last year it met, in September, in Bonners Ferry. And this year it should be back in your riding again.

The Board of Control members are sensitive to the matter you are talking about; indeed, the U.S. Co-Chair is the one who pushes the button and lets the water out of Libby.

The date has not yet been set for this year's meeting.

I agree that that does not necessarily handle the situation for you, but it is one place

where ---

At the meeting I went to two years ago, in Nelson, there were two people who appeared. They had land near Balfour.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Just two comments.

The year prior to that, I went to the meeting, and I think we had four or five people there. At least some people did show up.

Mr. Abbott, you had three concerns: one, the snow pack; two, jurisdictional disputes.

What was the third?

MR. ABBOTT: The third one was to try and identify ---

Perhaps the second one could be part (a) and part (b): first, would be the jurisdictional issue; and the second would be the source of funding to be able to move forward with mitigation.

I underscore that the people at the Kootenay Valley Associated Dyking Districts, from their perspective, are prepared to do their part. Nobody is coming here with a cup saying: "Please fill it up." They are prepared to do their part.

But there is a very strong feeling that there has to be recognition that some of the work that is going to be done is going to be done, not as a result of the normal spring freshet, but as a result of the environmental mitigation and power generation.

THE CHAIR (U.S. Section): Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Mr. Abbott, you mention that part of the dyke is not there; that it is damaged or the water is flowing right through it.

Can you assess to what extent the safety of the public is in jeopardy because of the present situation?

MR. ABBOTT: It would be my judgment that it is not as much a public safety issue as it is a property damage issue. We are talking about the B.C. Hydro power lines. We are talking about an actual gas pipeline. We are talking about new residences that have been built there.

So we are really talking about a dollars-and-cents issue, as opposed to a public safety issue, where we could have loss of life. That would be unlikely.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you.

Commissioner Bayh, do you have any further questions?


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you very much, Mr. Abbott.

MR. ABBOTT: Thank you.

--- (J. Abbott Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): There has been a slight change in our order of witnesses, inasmuch as, instead of Mr. Grundstrom, we are going to hear from Mr. Philip Brown, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington.



P. Brown

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): I understand you are replacing Mr. Grundstrom.

MR. BROWN: No, sir. Mr. Grundstrom is going to give you a little more detailed briefing about the projects as they are related to the border of Canada and the Great Lakes.

What I would like to do is give you a general overall briefing on the Corps of Engineers Dam Safety Program.

First of all, I would like to thank the Commission for giving the Corps of Engineers the opportunity to brief you. It is always a pleasure to represent the Corps. I think we have one of the best dam safety programs in the country.

I have prepared two briefings: one for the Corps of Engineers Dam Safety Program; and one for the National Water Resources Development Act, of 1996, which has, as part of that Act, the Dam Safety Program.

I want to give the Corps of Engineers briefing first.

In the Corps of Engineers, we have one Headquarters, located in Washington, D.C. We have a lot of dealings with Congress in getting our projects authorized and funds appropriated to do our work. We have 11 Division Offices around the country, one of which is our New England Division, in Boston, that you might be very familiar with. We also have the Pacific Ocean Division, in Hawaii.

Those two Divisions are called our "working divisions", in that they have no districts under their jurisdiction.

The other nine Divisions are located throughout the country. Another one you might be familiar with is the Northcentral Division, in Chicago, with districts in Buffalo, Detroit and St. Paul.

Under those nine Divisions there are 36 Districts, all over the country, and under all of those Districts are dams.

We have a pretty big program, and every Office has to be very well organized to get the job done.

--- (A Slide Presentation accompanied the following narrative)

Categories of dams under the Corps of Engineers fall into four categories:

One, we plan, design and operate projects. The Corps of Engineers owns them and we operate them. Others, we design and construct and we turn over to private industry, or private enterprise, or sponsors to operate and maintain.

We have projects that are designed and constructed by non-Federal interests, and we have purchased a flood control storage in that reservoir; and projects that are built by private industry, that we give a permit to.

So all of those types of dams we have an interest in.

We have an investment and an interest to see that they are maintained properly.

We have 569 dams that we own and operate. We have 133 that we have designed and constructed and turned over to other entities to operate and maintain; and we have 122 where we have purchased storage.

I brought this slide to give you an indication of the aging of the infrastructure. At least 30 percent of our projects are over 50 years old -- if you add all these up, from here back. You can see in this area right here (indicating), we have another 50 percent of our projects that are 30 years old.

Each year these projects get older. Our program goes up and the costs become greater.

To give you an idea as to how the Corps of Engineers Program relates to the National Program, when the Corps of Engineers did the inventory in 1971 there were 100,000 dams in the United States. The national inventory of dams, this column here (indicating), has 74,000 dams in it that fit the criteria of 15 metres high and 25 acre-feet of water. The other dams fall into these categories.

There are almost 75,000 dams in that category, and only 569 are Corps of Engineers projects.

In the Headquarters, we have a Dam Safety Committee. The Dam Safety Officer is the Chief of the Engineering Division. On his Committee is the Chief of Operations and Construction and Readiness Division, the Chief of the Geotechnical Branch, the Hydraulics and Hydrology Branch, the Structural Branch, Electrical Mechanical, and the Chief of the Construction Branch.

Also in each Division, the Chief of Engineering in each Division Office is that Division's Dam Safety Officer, and his Committee comprise the functional stovepipes, as you see them here.

Each district has the same organization.

This Dam Safety Committee is governed by this Guidance that we have written. This Guidance follows the Dam Safety Guidelines that were written in 1980.

The ER1110-2-100, which is our Periodic Inspection and Continued Evaluation Program of Completed Civil Works, tells you the frequency and how to do the reports of all of our projects.

The ER1155 describes our Dam Safety Assurance Program.

This program was derived out of the 1986 Act, in which the Secretary was authorized to do modifications for seismic and hydrologic deficiencies.

This Regulation prescribes the processes for getting the project evaluated and approved through the Assistant Secretary of the Army.

The ER101 is reporting evidence of distress of civil works projects. Any time somebody at the project site or during an inspection notices something that is not normal, they are supposed to report that up through the chain, clear to the Dam Safety Officer in the District; and if the District warrants it should be reported higher, it will come up through the Division to the Headquarters Office and it will be observed until such action is taken to make sure the dam is safe.

The 1156 explains the organization of the Dam Safety Committee and each level of office and their responsibilities.

ER112 requires visits to construction sites, during the construction of a project, by the design personnel.

We learn a lot from what we see out there, after a project is constructed, by our visits.

You design a project from core borings and field investigations, and once you get those foundations opened up, you go and investigate. You do that through the whole process of construction, and changes may be needed.

The 1806 explains how you design a dam for earthquake.

The Engineering Pamphlet that I have shown there is a new pamphlet that we put out this past year. This is a very good training document -- and I am going to leave a copy with you.

If a young engineer, somebody new on the job, were to take this pamphlet and read it all the way through, he would have a very good picture of the Corps of Engineers Dam Safety Program and all the processes and requirements to maintain a safe project.

The frequency of inspections that the ER1110-2-100 explains is that when a project is constructed, the initial inspection is done when the project is topped-out, before water is impounded. On a concrete dam, prior to filling with any water, you inspect the whole structure.

The second periodic inspection comes after the reservoir reaches an operating level.

That may take a year, a year and a half.

Subsequent inspections are yearly, for four years. We are in the process of changing that Regulation, to inspect a project once a year, for two years.

We feel that that would be adequate.

Everyone is having shortage of funds and manpower problems. We feel that to form a team and do these inspections on a yearly basis, for four years, may not be required, so we are going to change that to two years. After that, we will inspect a project every two years, for the next four years, and then we will go to a five-year program, pending the results of the previous inspections.

With respect to inspections, other than for the Periodic Inspection Program, we will inspect for the following:

(1) if a flood occurs, a team will go out and inspect that project, to make sure that no depressions, or anything, have occurred at the project;

(2) if an earthquake happens, they will inspect it;

(3) any navigation accidents, such as a barge running into a lock, or a dam structure, they will inspect that project to make sure nothing has happened structurally;

(4) any time a project is de-watered, for one purpose or another, for maintenance of a gate in a lock structure, we will go in and perform a periodic inspection on that de-watered structure.

The reason we do that is that during a periodic inspection, we may not be able to coordinate the de-watering with the inspection, because it takes a long time to do that. So we take the opportunity to do it whenever, for any reason, we have the water out of the structure.

(5) any time there is a power shutdown, we will go in and do an inspection.

How do we get our work done once we have done all this inspection and found out what we need to do?

There are three programs with which we modify and maintain our projects. One is the Dam Safety Assurance Program.

Under that program, we can modify --

and we are so authorized; Congress has authorized the Secretary of the Army, in the 1986 Act, to modify our projects for one of these two deficiencies. Every 15 years, we are supposed to take a look at our projects, based on new criteria that have been developed. If new criteria have been developed in either of these two areas, we are to run the analysis, evaluate that project; and if the project is hydrologically deficient -- and that means, if you were to get the probable maximum flood in that reservoir, the spillway would not pass it, nor would the flood control reservoir in the dam maintain that water until you can safely pass it through the spillway -- what we would have to do is increase the height of the dam or modify the spillway, somehow, to facilitate that additional water that we now expect could come into that reservoir.

State-of-the-art and seismic analysis: We have found that some of our projects, if they were designed today, would be constructed differently. We will go in and we will modify that project by putting a stability berm on the project to keep it from liquefying in case there was a seismic event of a certain magnitude.

Under the Periodic Inspection Program, we will come out of those inspections with recommendations on what needs to be done to the project.

With respect to general maintenance, we have a multi-million dollar program every year that will do the maintenance work. If something that has occurred that is over the $5 million level, we will call it a major rehabilitation program and a report will have to be prepared. It will come to Headquarters and go to Congress, and it will be treated as a new start and will have to get in queue with all the other projects that we have to be authorized.

So you are competing for the dollars on the major rehab program and the maintenance program.

If one of these two things occurs, and it is an emergency, funds will be appropriated for the modification.

At each project there are certain documents that are kept. During the design of a project, there is an initial Reservoir Filling Plan prepared. When water is being stored in the reservoir for the first time, you have to monitor certain things, and that Plan tells you what that will be.

The Reservoir Regulation Manual on how you are going to regulate that water will be at the site, as well as the O&M Manual, Emergency Action plans.

Each project has Emergency Action Plans written, and when that project is completed a copy of that is taken downstream to every community that would be impacted if for some reason that project failed. The Corps takes that Plan down there and lays it on the table, and they explain to everybody involved -- the Mayors, the Governors, the Police Department, Fire Department -- what our Plan would be if we have a pending emergency, and maybe an imminent failure.

They know what we are going to do, who we are going to alert and how we are going to alert, them.

They have the responsibility to do an evacuation plan for that community.

The Federal Government does not have the authority to do the evacuation plan. That is the responsibility of the communities.

I hate to tell you this, but about 15 percent of our projects have evacuation plans; the other 85 percent do not. And it is basically because the communities have not felt the importance, nor have the capability, they say, nor the money to prepare an evacuation plan.

The Corps of Engineers continues to write them letters and remind them that that is their responsibility.

I encourage them to do it on an annual basis, and they are doing it. But we still have not moved above the 15 percent, to my knowledge.

Every Periodic Inspection Report is kept at the project; we also have a copy at Headquarters. In case of an emergency, the Chief of Engineers will have a copy that we can hand to him and he can see what the last inspection showed.

All the instrumentation records are kept there.

Each dam is instrumented, and the readings from those instruments are evaluated on a monthly basis and are provided up the stovepipe for files and for record purposes, in the event that something should occur.

At the project site we also have Design Memorandums for all features. If you are not familiar with those, those are the design documents that document all the design for every feature of that project.

When a project is consummated, the local citizen will go their Governor or Congressman and they will say: "We have a problem here. We need help. Every spring we get flooded by the spring thaw. What can you do for us?"

Congress will authorize the Corps of Engineers to do a Recon Study.

That takes a year, at about $100,000.

Then we do a Feasibility Report that shows that we do have a feasible fix for that project. If that gets passed and authorized by Congress, then we go into the feature design, the Design Memorandums. Then we do plans and specs, and then we award a contract.

The contract documents and the as-built drawings are kept at the project, and construction photographs. All the data that you see there is at the project site.

The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 authorizes the Corps of Engineers to seek a sponsor for every project that is authorized. Once that project is constructed, we turn it over to that sponsor to operate and maintain. That sponsor also cost-shares that project with us. It has been 75/25: 75 percent Federal, 25 percent sponsor cost.

We then turn it over to them and they operate and maintain it. The Corps of Engineers is kind of out of it, as far as costs go, unless something happens and we have to step back in to make sure that they are doing it adequately.

The sponsor is now involved, and all those projects that we used to build, that were owned, operated and maintained by the Corps, are now the responsibility of the sponsors.

If that sponsor goes to his Congressman and wants a project down there, they feel that if they are really serious about this project, they are going to help us pay for it.

That is the theory behind that.

The cost-sharing this year, with WRDA 1996, takes that cost-sharing to 65/35, instead of 75/25.

Some of the things that the sponsor needs to know -- and the Corps of Engineers makes sure that they know that -- include the Turnover Plan.

When we are doing the Feasibility Report, the Turnover Plan is documented in that Report. The Corps of Engineers is responsible for the OMRR&R Manual -- which is the Operations and Maintenance, Replacement, Repair and Rehab Manual -- which tells the sponsor how to do all that stuff.

We tell them how to do dam safety training and tell them about the Emergency Action Plan and the Instrumentation and Periodic Inspection Schedule, and so forth.

In terms of the sponsor's responsibilities, they need to know, and do, all the operational requirements, all the maintenance; do all the subsequent periodic inspections, monitor and do remedial modifications, and maintain that Emergency Action Plan, should any changes occur.

The shareholders in the Corps' Dam Safety Program are the owner and the sponsor, the designer and the contractor, the operator of the State, and the public themselves.

We have a good Public Awareness Program that notifies the folks downstream of what they are living downstream of, and we try to keep them involved.

I am trying to get them more involved because of the evacuation reports that are not prepared. I am trying to get the local citizens down there to get on the Committees to get those evacuation plans drawn up, for their own safety.

I don't think a lot of people down there know what they are living downstream of, in a lot of cases. They look at them more as recreation and a "nice thing to have". They don't think that anything is ever going to happen -- and it may not; hopefully, it won't.

This is a National Performance of Dams Program, which is not the Corps' program. It is something new that started about a year and a half ago, at Stanford University, in concurrence with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials in the United States.

They are compiling a databank of incidents that happen at dams throughout the United States.

Today, I think they have about 300 incidents reported and a database on those.

The owners of all the 70,000 or 100,000 dams in the United States, should they ever have an incident of any kind, are supposed to fill out a notification form, which is a one-page sheet, very simple and quick to fill out.

After the incident has occurred and they evaluate what happened, they do a report and they also send that to the database, along with a follow-up report on what has happened subsequent to the incident and what they have done to fix it.

One of these days we will have enough data and information in there such that, in the event a dam owner has a problem, he can go into that and perhaps find a similar problem to that which is occurring at his dam and have a "quick fix" and save himself a lot of time and effort in determining a "fix" for his project.

You might want to note Dr. McCann's name and address. If you wish to write him to get more information on that database, you are certainly free to do so. I am sure he would appreciate any inquiries, and provide you with information. Then he might ask you for money to support the program!

--- (Laughter/Rires)

That is the Corps of Engineers' Dam Safety Program.

I brought a few documents that I am going to leave with you. One is the National Performance of Dams Program and the Dam Safety Guidelines ---

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): You can provide those to Mr. Clamen or Mrs. Prosser.

MR. BROWN: Do I have time to give the Water Resources Development Act briefing?

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Yes, certainly.

--- (A Slide Presentation accompanied the following narrative)

MR. BROWN: This is the National Dam Safety Program Act of 1996.

The purpose of this Act was to reduce risk to life and property from dam failure. It establishes and maintains an effective National Dam Safety Program. It brings together expertise and resources of Federal and non-Federal communities.

It is not the intent of this section to pre-empt any other Federal program, nor is it the intent to mandate State participation in the Grant Assistance Program, to be established under this program.

I would like to give you a little bit of background about these other two Acts, before I get into the WRDA 1996.

Public Law 92-367, which was passed in August of 1972, authorized the Corps of Engineers to do an inspection of all dams in the United States. They did that and provided a lot of data, identified dams that needed work to be done, and also came out of that with the National Inventory of Dams, which has the 75,000 dams. Each one of those dams in that inventory has a database of about 50 items of information.

It is available on CD-ROM. If you have need for it, you can certainly get one by writing the Corps of Engineers at Headquarters. Or FEMA could provide you a copy.

In the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 there was a section which was called the Dam Safety Act of 1986. It was not a national program, like the 1996 Act; it was just the Dam Safety Act of 1986.

It authorized the Secretary of the Army to modify the Corps dams, Federal dams, under the Dam Safety Assurance Program, which I have explained to you in our Program. It authorized funds to be appropriated, from 1988 to 1992, in the amount of $13 million a year, for use in getting the States to develop a Dam Safety Office. We were to work with FEMA and the States; we would get this $13 million and we do programs, and we would help them get established and get them interested in dam safety.

We were never funded. We put the money in our Budget, and it got struck out every time. Being authorized does not mean that you are going to get to do the work. Being authorized means you are authorized to do it if they give you the money.

We have never received the money, so it has been overcome by events.

The 1996 Act does the same thing, on a lesser scale, and it gives the program to FEMA.

I think the reason that they did that was that the 1986 Act never got off the ground, so the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, in concert with FEMA, drafted up this new legislation that would give them the authority to do it.

We were happy with that, because we think it should be someone outside the Federal Government dealing with all the non-Federal dams.

So we were in concurrence with that Act.

It did leave a couple of things in the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers -- and I will explain that.

The Act establishes, by law, the National Dam Safety Program Act. It establishes, by law, the Inter-Agency Committee on Dam Safety, the Inter-Agency Committee on Dam Safety Review Board, and it authorizes the preparations.

A Task Force has been formed to implement the program. It was established by the Director of FEMA.

Jamie Whitt is now the Director of FEMA.

On this Task Force we have the Department of the Army, which is the Corps of Engineers; the Department of Interior; Tennessee Valley Authority; FEMA -- which is Federal Energy Management Agency; Department of Agriculture; and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

In this 1996 Act, there are 12 sections. A lot of them don't mean a whole lot. A couple of them are very detailed and they sort of do what the 1986 did, but it makes it law.

Section 1 makes this the National Dam Safety Program Act.

This is the first time we have had a national Dam Safety Program Act.

Section 2 simply gives you definitions of words that are used throughout the rest of the Act.

For example, they explain what a "Board" is; what a "dam" is; the criteria of the Director. They cover such things as Federal Agencies, Federal Guidelines, FEMA, Hazard Reduction, ICODs, State Dam Safety Agency. It gives you definitions of what is in there, so that they don't have to say it, in full, every time they mention it.

Section 3: The Chief of Engineers, Corps of Engineers, maintains the responsibility for the inspections of dams. We were given that authority in the 1972 Act, and we have maintained that.

What this does is it gives the States authority to ask the Federal Agency to come and inspect the dam for them. The Federal Agency will do that. It will provide them with information on construction, operation and maintenance of that project. And the States are invited to participate in that inspection.

Section 4 requires that, as soon as practical after inspection of a dam, the Secretary of the Army shall notify the Governor of the results of that inspection. The Secretary shall notify the Governor of that State of any hazardous condition that they have seen.

Section 5, Determination of Danger to Human Life and Property: The 1972 Act authorized the Secretary of the Army to determine whether a dam constitutes a danger to human life or property. This lists the items that we would use in determining whether a dam is unsafe or not, such as over-topping, seepage, settlement, erosion, sediment, cracking, et cetera.

Section 6: The National Dam Inventory stays with the Corps of Engineers. We do a biannual inventory update and publish a new CD every two years.

The important thing about the 1996 Act, as opposed to the 1986 Act, is that there is no expiration date on our authority. In the 1986 Act, the authority ended in 1992, and the 1992 Act gave us authority to do the inventory until 1994. The 1994 Act gave us authority to 1996, but we were not funded.

This authorizes funding, and there is no expiration date on the inventory.

We have been getting $500,000 a year to maintain the inventory. We work with FEMA and the States in getting that inventory, and a contractor, and publishing a new one every two years. One of these days that should drop, when we think we have a good inventory. But when you have 75,000 dams, it is very difficult to get everyone to give you the correct data.

The members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Dam Safety are the Departments of Defence, Agriculture, Energy, Interior, Labor; the Chairman of FEMA; the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; the Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Section of the International Boundary Commission.

The duties of that Committee are to establish and maintain Federal and State programs, policies and guidelines, to enhance dam safety for protection of life and property.

A lot of that stuff we have been doing, as a result of the 1986 Act, with the Inter-Agency Committee on Dam Safety. This just makes it more legal, I guess.

The National Dam Safety Program: The program is to be administered by FEMA. FEMA has 270 days to develop a plan for the implementation of this program. They have 300 days to submit it to Congress and 360 days to get it implemented.

The objectives are to make new and existing dams safe; encourage acceptable engineering policies and procedures; encourage dam safety programs in each State; do more public awareness; develop technical assistance materials; and develop mechanisms to provide assistance.

They are to provide assistance to the State. The State and the Director of FEMA will sign agreements that the State will support the State's program. If a State wants to get in on some of this funding that FEMA will be getting to help set up their program, they have to certify that they are going to support it.

They get the Governor involved, and hopefully we will get some good work out of those guys.

Training: If the Dam Safety Review Board, authorized by this Act, reviews a State program and finds that it is inadequate, the Director will revoke approval and withhold assistance until they meet the requirements.

It establishes the National Review Board and the Review Board will simply monitor all the State's activities and make sure they are carrying out what they have agreed to do.

Section 9: The Director, in cooperation with ICODs, will carry out a program of technical and archival research to develop these new techniques, get a database of historical experience, new equipment for construction rehab and inspection, and new devices for monitoring of existing dams.

Section 10, Reports: FEMA is supposed to provide Congress with a report on what flood insurance is available, to all these folks that live in the flood plain, and so forth. Ninety days after the end of each odd year, a report from the Director will be submitted to Congress, describing the status of the report.

The report that we have been providing to Congress every other year, now, based on the 1986 Act, is this big program here. This is the 1994-95 program, these two volumes. That is the report that they send to Congress on the status of the Dam Safety Program in the country.

This is mainly speaking to the Federal agencies. This new report will cover the Federal agencies, plus the non-Federal.

This section merely says that the Government will be held free and clear of any liability or damage to a non-Federal dam.

Section 12, Authorization or Appropriations: In FY-98, $1 million is to be appropriated; in FY-99, $2 million; in FY-2000, $4 million; and $4 million in 2001.

The inventory, $500,000 per year, authorized with no expiration date; training, $500,000 a year until the year 2000.

And I guess they will have to pass another WRDA to extend that beyond the year 2002.

None of these funds can be used for modification of any dam. And there will be $1 million per year, until the year 2002, for research.

Again, the duties of the Inter-Agency Committee on Dam Safety are merely to encourage the establishment and maintenance of effective Federal and State programs.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what the 1996 Water Resources Development Act consists of.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you very much, Mr. Brown.

Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Mr. Brown, I am a little confused. The inspections go up once every two years for the first four years; after that, it is once every five years.

I don't know if this is an apt analogy, but the licensed drivers in the State of Indiana, once they pass the age of eighty, have to requalify every year. It is assumed that at some point you will not be able to drive any more.

From your Presentation, 50 percent of your dams are 30 years old, and 30 percent are over 50 years old.

At what year would you go to an annual inspection, or back to the more frequent inspections?

It seems to me that for a 50-year-old dam, once every five years would not take care of it.

MR. BROWN: We follow our procedures there. As I said, we are going to the two-year interval in the new Regulations.

Once we are in the five-year program, if at any time we feel that a project is needing more attention, we will give it more attention, and we will inspect it.

One of the recommendations coming out of that report will be that if the project looks good, the next inspection will be five years out. Or, based on what we find, it will be three years out, or two years out.

The program is five years, but no more than five years. It can be anything less than that five years.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: If a dam is 80 years old, would you then go to a more frequent inspection, realizing that it is older?

MR. BROWN: As long as the dam is maintained correctly throughout the years, it could last forever. As long as you maintain it and replace any deficient areas, it can continue to function as it was designed to do.

Over the years, if there is water up against an embankment, it may start seeping and you may have to do something to collect that seepage; drain if off correctly. You may have to modify and put a curtain wall in to protect it. But if those things are done, that dam should last forever.

For economics and planning purposes, we usually use a 50-year life or a 100-year life on a project for calculating what the national economic development plan would be, the most feasible plan to give us a good BCR ratio. You can't go forever, so we pick a year and calculate what it would cost to operate that dam; what it would cost to construct it; what the benefits would be.

If the benefit/cost ratio is above one, Congress will authorize it.

As long as you maintain that project, like I think the Corps of Engineers does -- granted, it takes a lot of money and a lot of effort.

One of our inspection reports may cost $30,000; some may be less. It all depends on the magnitude of the project.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: You have 600-odd dams that are run by the Army Corps, but you were talking about the thousands that are privately run.

This new law requires you to inspect them all, to oversee the inspection of them all?

MR. BROWN: No. If an owner of a dam wants someone to determine its safety, they come to the Corps of Engineers.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: But are they required, on a periodic basis, to submit reports to any Federal agency regarding safety?

MR. BROWN: No. It just keeps the authority with the Corps of Engineers to determine whether it is safe or unsafe.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: They are not required, on a periodic basis, to determine its safety?

MR. BROWN: No. That is up to the owner; and that is also up to the States that have the authority over those projects within their states.

They are going to be held accountable under the new Dam Safety Program. The Association of State Dam Safety Officials, in concert with FEMA, is trying to get every State on board with a good Dam Safety Program.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Did you set uniform guidelines among all those States, to give them a good standard under which to practise safety?

MR. BROWN: There are Safety Guidelines written, based on the 1972 Act. The Recommended Guidelines for Safety Inspection of Dams and the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety were written by the Dam Safety Board, based on the 1972 Act.

These Guidelines are continually reviewed and updated. We are in the process of updating these now, with new criteria and what we think would be new requirements.

These are two of the things we are trying to get all of the States to use.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: But they are not required to use these.

MR. BROWN: No. I don't know of anything that requires them to utilize those standards.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Chamberlin, please.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: Thank you for the explanation of your concern about the public and their involvement in evacuation planning.

Is there an opportunity for a public complaint to work its way through the procedures you have described? If a member of the public were concerned, how would they raise any issues with the Corps?

MR. BROWN: The only way that things get done is through legislation. If there is a concern out there vis-à-vis a lack of evacuation plans, one solution would be to legislate the requirement for an evacuation plan.

They would have to go through that channel.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: In terms of specific sites or projects, those would not come to your attention through any ---

MR. BROWN: Insofar as the ones that we are responsible for are concerned, we are in contact with those communities and encouraging them to do that.

The reason we have not been authorized to do it is that it is cost-prohibitive for the Corps of Engineers.

We have 569 dams. Let's say you have five communities downstream. If that dam failed, it would impact each one of those communities to a certain degree, as that floodwave moves down the valley. Every one of those communities needs an evacuation plan. And as communities change, that evacuation plan would have to change.

If we did evacuation plans for all of those communities and we were to go in every year or two years to assess those and make those changes...

We don't have the time, the manpower, nor the money to do that. So we leave that up to the communities.

The communities may have some little plan there, but I wonder how effective it would be. The only thing we can do is encourage them to do it.

We are authorized to do the Emergency Action Plans, which is our program for alerting people. It is up to the communities to get them out of there.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: The 1986 Act applies only to dams run by the Corps?


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: What about dams run by the Bureau of Lands Reclamation?

MR. BROWN: They have their own programs.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do they have a similar Statute?

MR. BROWN: I don't know. If you read the WRDA 1986, it says it authorizes the Secretary of the Army, through the Chief of Engineers, to modify its projects if they determine them to be inadequate.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Would the 1986 Act apply to the dam at Sault Ste. Marie?

MR. BROWN: Yes, if it's a Corps of Engineers dam.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: The Compensating Gates, I guess is what it is called.

Have you inquired of the communities below that, to ascertain whether or not there are evacuation plans?

MR. BROWN: I can't answer that specifically.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: If that dam is under your control, that would be one of the things that you would suggest?

MR. BROWN: Yes. A navigation dam is a little different from a flood control dam, in that most navigation dams, with locks ---


MR. BROWN: -- don't pose the threat that a 400-foot-high flood control dam would pose if it is overtopped or fails.

Usually, your navigation dams are lower head, and the whole thing is not going to go out of there at once. You might have a section that would blow out, or a gate that would fail and allow the water to pass through.

You just don't have the potential for the threat that you do with a high-head flood control dam.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: In respect of the 1996 Act that you referred to, I take it that State participation is voluntary.


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: So if the State does not say "we sign up for it", then it does not apply.

MR. BROWN: Right. And they also don't get any Federal help.


It went into effect in 1996. What States have signed up?

MR. BROWN: I can't answer that; I'm sorry. There are quite a few that have already installed a Dam Safety Program. Quite a few States already have such a Program in place.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: That is independent of the 1996 Act.


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: What do you consider to be the scope of responsibility for the operation of the dam? Does that include evacuation plans, and things like that?

MR. BROWN: It is listed as one of the four things in an Emergency Action Plan. There are four things in the Dam Safety Guidelines that are needed on a project: one of them is an Emergency Action Plan; another one is an Evacuation Plan.

They are different. The Emergency Action Plan is something that the owner has. Included in that Emergency Action Plan are inundation maps: If you lose the dam, what area downstream will be inundated?

They provide those maps as part of the Emergency Action Plan to those communities, so they can see what will be flooded if the dam failed.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: This depositary of information at Stanford is voluntary.


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Has it been taken advantage of by anyone?

MR. BROWN: Yes. They have had quite a few inquiries on certain incidents. People have gone in and asked if they have had certain type of incident that might be comparable to what they have.

I don't know the success of that.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I thought I noted your saying that you have an inventory of incidents; that for dam inspection, there should be an inventory kept of things at each dam.

Is that what you are saying?

MR. BROWN: At each dam?


MR. BROWN: At each one of our dams, all the Inspection Reports are kept there; a copy of them.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And you have an Incident List at that particular dam: of what might have happened during the last year, or something like that?

MR. BROWN: Sure.


MR. BROWN: Yes. I am talking now of Corps dams.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I appreciate that.

You would say that if it is done at the Corps, that would be a good practice.

MR. BROWN: Right. I think the Corps of Engineers has a great program. Our record stands behind that.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I am most impressed with the Corps.

MR. BROWN: Everything that we can keep at that project site that may be meaningful to future historical purposes ---

If 30 years down the road you have all new people there, that are not familiar with the project, and if they see some seepage coming through a certain area, they can go to those files and research that and find out what is in there; how it was constructed.

It gives them a lot of background on what would need to be done to fix it.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Is there any concern that one has to have for operations? For example, we have great automation these days and there may not be personnel on-site, and things like that.

Do you have any requirement that personnel always be on-site?

MR. BROWN: Most of our projects have a Manager. A Manager may oversee two or three projects, but he has office somewhere in the area.

We are also in the process of automating a lot of data, including the instrument readings that we have in the dam. Under concrete structures, we may have uplift pressure instruments there; in earth dams, we may have pore pressures; hydrostatic pressures within the embankment.

We are automating those so that the guy from the District does not have to go out and read them manually.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: But is there someone on-site to do something, or can everything be done by remote control?

MR. BROWN: There is always someone close-at-hand.

We have maintenance people that are there in the summertime to mow and paint, and do all that stuff. They are trained in dam safety, on what to look for. If they see something not right, they know what to do about it.

Every one of our personnel, including those involved in site maintenance, has to have dam safety training every four years.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Would you consider that to be a good practice for an operator?

MR. BROWN: Absolutely.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

Mr. Brown, some of my queries have already been answered, but there are a couple of areas that I want to quickly cover with you.

What if a Governor refuses to participate, or have his State participate? You said that he does not get money, but what if he says: "I don't care about your money."

MR. BROWN: I don't think that will happen. I don't know.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): We have seen some Governors, on environmental issues, take certain actions. That is why I thought I would ask that.

MR. BROWN: I just can't imagine that.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Second, could we receive from you a list of the States that have signed up?


THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I have just a quick question.

The Corps has this extensive Dam Safety Program -- and you talked a lot about that -- for the 600-odd dams. The thousands of other dams across the United States are either controlled by the individual States -- either pursuant to your program or their own program -- or are into voluntary compliance.

Is this correct?


COMMISSIONER BAYH: So the Corps may be doing a fabulous job with its 600 dams, but the thousands that are left outside of the loop are dependent on State or voluntary compliance.



THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I have one more question.

In the 1996 Act, you can do an inspection, on request.

Is that only on request, where the State has signed up?


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: If anyone who owns a dam comes to you and says "We wouldn't mind you doing an inspection", you would do a thorough inspection?

MR. BROWN: Yes, sir.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: You would charge them for it?

MR. BROWN: To my knowledge, yes. It would be on a cost-reimbursable basis.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: What would be the cost of an inspection of a dam?

MR. BROWN: As I said, some of our inspections have cost $30,000, and some have cost $6,000.

It all depends on the magnitude of the project and the features of that project; how many people you would need and how long it would take to do the report.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Thank you very much.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: You are talking about an inspection. Is another method of doing this to oversee a private consultant's inspection, to make sure that it was done correctly and in proper compliance with the Uniform Standards?

Would that be a less expensive way to do the same things?

MR. BROWN: For the Corps of Engineers to oversee a consultant...?

COMMISSIONER BAYH: A private organization conducting an inspection.

MR. BROWN: It may be. If you have less involvement, it is certainly going to be cheaper.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: What do you feel about ---

MR. BROWN: You are going to pay the consultant or the Corps, or both.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: What do you feel about that being effective or non-effective?

MR. BROWN: I think it would be effective. There are a lot of good consultants out there that know a lot about dam safety and dam construction and design. We are not the only ones.

There are a lot of other Federal agencies that do a good job in their projects, such as the Bureau of Reclamation and Agriculture, the Tennessee Valley Authority. They all have big projects.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Mr. Brown, I have a few short questions of my own.

Earlier on, Commissioner Bayh asked about increasing the frequency of inspections on older structures, and you answered that they were made on the basis of observations of the physical structure.

Are there any decisions made to increase the frequency, based on consequences on the people living downstream?

I would hate to put it in terms of the number of people living there, but perhaps the form of the basin or the easiness of getting out of the way. It may be easy in some places and not as easy at other dams.

Would you have more frequent inspections when consequences are higher?

MR. BROWN: I would have to say no, because those consequences were involved in the planning of that project, to start with.

Sometimes communities move in and build things up. But as long as the structure is safe and is acting as it was designed to do, there is no reason to change that. You perhaps need a better Public Awareness Program, to make sure that everyone downstream is aware that we are there and that Emergency Action Plans may come into effect.

I don't think we would change and make our inspections more frequently.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): You said earlier on that 15 per cent of the Corps-operated dams have evacuation plans; that is, the communities that live downstream have themselves prepared an evacuation plan.

How about the thousands of others in the country. Do you have any idea as to what percentage of them have evacuation plans?

MR. BROWN: Probably less.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Less than 15 percent.

MR. BROWN: I would imagine. A lot of those dams probably don't have Emergency Action Plans.

In terms of the Bureau of Reclamation, only 10 percent of their projects have evacuation plans.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Would you know how many of the dams under IJC Orders have evacuation plans; that is, the communities downstream?

MR. BROWN: No, sir.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): You would know about the Corps of Engineers dams?

MR. BROWN: Yes. And John Grundstrom could probably look that up for you in his District Office. He is knowledgeable of those projects and would have the files.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): We would like to have this number, if possible.

Thank you, Mr. Brown.

--- (P. Brown Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): We will now take a five-minute recess and reconvene at 11:40.

--- A Short Recess/Pause

--- Upon Resuming/À la reprise

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

We will now hear from Mr. John Grundstrom, from the Detroit District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mr. Grundstrom, please.



J. Grundstrom

MR. GRUNDSTROM: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

It is my understanding that the Commission is concerned with the condition and safety of the U.S. portion of the Lake Superior Regulatory Structure, also known as the Compensating Works.

I am going to speak briefly about this subject.

I have prepared a statement for the Commission. What I will do now is try to summarize what is in the statement, and also show some slides to illustrate the points I want to make.

I will refer to the structure as the "Compensating Works", its more common name.

--- (A Slide Presentation accompanied the following narrative)

The Compensating Works is under the jurisdiction of the Sault Area Office of the Detroit District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. portion of the Compensating Works is a Corps of Engineers Civil Works Structure; as such, it is governed by a number of Guidelines and Regulations.

Mr. Brown, in the previous presentation, went over them.

Three of the more important regulations are the Dam Safety Regulation, Regulation No. 1110-2-1156; the Periodic Inspection Regulation, Regulation No. 1110-2-100; and the regulation regarding the Reporting of Distress and Civil Works Structures.

I have brought a number of copies of all three of those Regulations, which I will leave here for anybody who is interested.

This is a slide that shows the general area of the Compensating Works. The Compensating Works is located at the head of St. Mary's River Rapids. It is between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

The St. Mary's River is the only outlet of Lake Superior and serves as a channel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.

In addition to the Compensating Works, in this same area there is the Great Lakes Power Limited Power Canal and Power Plant, which is at the top of the slide; the Canadian Navigation Canal and Lock, which is also marked on the slide. Then you can see the Compensating Works, above St. Mary's Falls.

There are two U.S. power plants, one marked on the slide and the other one a little bit to the left of it; two U.S. navigation canals and four U.S. locks.

Also, there is the Edison Sault Electrical Company canal and power plant. The Edison Sault electric plant is in the lower right-hand portion of the slide.

All these structures that I have mentioned could be considered dams, because they do have a head-drop across them.

Here is another picture, also showing the Compensating Works and the four U.S. navigation canals. The Compensating Works are the structures farthest to the bottom of the slide.

They are in the bottom left-hand portion of the slide.

Here is a diagram of the Compensating Works.

The Compensating Works consists of 17 piers and 16 gates. They are numbered from the north to the south. You can see that the International Boundary goes right through the middle of the structure.

Gates 1 through 8 are Canadian gates and piers; and the remainder, 9 through 16, are U.S. gates and piers.

Piers 1 through 5 are masonry construction; and the remainder of the piers, 6 through 17, are built of concrete. On top of the piers there is structural steel tower, with a deck resting on the tower.

The machinery to operate the Compensating Works -- shafts, journals, gears and winches -- are on top of the deck.

Two of the 16 gates are operated electrically, nos. 9 and 10 in the U.S. portion; and the remainder of the gates are operated by hand.

The gates are vertically operating sluice gates. They are moved by means of counterweights and roller chains.

I will show you a few slides giving you a little more detail.

This is the downstream side of the Compensating Works, looking from the U.S. towards the Canadian side.

This is the upstream, also looking from the U.S. towards the Canadian side.

This is also a picture of the upstream side of the works. In this case, you can see that several of the gates are open and you can see the water moving through the works.

This is a view from the top of the Compensating Works. You can see the machinery that is used to operate the gates, to move them up and down.

I will now talk a little bit about the dam safety procedures we use for the U.S. Compensating Works.

In 1983, the International Lake Superior Board of Control published an Inspection and Maintenance Manual for the Compensating Works. It required monthly inspections and annual inspections of the Compensating Works. These are being done and are handled by our Sault Area office, and the results are furnished to the Board.

Our Sault Area Office is adjacent to the Compensating Works. We have several hundred people working there. So very seldom would you have as long an interval as a month without someone visiting the site. Maybe in the middle of winter, when there are not any storms, somebody goes out there just once a month. But the Works are looked at a lot more frequently than that.

After every storm, I am sure somebody goes out there to look, to make sure that there has been no distress or problems with the Compensating Works.

The International Board also mandated that there be periodic inspections, at five-year intervals. The first of these was held in 1989. But after that, it was decided that the periodic inspections could be handled as part of the Corps of Engineers periodic inspection program.

The first periodic inspection under the Corps program was completed in 1990, and the second one was completed in 1995.

I will go into a little detail on our periodic inspections, especially related to the Compensating Works.

They are done by a team. The team consists of individuals who were familiar with the operation and maintenance of the structure, and also individuals knowledgeable in appropriate fields, such as geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, and any other field that is appropriate to the particular structure that is being inspected.

Representatives from the Sault Area Office -- which actually operates and maintains the structure -- participate in the inspection. As well, representatives of the Detroit District -- which is responsible for funding and scheduling the maintenance and designing any of the more complicated repairs --

participate in the inspection. Representatives from Northcentral Division -- whose job it is to oversee the District's efforts -- also participate in the periodic inspections.

Sometimes a representative from the Corps of Engineers Headquarters in Washington participates in the inspection.

To ensure adequate coverage of the structure, a detailed checklist has been prepared. Prior to the inspection, the team members go over the detailed checklist; they go over drawings of the structure; and they go over previous periodic inspection reports.

The inspection members then travel to the site, where we have a pre-inspection briefing, where previous deficiencies, or anything that has happened since the last inspection, are discussed, and any particular concerns are brought up.

The actual inspection itself takes place in a systematic manner, following the Checklist that has been set up. It emphasizes features necessary to the continued operation and safety of the structure.

After the inspection, there is a post-inspection briefing, where each member of the inspection team is expected to contribute his or her findings or what they saw during the inspection. At that time, the checklist is worked out and the list of deficiencies, if any, is discussed.

In 1995, this is the inspection team that inspected the Compensating Works. From left to right, we have an NCD representative, who is also, I believe, on the International Lake Superior Board of Control; a geotechnical specialist from Detroit District. Student aids assist in the inspection. There are two structural engineers from Detroit District; and a mechanical engineer from Northcentral Division.

One of the individuals from the Area Office who participated in the inspection took the pictures, so he is not there.

During the inspection, this illustrates that the team members pretty much give the instructor a very thorough going-over, looking at everything they can possibly get to.

This is an illustration of some of the findings of the inspection. This is some of the concrete deterioration.

One of the inspection team members is measuring some of the structural members, to make sure that there has not been an excessive amount of deterioration and rusting and that you have a decent member that will do the job that it is supposed to.

After the inspection, a formal periodic inspection report is prepared. It is prepared by one of the inspection team members. In this report the inspection is thoroughly documented by description, photos, instrument readings, trip reports from various people -- especially from the Division or Headquarters who participated in the inspection.

As one of the more important parts of the inspection report we always address the deficiencies from the previous periodic inspection. We list the ones that have been corrected and we list the ones that have not been corrected, if there are any in that category. And we list any new recommendations or deficiencies that have been developed.

We also do what we call a deficiency matrix. That lists each deficiency, assigns responsibility for its correction, sets up a tentative schedule for its correction, and includes a rough estimate of what it is going to cost.

In addition to the periodic inspections, there are several other provisions for dam safety that are particularly related to the compensating works. One of them is our Dam Safety Committee in Detroit District, and there is a similar committee in Northcentral Division.

This committee meets twice a year. The committee consists of some of the higher ranking individuals in the district, like the Chief of Engineering and the Chief of Operations and Maintenance.

At that time, they expect a report on the status of the correction of the deficiencies of all the structures. They have enough clout that if something is not getting done, they can direct that it get done.

Also, as Mr. Brown mentioned, every four years there is a requirement to train dam safety operators. The last two training sessions we had were in 1992 and 1996. At both these sessions, individuals responsible for the operation of the Compensating Works participated.

Among the things that we highlighted were emergency responsibilities; guidelines to indications that you might be having some distress in the structure, or some sort of emergency situation and any corrective actions that possibly could be taken; and requirements for notifications if distress or some sort of emergency takes place.

Also, in June 1992, the Detroit District completed an emergency plan for Lake Superior outflow control structures, one of which is the Compensating Works.

This emergency plan included inundation maps, identification of impending and existing emergencies, responsibilities and procedures in case of impending and existing emergencies.

It listed key contacts for emergency notification, not only with the Corps of Engineers upward, but it also listed the local individuals who should be notified in the case of any kind of an emergency situation.

As a result of the 1990 periodic inspection, we set up a repair project of the Compensating Works. The repair includes de-watering each gate, sandblasting and painting the steel, inspection of all steel members and replacement of any members that are found to be below design tolerances, replacement of all deteriorated concrete, and replacement of the wood gates.

This work started in 1995, and it is probably going to continue until about 1998.

These next slides cover that work.

This one shows the sandblasting operation. The paint on there was lead-based, so we had to encase the area where we were sandblasting, to make sure that none of the lead-based paint chips escaped.

This shows the de-watering pumps. The upstream area is nearest to you, and the area that is being de-watered is behind one of the gates there.

This is on the downstream side. It shows some of the deteriorated concrete. To the left, you can see where areas of deteriorated concrete have been removed; and on the right, you can see the forms in place for the new concrete.

This is an area of one of the top of the piers that was deteriorated, and the bad concrete has been removed.

This is a shot across the structure from the U.S. side. That yellow piece of equipment is a core drilling rig. There was some question about the adequacy of the concrete deep in the structure, so we moved a drill rig out there and took some cores through the piers.

We found that there was surface deterioration, but the concrete down through the piers is in sound condition.

This is one of the things that we found after the 1995 periodic inspection. That is a crack that has shown up in Pier 17. That is south of the abutment, the abutment on the U.S. side. It is a crack that goes all the way down the inside face of the pier and across the top.

We have put some instruments on there to let us know if there has been any serious movement of that crack. We have analyzed the seriousness of the crack, and in 1997 we are planning on designing a repair for that particular situation.

As a summary, I would say that the Compensating Works is a 70-plus year old structure, and it is showing some of the wear and tear from that 70 years in the very severe environment in which it exists.

In our 1995 periodic inspection it was regarded as being in "acceptable" condition. But we believe, after the current work that is under way, the repairs and rehabilitation, that it should be in "good" condition, and we expect that, with the Corps of Engineers program of maintenance, inspection and repairs, we should be able to keep it in good condition for the indefinite future.

That concludes my Presentation. I would be happy to answer any questions.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Grundstrom.

Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: The Corps has aided the International Board of Control on the overall inspection for the whole operation at the Sault, hasn't it?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: I don't know if we have participated in any of the inspections -- at least, not to my knowledge -- of the Canadian structures. The American structures, the U.S. structures, all come under our Periodic Inspection Program.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: When you refer to the Compensating Works, are you referring to the Edison Plant as well?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: No. The Edison Plant comes under FERC. They have a Periodic Inspection Program.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: You don't inspect them.

MR. GRUNDSTROM: We don't inspect them. But occasionally we ask for some of their reports. In some other structures, in Wisconsin, some power plants are adjacent to our structures, so we ask for a copy of the latest FERC Report.

We don't inspect anything that is under FERC, but if we happen to see something that we are concerned about, we are required to notify FERC.


MR. GRUNDSTROM: Yes, we would.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Have there been some referrals?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: I can't recall any right now -- at the Sault, especially, because the structures are not adjacent to their structures.

Actually, the referrals we have had are in instances where a private structure is adjacent to ours. We would notify the Dam Safety Officer. We have done that fairly often.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Is the Edison Plant the same 70 years old -- not necessarily the plant, but the structure?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: I don't know. I would not be surprised if it is, although I don't have a date on that.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Thank you very much.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: You mentioned on the Compensating Works that you and your Canadian counterparts jointly share the gates; and you told us which gates were on which side of the border.

How does that work? Have they given up responsibility to the Corps to inspect the project?

Tell me how this works.

MR. GRUNDSTROM: They have their own separate inspections. We furnish a copy of our inspections to the Lake Superior Board, and I believe they do the same.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: So Gates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are inspected by one place and ---

MR. GRUNDSTROM: Yes. Eight gates are inspected.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Eight. Do you never look at Uniform Standards or have any kind of collaboration?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: We have their inspection reports, and we know what they are doing. A few years ago, on the Canadian side, they replaced the wood planking with steel grading, and now we are doing it.

In the 1980s, we tied down our piers with anchors into rock; and a few years later, I believe that was done on the Canadian side.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: This is just something that you do ad hoc.

MR. GRUNDSTROM: As far as I know, there is no formal program like that, aside from the fact that each report is furnished to the other one. I am sure that, during our inspection, if we saw something on the Canadian portion that really caused us alarm, we would immediately notify the proper authorities -- or probably even before that, because our people are right up at the Sault. They are constantly there and they are quite familiar with who to notify.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

You have identified some repairs. If you don't have the money to do the repairs, what do you do?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: Well, they might get delayed. If it was an emergency repair, I am sure the money would be found.

Occasionally, we want to do something and we don't have enough money one year, so it gets delayed to the next.

The Compensating Works is a structure that we consider pretty high priority; it is an important structure. Every year we have an annual Operations and Maintenance budget and money is appropriated for various projects. The Compensating Works is a fairly high priority.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Whose jurisdiction does the Corps Power Plant come under?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: That is our jurisdiction. We do periodic inspections.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): You do the inspections of the power plant also.


THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): You said you have emergency plans for downstream and upstream.

MR. GRUNDSTROM: Yes. There is an emergency plan for Lake Superior Outfall Control Structures. That plan is for our use: what our responsibility is in an emergency. It shows what area would be flooded and gives some description of what sort of emergency we might run into.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Do the downstream folks have emergency plans?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: I don't know if the individual communities have emergency plans, or not.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): I know the situation there is not as critical as some of the big dams you are in charge of.

MR. GRUNDSTROM: I was looking at the maps, and it did not look like -- maybe some cottages might be flooded out, but it doesn't look like there was much.

Our emergency plan just covers the U.S. side. It does not cover the Canadian side.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Mr. Grundstrom, are all Corps dam safety inspection reports available to members of the public?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: Yes. I don't know that there is a formal program to provide them to the public. But anything is available under the Freedom of Information Act.

I guess if I lived downstream of a dam, I would want to see that inspection report.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Are they easily obtained, or does one have to go through that Act? Can one simply knock at your door and ask for a copy?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: Informally, if somebody called and asked to see it -- especially if we had one -- we would probably just furnish it to them.

But there is no formal program for that. We would just do it.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): To your knowledge, how aware are people downstream of the risks? We understand that in this particular case the risk is relatively low. Are you aware whether people have been told of the level of risk?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: My area of expertise is more the structures themselves: how safe they are, the designs to repair them, and that sort of thing.

I believe that ---

In Detroit District, we don't have a lot of high-head dangerous structures. But I would believe that these plans are furnished in the areas concerned.

I could check into that.

We list the individuals that you are supposed to contact in case of emergency. I am sure that whoever obtains that information, they tell them what it is for.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Do you consider your responsibility to be limited to those people living on the U.S. side of the border?

MR. GRUNDSTROM: No -- well, I am not sure. That is something that struck me, too, when I looked at the inundation maps. I don't know why it did not cover the Canadian side. There may be a separate plan for Canada. I wouldn't be surprised if there was.

When we did it, we just did it on the U.S. side.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you.

Commissioner Chamberlin, please.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: Is it ever important to assess the integrity of the structure mutually, with Canada; or are you satisfied that the way you communicate, through the Board of Control and through the various avenues, the safety of the structure is properly assessed?

As you said, it is a divided system, so to speak.

MR. GRUNDSTROM: If one part of the structure failed, you would lose the head and you would have a problem. But it is a pretty discrete structure. You have the individual piers and individual gates to look at.

If you look at half of it -- you can look at it in two halves, at least in my opinion.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: And you are satisfied.



THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you very much.

--- (J. Grundstrom Withdrew)

MR. FAYE: David Faye. I work for the Lake Superior Board of Control.

So that you don't have a misconception that there is no coordination between the two sides, some parts of the inspection are coordinated.

For example, they have monuments on each of those piers, survey monuments. As part of their inspection, they do a very precise survey right across the structure to detect any movement.

And I believe a number of years ago there was also some coordination of some of the underwater diving inspection, from an economics point of view.

So the two agencies, companies, do coordinate and they do share ideas, in terms of some of the repairs that are also going on. There is some coordination.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Faye.

We will now hear from Mr. Anthony Tawil, from the Canadian Dam Safety Association.



A. Tawil

MR. TAWIL: I would like to start off by saying that I have benefited a great deal from the previous presentations, especially the one given by Mr. Brown.

My Presentation on the conditions in Canada will show some contrasts with the experience of the Corps. In some instances we have similar problems; in other areas, I think we have made some advances.

I am here on behalf of the Canadian Dam Safety Association. We are very grateful for the opportunity to be present here.

For most of you, the CDSA probably is not a very common organization. It is only eight years old. I would like to give an overview of the dam safety situation in this country, and finish off with some specific conclusions regarding the safety of our reservoirs in Canada, where we have made significant progress and also where we have, still, some persistent problems.

To begin with, Canada has about 700 large dams -- large in the sense that they are 15 metres high, or 50 feet. This is not a very large number of dams, compared to some of the giants, like the U.S.A., the Soviet Union and China; nevertheless, 700 large dams places Canada in the top ten of nations in the world with a great number of dams.

One should say, right at the beginning, that the safety of dams ought to take consideration of the hazard that a certain reservoir poses. Of course, the large dams, which usually retain -- not always, but usually -- the largest reservoirs, are the ones that are of the greatest concern.

The majority of our dams, I would say both in Canada and in the U.S., are not high hazard dams.

In Canada, we don't have a good count on the dams which are not high; at least the ones which are below 50 feet in height. We estimate that we have in the order of possibly 12,000 to 15,000 small dams in Canada.

We should not forget the importance of taking into consideration that only high hazard dams have a direct impact on public safety.

I should also add a few words regarding the nature of these large dams in Canada.

I am not a geologist, but the geological environment in Canada, which is mostly governed by the Canadian Shield, a very durable type of rock, basement rock, covering most of Canada, as well as the last Ice Age, have given Canada a distinct advantage in terms of an environment which is very hospitable for building high dams.

We have good foundations and we have a lot of good natural materials, for both concrete dams and embankment dams.

We also have gone through a different experience, at least compared to the U.S.A., in terms of our record of dam failure. We have had dam failures in Canada and we have had, of course, flood disasters over the years, the last one being in the Saguenay District in Quebec.

The difference is probably the fact that, in Canada, we have not had any loss of life as a direct result of the failure of a dam. We have had loss of property -- significant losses of property, in many instances -- but we have not had, to the best of my knowledge, any loss of life that has been caused by dam failures.

Certainly, floods have caused loss of life -- in Saguenay, for example. But in terms of an actual dam failure causing loss of life downstream, we have been extremely fortunate.

The building of dams in Canada reached its peak for 30 years before the mid-1980s. For that period in Canada, we were in fact building an average of 13 large dams, and many smaller ones, every year, for 30 years. Of course, the emphasis at that time was on design and construction.

Since the mid-1980s, the emphasis has really switched to maintenance, to life extension of dams; and -- I think sadly for many of us in the dam business -- we are not building too many large dams now.

Life extension, which is now a new emphasis in terms of regulating and monitoring of dams, is now a very important topic. I will discuss this factor of age of dams a little later on.

I think this background, which began to change around the mid-1980s, introduced a new focus for the dam community in Canada. It is about that time that a few individuals, mostly led by Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, recognized somewhat of a vacuum in Canada when it came to dam safety as against the engineering and building of dams.

Around 1989, only eight years ago, those few individuals got together and began an organization, which is now known as the Canadian Dam Safety Association.

The greatest number of large dams, as well as dams of moderate height, are found basically in three provinces: Quebec has one-third of the large dams in Canada, followed by Ontario and British Columbia.

A lot of the dams in Alberta, for example, are irrigation or water-storage type dams. Most of our large dams are there for hydro purposes.

We have one province that does not have any large dams, and that is Prince Edward Island -- at least not as far as we know.

The Canadian Dam Safety Association has had a significant impact on where we now stand in terms of dam safety in this country. I would like to say a few words about its composition and its objectives, because I think they are rather important.

Unlike other similar organizations, possibly in the U.S. and other countries, our mandate comes from a diverse group that is interested in dams. We don't represent regulators; we don't represent owners; we don't represent consultants or contractors. Our membership is drawn from all sectors, including, in the last few years, the insurance industry. They are getting increasingly interested in what we are doing.

Our membership is only 600 people. We have over 60 corporate members.

Mr. Brown said something about $30,000 to do a dam inspection. It just occurred to me that $30,000 represents a budget of two years for our Association. Our funds are hardly ever over $70,000, in terms of money available.

The Organization has a variety of committees. It is basically concerned with the technical, social, economic, legal and environmental aspects of dams and their safety. We even have some members who are interested in the environmental aspects of dams. We have an Environmental Committee. We have a variety of committees that look into specific aspects of dam safety.

There are two primary objectives that may be of greater importance to this gathering, and I will read them to you:

(1) CDSA wishes to provide information and assistance to dam owners in support of Dam Safety Programs; and

(2) it is there to promote the adoption of regulatory policies and safety practices throughout Canada.

A real attempt was made to try and meet these objectives. Soon after the formation of the CDSA in 1989, a committee was formed, which is still in existence. It is called the Dam Safety Guidelines Management Committee. The Committee was composed of a variety of groups that had specific mandates to look at regulations, and after three years of work, the CDSA produced a set of Dam Safety Guidelines.

I have them here. They are not very thick.

I would like to emphasize that these are Guidelines; they are not standards and they are not specifications -- which tend to be rather restrictive. At the same time, it is not a vague guide; it is a Guideline that tries to provide some specific obligations in the management of dam safety.

At the centre of these Guidelines, of course, is the dam owner. The dam owner, by law, is responsible for the safety of the structure.

There are some jurisdictions in the world where an engineer takes responsibility for a reservoir. But I think on this continent, responsibility always, ultimately, falls on the owner of the dam.

Without going into details, the Guidelines, on the one hand, can be very flexible. We recognize that the requirements of every dam owner can be very different. It depends a great deal on the level of hazard that a reservoir poses downstream.

Reservoirs, which are only five metres high, 15 feet, that have no threat whatsoever downstream, need not have very rigid requirements. The focus of the CDSA, of course, is public safety. So all our concern is with the dams that are high-hazard.

If we are able to ensure that all high-hazard reservoirs are well monitored and well inspected, then I think we will have made a great deal of progress in terms of dam safety.

Some of the areas that the Guidelines cover are: dam safety reviews; operation, maintenance and surveillance; emergency preparedness plans. It deals with flooding and level of floods; earthquakes; discharge facilities; geotechnical considerations; concrete structures; reservoirs and the environment.

These are Guidelines for the implementation of Dam Safety Programs. It only covers existing dams. We are now working on a volume that will go with these Guidelines, which is a volume of Good Practice of Dam Safety, which is mostly an up-to-date review of what is now well done in other jurisdictions.

At the same time, we have a group of people working on Guidelines for tailings dams.

Tailings dams, of course, pose a different type of hazard altogether from regular dams.

Similarly, we hope to produce a set of Guidelines for new dams. The enthusiasm for that area of work is not very high, because we are not really very active in the building of new large dams.

As far as the history of actual dam safety is concerned, the situation varies right across the country. The province of Alberta was the first jurisdiction in Canada to adopt actual regulations and actual legislation governing dam safety. This was done in 1976.

One of the motivations behind the formation of the Canadian Dam Safety Association was the desire to try and be proactive in terms of hopefully preventing dam failures, rather than being somewhat reactive after a dam failure occurs -- which I believe probably were the conditions that prevailed in the United States.

The United States experienced a good number, unfortunately, of dam failures in the 1970s, which led to loss of life. And that was, I think, the trigger for President Carter to set up an Inquiry into dams and dam safety.

In Canada this has not happened. We have not really been moved by any significant failure of dams. And to some extent, I think we have succeeded in being proactive, except of course for the Saguenay disaster, which will put a different colour on our group.

Other than Alberta, which has incorporated Dam Safety Regulations in their legislation, the rest of the country has not really followed suit. That does not mean that the practices are unsafe in the other jurisdictions. We have simply seen the provinces take a somewhat different route than that of Alberta.

For example, in British Columbia, there are practices in place between the province and the water controller, in terms of the maintenance and the regulations that govern safety of reservoirs.

In other jurisdictions, even though actual legislation has not been adopted, as was the case in Alberta, there are practices in place without the legislative power, which seem to be working.

After eight years -- I would say largely because of the Canadian Dam Safety Association and the production of these Guidelines -- there is a much greater awareness now in Canada of the need to have assurance that our reservoirs are safe.

And I say "assurance", not assumption.

As a result, we now find many of our members, and owners who are not members of the Association, taking on the serious task of making sure that their dams and reservoirs, especially the high-hazard ones, are in fact safe.

In this regard, the Guidelines have facilitated this process. Now there is a reference --

and again I emphasize not a standard, not a specification, but a useful reference that is available for the use of any dam owner.

The large dams in Canada are mostly publicly owned. The large dams are owned by the various hydro utilities in Canada, both private and public. Those owners, of course, have always been very responsible in monitoring their dams. Many of these organizations have had Dam Safety Programs in place long before the Canadian Dam Safety Association came into being.

The emphasis that we are now trying to follow in the Association is to get the small dam owners, the owners of the smaller dams that may be high hazard, interested in following the Guidelines. And the evidence is that we are having a good deal of success.

Some of the activities of the Association that keep dam safety in focus include an annual conference.

We have had eight conferences, from one end of Canada to the other. The conferences are attended extremely well. Usually, we have about 200 people attending.

Last year's conference was in Niagara Falls; this year's conference will be in Montreal. And we extend an invitation to everyone to attend.

The conferences last for three days. We have Workshops. We are very encouraged by the participation of young engineers and students. We hold Regional Workshops. We have people travelling to the various regions to make presentations on dam safety.

We also have a newsletter, published four times a year, which has up-to-date information on what the Association is doing, as well as technical information. The last issue had an excellent article on "A Management System Approach to Dam Safety", given by the President of Great Lakes, which shows a very good example of how a Dam Safety Program can be implemented, from the top of the company to the bottom.

In addition to this greater awareness that we now see amongst the smaller dam owners, we also find that the legislative process that some people would like to see implemented is in fact not as important now. All it takes nowadays is for a regulatory organization, like the Ministry of Natural Resources or the Ministry of Environment to in fact indicate that a certain dam owner ought to follow a set of Guidelines.

There are lots of Guidelines all over the world. Almost every country in Europe has Guidelines for dam safety, and I believe all the States in the U.S. now have their own dam safety requirements.

There is ample literature for dam owners to follow.

I think the advantage that our Guidelines have is that they tend to be flexible, so they can be tailored to the needs of the dam owner, as well as to the level of hazard that is imposed.

I would like to finish off by pointing out that age is always raised as being a serious factor in the deterioration of dams. I think Mr. Brown was right; that if a dam is properly looked after and maintained, unlike a human being, it can last a long time.

In fact, there are reservoirs in Ceylon and India, for example, which are still in operation, that were built 1300 years ago.

So there is really no limit, and especially so for embankment dams. They can last for a long time.

At the same time, the impact of age hopefully will not be as serious, because we are constantly discovering new technologies in terms of extending the lives of our dams.

Finally, dam safety is not a new field. I think every engineer who has a role in dams has always practised safety by doing responsible engineering.

I would remind you of some Dam Safety Regulations that were in use 3,000 years ago.

The Emperor Hammurabi, King of Babylon, had 12 inscriptions. Some of these laws, today, are very useful.

The inscriptions, for example, called for the skill of somebody who knew water; somebody who was skilled in stone (or geotechnical engineering).

There were also penalties imposed. If the owner of a bund spilled water and destroyed the corn of his neighbour, the penalty was very high: he was put to death.

These regulations have been around for 3,000 years. We have simply changed the words.

Legislation is not necessarily the best and only course for improving the safety of our reservoirs.

Thank you very much.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Tawil.

Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I just want to make sure I understand clearly.

You have an Association that is composed of private individuals who represent the owners of these dams. These owners have written their own Guidelines. But in Canada there is no oversight or inspection in respect of whether those Guidelines have been actually achieved. And there is no penalty --

death or otherwise -- if the Guidelines are not achieved.

Is this correct?

MR. TAWIL: That is correct --

although I think, for the high-hazard dams, you probably are not correct.

Most of the high-hazard dams, that we are aware of, are properly monitored; reports are written and reviewed by regulatory organizations or consulting engineers. The surveillance reports, the required repairs usually go up to a high level in the dam owner's organization.

In some jurisdictions there may not be a compelling requirement for a dam owner to undertake certain tasks. But certainly with respect to the high-hazard dams, there is a process that requires regular inspection, regular monitoring and regular reporting.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: From what I heard from you, that process, even in the high-hazard dams, is dependent upon the goodwill and financial resources of the owner, and not on any oversight by any Government agency.

Is that correct?

MR. TAWIL: I am trying to be exact. I don't think it is a matter of goodwill. For a variety of reasons, the owners of the high-hazard dams are doing a good job -- possibly because they want to protect an investment.

In most jurisdictions that I am aware of, the high-hazard dams have to be monitored.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: But they are self-monitored.

MR. TAWIL: You could call it that. At least, they are monitored.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Murphy, please.


You made some comment as to reporting. That is internal reporting to the owner of the facility?

MR. TAWIL: Yes. And also external reporting.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Who would the external reporting be to?

MR. TAWIL: In most provinces, it would be either the Ministry of Natural Resources or Ministry of the Environment.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Is it voluntary or compulsory?

MR. TAWIL: In some jurisdictions, it is voluntary.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: In what jurisdictions is it compulsory?

MR. TAWIL: In Alberta, it is compulsory.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: We don't have any dams in Alberta.

MR. TAWIL: They have 2,000 dams.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: But not under our jurisdiction.

MR. TAWIL: I think in British Columbia, it is mandated; not necessarily by legislation, but it is done.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Through the powers of the Control of Water Rights.


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: When you refer to reporting, what are you thinking of internally? How do you think it should be dealt with internally?

MR. TAWIL: For high-hazard dams, there is normally a requirement for regular inspection, as well as a certain level of instrumentation that provides an assurance of good performance.

The reporting is done, usually, by the owner's in-house Surveillance Group. In many instances that I know of, the results of the monitoring and inspection -- they don't simply stay within the group; they go to a high level within the owner's organization.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: In what way? To what level?

Could you develop that a bit.

MR. TAWIL: I know of instances where dam safety practices in certain organizations is always mandated by the Board of Directors.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I imagine it would be mandated; but is there regular reporting or compulsory reporting to the Board?

MR. TAWIL: Yes, in some instances.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do you know of any instance where it is required that the Board get an annual or semi-annual or bi-annual report?

MR. TAWIL: Yes. I think Great Lakes is one of them. I believe Ontario Hydro ---



MR. TAWIL (To Ontario Hydro Representatives): Maybe you can answer that.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Could you introduce yourself, please.

MR. McPHEE: Andy McPhee, from Great Lakes Power.

On that question, our Water Power Lease Agreement requires that we file with the Ministry of Natural Resources, annually, a report on our facilities.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: In many corporations, there are Environmental Committees. Do your Guidelines recommend responsibility up the chain?

MR. TAWIL: I believe so, but I am not sure. I will check on that.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I am not opposed to internal responsibility. It is just a question of: Where does the buck stop? And does it stop at the top?

MR. TAWIL: I would have to assume that the answer is "yes", because ---

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Could you give me some evidence that it is?

And I am not questioning Great Lakes. I am quite impressed with what they have done.

MR. TAWIL: I think the evidence at the moment is indirect. But to formulate and put into place a Dam Safety Program can be a good undertaking.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: We made some inquiry of various applicants as to the reporting chain. In most instances, it does not go very

high ---

MR. TAWIL: That is possible.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: -- and I just wondered whether that was taken care of in your Guidelines.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Perhaps you could verify this and report to one of the Secretaries later on today?


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: One last question flowing out of that: You did say that the beauty of the Guidelines is that you could be flexible, and that disturbs me.

MR. TAWIL: "Flexible" in the sense that they can be used as a good reference to suit the dam owner's particular situation. No two reservoirs are the same. The conditions, with time, may change.

In some instances, when we speak of loss of property, or at least the risk of loss of property, it can be more significant than environmental losses. In situations, for example, where native rights are affected, it can be a very serious matter.

It is not flexible in the sense that it can be weakened by a dam owner. It is flexible in the sense that it can be adapted to help the dam owner to use a program that fits his situation.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

Is your list of members a public list?


THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Is it available, to know who is a member of the Association?


THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Are there owners of high-hazard dams who are not members of your Association?

MR. TAWIL: I know the major ones are all members. I cannot absolutely say, now, that all the high-hazard dams are represented.

But certainly the major ones: all the utilities, all the private owners of large dams, all of them are represented.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): With regard to the question of flexibility, if a dam owner adopts safety guidelines to reflect flexibility of the local area, does that have to come back to your Association; for peer review in your Association?

MR. TAWIL: No. Our Association has no regulatory role whatsoever.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): In other words, you set the guidelines; but if I want to achieve flexibility with regard to my dam, that is not brought back to the Association.

MR. TAWIL: No. We are not a licensing body or a regulatory body. We are simply a group of volunteers that is trying to promote an important ---

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Then, it would be difficult to determine if dam owners are following your Guidelines, as prescribed in your Manual.

MR. TAWIL: Yes. As a matter of fact, in the next two weeks we are issuing a Questionnaire that will go to a large list of dam owners across the country; a very extensive Questionnaire that may shed some light on that question.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Chamberlin, please.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: Will the answers to that Questionnaire be publicly available, or available to the Commission?

MR. TAWIL: The cost of our membership is only $25 a year. It will be published in this newsletter.

I would be happy to give you a membership form.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Mr. Tawil, would it be possible for you to provide us with the numbers of owners who are members, and those who are not, between now and March 21st, the closing date for this record?

MR. TAWIL: I think I can give you a copy of our Membership List. Would that be acceptable?

MR. WALL: I don't know that we have them all. It may be very difficult to get that information in that period of time. There are owners out there, and we are not aware of what they own. The inventory of dams is not complete.

Could I be permitted to expand on an earlier point?

COMMISSIONER BAYH: If you mail out a Newsletter, you must have a list of your members.

MR. WALL: We do for our members, Commissioner. The problem is that there are a lot of people who are not members of the CDSA: small mining companies who operate tailings facilities; some private water operators who exist in other provinces who, although they are regulated to some extent by the provincial agencies, have chosen not to join the CDSA. Therefore, we may not be aware of them.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Mr. Chairman, I am sure the Secretary can give them the names of seven or eight people and get the answers.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Is there a national inventory of dams in Canada?

MR. TAWIL: Unfortunately not.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Regarding the safety inspection reports, are these available to the public?

MR. TAWIL: The actual safety inspection reports? Our Association does not have any mandate in that regard. Anything that our Association does, or does not do, is in fact in the public domain.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Do you then collate safety reports? Do you have a collection of such reports? Or are they filed with you?


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): What does your Association think about the need for a greater public awareness on the issues of dam safety?

MR. TAWIL: It is difficult to answer the question, as to what is the best way to ensure public safety as affected by dams and reservoirs.

I don't necessarily think that legislation is the effective way, in every jurisdiction, for ensuring public safety. In many instances, it probably is not.

Certainly the experience in the last eight years seems to suggest that a voluntary awareness is probably more effective, except perhaps ---

The climate that we now have at the Federal level and the Provincial level, there is this business of devolution, downsizing, and getting out

of ---

Increasingly we are downloading more and more of the responsibility on the dam owner. So the climate is not there for legislation on dams. Dams are simply not a priority in most jurisdictions.

To go through the legislative process may be time consuming and may be wasteful. It may take a long time to bring in legislation, as Alberta did.

Alberta was in a very unique situation in 1976, when they brought in the Regulations. They happen to have a Minister who was very interested in the subject, as well as a group that pushed it through.

I think that legislative process may not be the best way for Canada. The experience of the last eight years seems to suggest that education of dam owners, and the public at large, may be a more effective way for us.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): What you are saying is that you don't see the need for a nationwide program in Canada to provide the kind of safety net that we heard from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

MR. TAWIL: For something like this to happen, it has to be propelled by several dam disasters, and I would rather we don't wait for that here.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): You are not suggesting that we ought to wait for that to happen before we come up with a national awareness program, whether it is legislated, whether it is originated in the Provinces or the Federal Government, or from some other body, such as your Association?

MR. TAWIL: I think it would be very difficult to justify a national program similar to the one adopted in the U.S. in 1976.

The experience in Canada has been different.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): You said you were looking to the future, in the sense that you were thinking of developing guidelines for new dams.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): What is your objective there? Is it simply to serve your members, or also to serve the public?

MR. TAWIL: The focus of our Association is public safety; otherwise, I don't think we would be here.

We are obligated to serve our membership. But our membership is composed, not only of dam owners, but many other groups that have different interests.

The requirement for new dams is not really as pressing, because there are certain things that one would avoid, for example, in terms of building new projects.

The two most serious threats that cause failure of dams, first, is insufficient spillway capacity.

A lot of dams fail, not because the dams are no good, but because the other structures cannot do the job.

The second reason, with embankment dams, is failure by piping.

We hardly ever have dams fail by sliding, at least in Canada, largely because we have generally very good foundations.

A lot of the difficulties that existing dams have, not only in Canada but in the U.S. and across the world, are caused by inadequate spillway capacity. And that, of course, is related to hydrology and the data that we have on our rivers, and so on.

The new regulations would emphasize, a good deal more than we did 50 years ago, the need for having a large spillway, for example.

The new regulations would also emphasize the need for making sure that we have adequate internal defences, in embankment dams, for filtering, for example -- which of course engineers have been doing for the last 10 or 15 years.

I think all this would be brought forward because of the lessons we have learned about dam failures.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): We heard this morning, from Mr. Brown, a definition of a high dam. I don't remember the exact figure, but I think it was one above 25 or 50 feet, and 25-acre-feet as the surface.

What is your definition of a large dam or a high dam?

MR. TAWIL: It is exactly the same.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Do you consider there could be serious property loss, or even loss of life, with a smaller structure under certain circumstances?


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Are you as concerned about those dams as you are about the large ones?

MR. TAWIL: Yes. The hazard potential is high. It is really the size of the reservoir that usually determines the hazard. There are some moderate dams, possibly 60, 70, 80, 100 feet high, or even 40 feet high, that have very large reservoirs with communities downstream.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: It is my understanding, in respect of the individual dam owners in Canada, that many of them are power companies and timber companies.

Would that be correct?

MR. TAWIL: Pulp and paper, yes.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: It is also my understanding that the timber companies are an aging industry and the power companies are now entering a very competitive time.

Are you nervous that, in an effort to cut costs, either one of those might decide that dam safety is not a priority?

MR. TAWIL: Sure. But the evidence seems to suggest otherwise. I cannot make a general statement, but certainly the utility companies, and I would say a good number of the pulp and paper companies, have large reservoirs and are very aware of the need for dam safety.

That may not be propelled by self-interest, but I think, increasingly, the insurance industry is beginning to impose requirements as well.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: From my understanding, it is all voluntarily done by the private dam owner as to whether they comply with these Guidelines or don't comply with the Guidelines.

MR. TAWIL: That's right.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I thought some of my colleagues might have asked one or two questions which I did not previously, but I will ask now.

You made some reference to the Saguenay.

I should point out that the Commission started its present endeavour on this matter before August of 1996.

You have made reference to it as the first really great tragedy of dam safety in Canada.

There was a Public Inquiry in Quebec after that. Did your Organization make representations at that Inquiry?

MR. TAWIL: We had three of our members on the Commission's panel. Our next newsletter will appear next week, and it will have an article on the recommendations of the Nicolet Commission -- some very sweeping recommendations.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: What are your views on the recommendations?

MR. TAWIL: I like them very much.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Dealing with insurance, how big a factor is insurance? What "warm feeling" can we get out of the insurance business, to make sure that there is proper maintenance and operations?

MR. TAWIL: I would say 15 years ago the role of insurance in dam safety was probably negligible; now, I would rank it as one of the top five factors driving dam safety.

(To Mr. Walsh): Harvey, would you like to comment on that?


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Would you state your name for the record, please.

MR. WALSH: My name is Harvey Walsh. I am the Manager of Engineering for Great Lakes Power.

Our insurers require us to keep our facilities in good condition. As a power generator, we rely on maintaining our flow of cash, and our insurers provide the opportunity, should we lose a facility, to continue our revenue stream.

As most insurers don't like to pay out, whenever possible, they are very thorough in reviewing our properties, both from a stability point of view, the quality of our dams, and the functioning of our discharge facilities.

I would like to speak to one other point, if I might, in terms of the regulation in the Province of Ontario.

Prior to joining Great Lakes Power, I was part of the regulatory environment. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, can require dam owners to do everything that appears in Dam Safety Legislation, under the name Dam Safety Legislation.

At present, that Ministry puts out what are called Water Power Lease Agreements for the utilities, and licences of occupation and other legal documents, which contain conditions as to how an operator is to maintain his facility, how he is to report on it, when he is to report on it, and in what manner he is to report on it, so that they can be assured that the structure is functioning properly, meeting the requirements that are set out in a Guidelines package, called the Lakes and Rivers Guidelines -- commonly known as the "Blue Book".

Those Guidelines parallel a lot of the information that is in the CDSA document that Mr. Tawil has presented to the panel.

We are not without regulatory scrutiny in Ontario. And it applies to all dam owners, both water power, timber industry, and in particular now the mining industry.

What has happened here, in the last several years -- in part prompted by some failures, in the mining industry particularly; one at Matachewan where a tailings dam let go -- is that there are large Guidelines documents that have been prepared and are now required to be followed, by law, under the Mining Act in Ontario. Those documents make reference to the CDSA Guidelines as the document for direction in terms of implementing and assessing and maintaining a Dam Safety Program for the tailings industry.

MNR, prior to my departure, was looking at rewriting its requirements in its Guidelines packages, which don't require change by regulation; or just simply a policy document that could be put forward, requiring this document as the foundation for dam safety in the Province of Ontario for all existing dam owners.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Mr. Walsh, I was going to ask you a question on insurance.

You are making a Presentation later, aren't you?

MR. WALSH: My Senior Civil Engineer will be speaking this afternoon to our program.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Is it a reasonable thing for us to be concerned as to whether or not one of the Applicants that we have, that has constructed a dam, carry insurance?

MR. WALSH: I would say that, yes, it is a reasonable request.

I am more interested, from my own personal perspective, that whatever comes out directs my performance; not exactly how I do it, but that I perform in a way that is satisfactory to you and to other regulators.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: We are really concerned with performance. If someone else is going to extract that performance, the insurer is going to be one, isn't he?

MR. WALSH: He is. That's why I am saying that it is reasonable to ask that question: "Are you covered?"

As part of our due diligence requirements in Ontario, where we would be exposed to things, should an event occur, we would look to that insurance to be our protection. But, also, the public and other boards can look to it, as well, as protection.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): I have a follow-up on Commissioner Bayh's question.

Earlier, you said that the Association's focus is public safety, and then you followed up and said: "But we are also obligated to serve our membership."

I don't object to that. But in light of what is happening in both countries, with deregulation in the timber industry and power, who then serves the public interest?

MR. TAWIL: As engineers, in terms of the work that we do, public safety is supreme.

Who is it that really has the prime responsibility for public protection, ultimately?

I suppose it would have to be the Government.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I will be short.

If you say that Government has the responsibility to protect the public but all of your Guidelines are voluntary, or perhaps even required by insurers but you are not required to hold insurance, what you have told me is that the person who is supposed to be watching is not watching.

Is that true?

MR. TAWIL: I think it is conceivable that some Governments are not rising to the levels that perhaps they should in terms of public safety.

The ultimate responsibility for the protection of our sewers, our bridges, our highways, our infrastructures, has to be our representatives.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you very much, Mr. Tawil, for your Presentation and for your thoughtful and cautious answers.

--- (A. Tawil Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): We will now recess. When we reconvene, our first speaker will be one our seven Presenters from the owners of structures.

That will be at 2:30.

--- Luncheon Adjournment/Pause-midi

--- Upon Resuming/À la reprise

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Good afternoon, everyone. Bon après-midi.

Nous allons maintenant entendre le prochain présentateur, monsieur Emad Elsayed, Hydro-Ontario.

Monsieur Elsayed.



E. Elsayed

MR. ELSAYED: Thank you. Good afternoon.

My intent this afternoon is to provide a very brief overview of the activities that Ontario Hydro carries out in the area of dam safety, and particularly for structures that fall under the jurisdiction of the IJC.

We have forwarded detailed reports that pertain to our assessment results for those particular structures; also, we have provided the Commission with a copy of our Dam Safety Standards Criteria Procedures, as well as our Inspection Guidelines.

Also, we have provided specific reports for each of the structures in question.

I will keep my remarks to a summary level -- and I will certainly be glad to take any questions, should you have any.

In Canada, safety of dams, as was mentioned earlier, falls within provincial jurisdiction.

In Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources administers the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, which gives the Ministry the power to ensure that measures related to safety of dams are taken.

Ontario Hydro owns and operates 247 dams in the province, associated with hydroelectric generation. Three of those dams are operated under the Orders of the IJC. They include R.H. Saunders Generating Station and the Iroquois Control Dam on the St. Lawrence River; and the Niagara Falls Control Structure on the Niagara River.

Back in 1986, Ontario Hydro recognized the importance and the need for a Dam Safety Program, and took a proactive approach to establishing a corporate Dam Safety Program, with the objective of ensuring the continued safe and reliable operation of the Corporation's dams and associated hydroelectric facilities.

This program has two major components. One is carrying out dams safety assessments of all these structures. The other component is carrying out inspection and monitoring components, as well as preparation of emergency preparedness plans.

The assessments -- and I just want to make sure we are clear on the terminology.

I have heard the term "inspections" used to mean the same thing. Assessments are detailed, very comprehensive engineering assessments of the structures, as opposed to what we would call "inspections", which could be visual inspections and in many cases, as I will refer to later, could be very detailed inspections.

I just want to get the terminology clear.

The assessments are carried out by Ontario Hydro staff, based on Dam Safety Standards and Criteria, that we have provided to you. These are consistent with those developed and utilized by many Canadian and international organizations. They have, in the past, been reviewed by a number of independent external experts.

Also, over the past two years, they have been reviewed and revised in relation to the Dam Safety Guidelines that were prepared by the Canadian Dam Safety Association, that Mr. Tawil was talking about earlier.

Our standards, at the moment, meet or exceed those Guidelines.

By the end of 1996, assessments have been completed on 140 out of the 247 dams that we own, and that includes 75 of our 188 dams that have a high, or a very high incremental consequence of failure.

I want to describe that term. When we say "incremental" -- I have heard the term "hazard" mentioned. It is the same thing. "Incremental" means that these are the consequences that would be caused by the dam failure, above and beyond the consequences that would be caused by the flood itself. In other words, these are the incremental impacts resulting directly from the failure of the dam.

We have carried out a number of capital improvements to meet Dam Safety Standards on nine dams so far, since 1989, that required upgrading work to meet the standards, at a total cost of approximately $37 million.

To be specific about the three structures that fall under the IJC jurisdiction, we carried out an assessment ---

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Does that include the three ---

MR. ELSAYED: The cost?

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: No. Of the 75 dams, does that include the three under our jurisdiction?

MR. ELSAYED: It includes one that is high, as I will mention later on. But not all three are high.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And one of them has been done.

MR. ELSAYED: One of them has been done, yes.

The assessments have been completed for all of them, and the three reports that outline the results.


MR. ELSAYED: For the St. Lawrence Project dams, the assessment was completed in 1988. The dams assessed included the Saunders Generating Station Main Dam and the Cornwall Dyke. It included, also, four small earth-filled dykes and the Iroquois Control Dam upstream of the station.

All these are on the St. Lawrence River.

The assessment results indicated that these dams meet stability standards under all loading conditions.

The safety assessment of the Niagara Falls Control Structure, which is the third one under the IJC jurisdiction, was completed in 1991. Again, this concrete structure was also found to meet all the standards under all loading conditions.

We carry out regular dam safety general inspections, and also review our dam monitoring instruments, on a regular basis. We have developed Guidelines for the inspections and the instrumentation monitoring requirements. The frequency of those inspections depends on the consequences of a hypothetical failure, or the hazard category.

In general, for dams classified as either High or Very High Consequence category, such as the Main Dam and the Cornwall Dyke at Saunders, the inspections are carried out every one to three years, depending on the condition of the dam.

For Low Consequence category dams, like the small dykes and the Iroquois Control Dam on the St. Lawrence and the Niagara Falls Control Structure, the inspection frequency is once every three to six years, again depending on the condition of the structure.

The last general inspection for dams associated with the St. Lawrence Power Project was carried out in 1994, and the Niagara Falls Control Structure was last inspected in 1996. All of the dams inspected were found to be in good condition and performing satisfactorily.

As I mentioned earlier, Ontario Hydro also has a policy on Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning for all of our generating stations and control dams. The object of this policy is to minimize the adverse consequences of emergencies, by ensuring that the capability exists to respond to, and manage, emergency situations caused by occurrences, such as fire, earthquake, flood, dam failure, public rescue, contaminant spills or medical emergencies.

These plans include Emergency Preparedness Planning Requirements, site-specific response procedures and reporting requirements.

Plans have been developed for the Saunders Generating Station and the Niagara Falls Control Structure. The current version of these plans addresses oil spills, medical and fire-type emergencies. Risks related to other types of emergencies will be assessed and incorporated in those plans over time.

However, a significant component of those plans is what we call the Dam Safety Emergency Preparedness Plan. These are plans that address specifically the issue of dam failure.

These plans are prepared for dams with high or very high incremental consequences of dam failure, including loss of life. The main objective is to minimize the loss of life or damage to property or the environment in the event of natural or man-made emergencies which could lead to dam failure.

These plans will ensure that all appropriate agencies receive prompt notification of an emergency condition and will provide instruction to Ontario Hydro personnel. Those plans include maps which show the inundated areas downstream of the dam, in the case of a dam failure.

In the event of a dam failure, the public would be advised of the emergency by the notified agencies and informed of the appropriate steps to protect themselves and their property, including evacuation routes.

These plans also serve as a source of information on construction equipment and material suppliers locally, to aid in controlling the extent of the dam break.

In 1994, Ontario Hydro prepared Dam Safety Emergency Preparedness Plan for the Saunders Main Dam and the Cornwall Dyke.

If you recall, this is the one structure of the three that has been classified as a high hazard structure.

The internal and external notification plans, which are key components of these Emergency Preparedness Plans, are tested annually. They were tested in 1995 and 1996.

Dam Safety Emergency Preparedness Plans have not been developed for the Iroquois Control Dam and the Niagara Falls Control Structure, because these structures have been assessed to have low incremental consequences of failure; namely, no incremental loss of life and low economic and environmental losses.

In closing, I would like to point out that Ontario Hydro has an excellent dam safety record, with no dam failures. We strongly support, and are a founding member, of the Canadian Dam Safety Association. Like most Canadian dam owners, Ontario Hydro has voluntarily implemented an effective Dam Safety Program which is consistent with our commitment to public and employee safety, as well as environmentally responsible operation.

This commitment, coupled with an effective working relationship with the provincial regulatory agencies, demonstrates due diligence and responsible leadership.

Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Elsayed.

Commissioner Chamberlin, please.


You will have to forgive me; I am still a little unclear as to your relationship to the Government of the Province of Ontario.

Are the assessments that you described sent to any Government agency for review, or are they not?

MR. ELSAYED: No, they are not. We are not required to submit them to the Minister of Natural Resources. However, we do provide the Ministry with copies of our assessments.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: So you do send them, although it is not required.

MR. ELSAYED: We do provide them, but we are not required to.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: For my own education, the distinction between damage from flooding and damage from a breach of the dam, is that assessment based on flooding as if the structure were not in place -- the assessment of the potential flood damage?

MR. ELSAYED: No. The incremental damage is determined by looking, first, at the consequences that would result from the flooding if the dam did not fail. Then, superimposed on that, we simulate a dam failure; and the incremental flooding as a result of the dam failure is what is considered for classifying the dam risk.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: The beginning of your "talk" told us about Ontario's new licensing program; yet the information that I have says that none of the dams that we are talking about on the boundary waters are licensed.

Why would they not be licensed and how does this make your requirements different in terms of oversight by the Ontario Government?

MR. ELSAYED: It depends on what is meant by "licensing". As Harvey Walsh indicated earlier, we do have a licence of occupation, which really is a permit for us to operate the dam under certain guidelines, in terms of water levels and range of operation.

These are not necessarily subject to frequent renewal. These are normally provided by the Ministry; and as long as the conditions are being monitored and are being met, there are no requirements for re-licensing, if you like.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Didn't you mention at the beginning of your talk that there is a Dam Safety Licensing Program in the Province, in Ontario; and if so, are any of your dams licensed under that program?

MR. ELSAYED: No. I didn't use the term "licensed". What I said was that there is what is called the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, which gives the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources the power to ensure the safety of dams in the Province. It allows them to take whatever measures they see fit to get that assurance.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: None of your structures on the border are part of this program.

MR. ELSAYED: They are; they all are.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Can you explain to me the requirements that you are required to ---

You say you voluntarily gave them the assessments.

What are you required to do under that Law?

MR. ELSAYED: I want to make a distinction. There is no requirement by the Ministry to meet any specific Dam Safety Standards, for example. All that Act does is give the power to the Ministry, such that if they feel that measures are not being taken to their satisfaction to ensure the safety of the structure, they can intervene and impose whatever measures they feel are necessary.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: What could bring about that kind of complaint? A public complaint?

MR. ELSAYED: It could be a public complaint. It could be a concern raised by somebody about the condition of the structure.

It is not an established process; it has to have something happen that would prompt that.

However, this is one of our reasons that we work with the Ministry very closely and provide our reports, to give them that assurance.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Are those reports public?

MR. ELSAYED: As was mentioned earlier, not "public" in the sense that they are made available to the public; but they can be obtained by the public through the Freedom of Information Act. We don't make them available, as such, to the public, but they can be accessed by the public through that Act.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE CHAIR (U.S. Section): Thank you. Let me follow up on that.

We have what is called the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, which enables the Province; but they don't choose to do anything with it.

MR. ELSAYED: Not in the sense of a formalized Dam Safety Program. When I talked about the Canadian Dam Safety Association Guidelines, the Ministry of Natural Resources, for example, has not come out and said: "All dam owners in the Province have to use those Guidelines."

Most dam owners that I know use them. But that has not been a condition that has been imposed by the Ministry, although the Ministry has those powers under this Act.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): But they have chosen not to utilize those powers.

MR. ELSAYED: They have other measures. But if we are talking specifically about the requirement to carry out dam safety assessments, the answer is: "No, they don't."

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): You also said that you send your assessments to Government. Who do you send them to?

MR. ELSAYED: To what level of Government, you mean?

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Let me follow up. If we have an Act that no one is really choosing to enforce or to implement, if you are sending reports to Government -- and I think we have all been involved in Government -- do they just go to Government? Is there anybody there who is reading them?

And if you said "X dam is cracked all the way from the base to the top", would anybody there read it and know that there was a problem?

I am being a bit facetious.

MR. ELSAYED: We are making the assumption that somebody is reading them. The Ministry of Natural Resources is one of the members of the Canadian Dam Safety Association, as well. They are fully aware of the requirements. They are fully aware of the membership. They are fully aware of Ontario Hydro's Dam Safety Program.

I can't speak for them, but I would expect that if one of our reports indicates that there is a significant concern, they would take some action. Also, I would expect that if we identify a significant concern as part of our assessment, we would propose an action to the Government.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Let me follow up with another one. You may have covered this, but are your structures insured, both for the loss to the company and for damages that might occur?


THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: The Order from us is a joint Order to you and the New York Power Authority -- actually, to the Government of the United States and eventually to the New York Power Authority. The Order reads as if it is a joint operation.

What coordination is there with the New York Power Authority?

MR. ELSAYED: There is a significant amount of coordination with New York Power, in all aspects; in the area of inspection, maintenance, as well as in the development of Emergency Preparedness Plans. There is a significant amount of coordination.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: When you look at things, in your one-to-three or one-to-six cycle, is it the same year that New York Power or FERC does theirs for the American side?

MR. ELSAYED: I don't believe that the frequency necessarily coincides, no.

At the International Control Dam at Niagara, for example, if one or the other determines the need ---

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I want to deal with the St. Lawrence, to begin with.

MR. ELSAYED: The St. Lawrence is a little different, because the two halves of the powerhouse, the generating facility itself ---

First of all, there are significant differences in the structures themselves, and the design of the structures.


MR. ELSAYED: Therefore, we may have certain maintenance requirements or certain upgrading requirements in our portion of the Powerhouse that may not exist on the other side.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: In your plans for the effects downstream, are your concerns related to what happens on the Canadian side, or on both sides?

MR. ELSAYED: There is coordination, as I mentioned, in the preparation of the Emergency Preparedness Plan, because the water in the dam doesn't know on which side it is going.

We participated heavily with New York Power in the development of their Emergency Preparedness Plan, and vice versa. And the assurance was, also, that the consequences of a dam failure, as assessed by New York Power, are consistent with our findings as well.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do you have any joint operation to take care of an emergency? Should something arise in the next 12 hours, would there be something in place that is there now and that both sides are coordinating?

MR. ELSAYED: I am not sure if our Notification Plan is ---

(To Mr. Pano): Don...?

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: You should know that.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Could you state your name for the record, please.

MR. PANO: I am Don Pano. I work for Ontario Hydro, in Cornwall. I am the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Cornwall facilities.

We work in conjunction with the New York Power Authority for Notifications. Each of us has a Notification Plan, and part of that Plan is to advise the other.

In Ontario, we would notify all the Canadian entities, and the New York Power Authority would notify all the American entities along the river for emergencies.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Wouldn't there be some need for coordination immediately, though? Is there any one person in charge, or is it a committee? How does it work?

MR. PANO: Generally, for emergencies with respect to the river flows, we would work through the Operations Advisory Group and the Regulation representatives in Cornwall and Buffalo.

So the requirement to adjust flows is coordinated immediately for any given emergency situation.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Does the St. Lawrence Board look into that?

MR. PANO: I think they are certainly aware of it, yes.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do they look into that aspect?

MR. PANO: I am afraid I can't speak for what the Board looks at.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: On the question of corporate responsibility, who do you report to?

MR. ELSAYED: I report to the General Manager of the Hydroelectric Business. The organizational structure in Ontario Hydro has a number of fairly autonomous business units along the lines of generation. We have a hydroelectric business, a fossil business and a nuclear business.

The General Manager is the highest level in the organization in the Hydroelectric. She reports directly to the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Hydro.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Does the Board of Ontario Hydro have an Environmental or Dam Safety Committee?

MR. ELSAYED: There is an Environmental Safety Committee, yes.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do they look into the matters of safety?

MR. ELSAYED: First of all, annual reports on our findings on dam safety are submitted to the General Manager of Hydroelectric.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I want to understand how ---

MR. ELSAYED: It depends on the issue. If there is a significant issue that would require a level of either expenditure or commitment from Ontario Hydro, that requires the Board approval, that's where it goes.

For example, some of the ---

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: That is not what I am asking.

I want to know: Does the Board get an annual or biannual certification that everything is okay?

MR. ELSAYED: No. the reports go to the General Manager of Hydroelectric; and at her discretion, she may notify the Board, if required.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): One more question, from Commissioner Bayh.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Let me understand: although you do conduct these assessments on a periodic basis, if Ontario Hydro decided not to conduct them, no Government agency would require you to conduct them.

MR. ELSAYED: At the moment, that is correct. Your statement is accurate, yes.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Elsayed.

--- (E. Elsayed Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): We will now hear from Mr. William Broderick, from the New York Power Authority.



W. Broderick

MR. BRODERICK: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen: My name is William Broderick. I am a licensed Professional Engineer; also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the New York State Society of Professional Engineers; the United States Committee on Large Dams. And I am an associate, non-voting member, of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

I am speaking to you today in my capacity as Director of Civil/Structural Engineering for the New York Power Authority.

One of my principal responsibilities is the coordination of the Dam Safety and Emergency Action Plan Programs throughout the New York Power Authority's infrastructure.

The dams which form the Power Authority's Hydroelectric Power Projects are essential elements in the plant infrastructure. The public risk, in case of failure, is great, and large and growing numbers of lives and valuable properties are at stake.

Recognition of the historic causes and possible impacts of dam failure throughout the industry points out the need for a program to continually renew awareness and to enhance dam safety.

The Power Authority's Dam Safety Program incorporates several components that address the spectrum of possible actions to be taken over the short term and the long term. It is a phased process, beginning with the collection and review of existing information, proceeding to detailed inspections and analysis, corrective and preventive maintenance, and culminating with formal documentation. The program is cyclic, recognizing the need for continual vigilance.

I would like to present the Commission with an outline of the comprehensive approach to dam safety and emergency acting planning at all the Power Authority Projects and to describe, briefly, the current regulatory oversight and internal accountability provisions for dam safety and other structures.

The Power Authority operates six unique hydroelectric projects in the State of New York, two of which have an interest to the Commission in that they also operate under Orders from the Commission.

The principal one is the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Project, which consists of the Robert Moses Power Dam, the Long Sault Spillway Dam, the Iroquois River Control Dam, the Massena Intake Dam, and various assortments of earth embankment dykes that provide the pondage for Lake St. Lawrence.

In the case of the Niagara Power Project, the facilities are the Robert Moses Power Plant, the Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant, the Lewiston Reservoir, and associated river intakes and conduits of that system.

In the United States, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -- we call it the FERC --

has statutory responsibility for dam safety and public safety, as well as for supervision and inspection of all Project licences, to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of that licence.

FERC's regulations pertaining specifically to the safety of structures is set forth in 18 CFR Part 12.

The New York Power Authority has a comprehensive inspection and maintenance program which fulfils the requirements of the FERC licence Articles and Regulations.

I would like to point out, also, that through working with FERC on regulatory compliance, the Power Authority participates in some of the programs that were described earlier to the Commission by the Corps of Engineers in terms of the National Dam Inventory Program, and many of the programs that they sponsor for dam safety.

The elements of the Dam Safety Program at the Power Authority can be summarized as follows:

Basically, the Corporation has established responsibility for its Dam Safety Program within the office of the Vice-President and Chief Engineer.

The Power Authority provides regular budgetary appropriations for dam safety activities, and it continues to review, maintain and modernize dam safety instrumentation to monitor the behaviour and performance of all dams and dykes in its system.

We also provide an emphasis on the use of independent consultants, which are pre-approved by FERC, to periodically audit the adequacy and the effectiveness of the dam safety program.

The program of continuing inspection establishes the condition of the dams and dykes and provides the information necessary for determining specific actions to be taken regarding repairs, operations and further monitoring.

The program is cyclic, as I mentioned, recognizing the need for this continued vigilance.

An effective program is essential to identify problems and to provide for safe maintenance of the dam. Our inspection program involves three types of inspections, as follows:

First, there is the periodic technical inspection, which is generally performed by the independent consultant, pre-approved by FERC, who is a recognized dam safety expert. Essentially, it is a detailed inspection of every aspect of the facility. It is a review of the original design assumptions and design basis of the facility for all natural events that could occur, and it is a review of our monitoring and data collection and performance history.

This report is prepared and submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, on a five-year basis. And the results of those findings that are contained in that independent consultant's report are then monitored by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for resolution.

We also have a series of periodic maintenance inspections done by Staff, and we also have informal observations, on a continuing basis, by site personnel as they operate the facilities.

Some additional elements include routine visual inspections of the civil works by Operations, Maintenance and Security Staff during the course of their duties.

We have regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs of the civil works.

By the way, particularly the St. Lawrence Project, and other facilities that are involved with joint works efforts with our partner, Ontario Hydro, those provisions, those recommendations for maintenance and repairs, are brought to the Joint Works Committee. Of course, it is a cost sharing effort.

Generally, there is a description of the findings of the inspection and a justification for the need for the repair.

We also have annual Operations inspections by our Engineering Staff, which consists of basically a detailed walkdown of all of the facilities, using a checklist approach, a predetermined, pre-prepared checklist, and referring to the historical performance of the dam for verification and checking on performance of areas that are of concern.

This is not to be construed as fulfilling the requirements for FERC. FERC also provides their own Project Engineer, to come out on an annual basis to do a complete walkdown and do an operational audit on how we are doing.

The five-year program basically incorporates a periodic review of the dam stability criteria, and of all the design assumptions from the initial construction to the present day.

The comprehensive dam safety inspections and performance reviews by the independent consultant, as I mentioned, are done on a five-year basis. They essentially accumulate the five years of internal inspections and FERC inspections.

All that information is made available to them at that time. We also make available any studies or investigations or analysis that we have done in that five-year interval.

That is all assessed and presented to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the findings of the independent consultant.

We also provide at that time a plan and schedule for resolution of any outstanding comments.

As an integral part of our Dam Safety Program that we have developed and we implement, we train and test for emergency action plans in the event of a pending or an actual dam failure.

We see that as an extension of the Dam Safety Program, and the FERC views it as one of the important cornerstones of their overall Dam Safety Program.

The Emergency Action Plan -- and I have several copies here today -- can be quite extensive. They have procedures in it, identifications of responsibility, inundation maps, based on engineering analysis, as was described earlier by Ontario Hydro; impacts to communities.

Not only did we develop this, but we view this as a living document. It grows and has become quite large over the years. The Power Authority has taken a very proactive approach to dealing with the operators of the Plan. Ontario Hydro is a Plan participant, of course; the Commission is also a Plan participant and receives annual updates.

In order to keep the Plan workable and current, we do a number of things.

We hold annual orientation seminars. Those seminars basically review the document, the purpose of the Plan, the features of the project that affect public safety; and they involve not only just our operators but local authorities having jurisdiction for public safety and for emergency evacuation on the state, Federal and local levels.

We participate in annual drills to test to see if the logic of our Notification Plan is appropriate.

I should point out -- and FERC concurs -- that the Authority's responsibility for the Emergency Action Plan is really notification; the safe operation of the facility; notification to the public if there is trouble developing.

We take that very seriously. We go out to the community; we reach out to the community. We bring the Plan up-to-date on a regular basis.

The annual drill tells us if our notification logic is timely and is appropriate, and is revised on a regular basis.

Recently, FERC's experience with Emergency Action Planning has shown them that there is a need for additional training. They have developed a series of training protocols that we have adopted.

One of them is a tabletop training exercise. That is where the Power Authority brings together all the Plan participants, to sit down and walk themselves through the Plan: It is great to have a nice Plan; it looks pretty on the shelf. But do you have a current one in your office?

If the Operations Department calls, or if the local Sheriff's Department calls, and they can't find the Plan, it is not very useful; or if they don't know what the Plan means or they don't know how to read the maps.

We found that in reaching out to the communities, there needs to be a constant reiteration and retraining effort.

We also do a more advanced series of training exercises, one of which is called the Functional Exercises. Those are where we actually simulate an emergency. We actually do a little role playing. We have the various participants in a separate communication system. It is a classroom-style environment but they are separated physically so that they pass messages around and act out the types of scenarios that we have analyzed, that we anticipate may occur.

The Plan is subject to an annual review by the Power Authority and by the FERC. During that review, we review the upstream and downstream conditions for change, for new developments, and update the Plan, including the inundation maps, if appropriate.

The annual update is done to make sure that the telephone numbers and the Notifications are appropriate. And because as we update this on an annual basis, every five years we completely reprint the Plan to make it more readable, more workable and current.

There are Emergency Action Plans, in the event of dam failure, for both the Niagara and the St. Lawrence Projects, as well as our other projects.

We also have, at Niagara, another warning plan, which is a Flood Warning Notification Plan in the event of ice-affected flooding on the Upper Niagara River.

While not exactly the same risk levels are associated with the Emergency Action Plan in dam failure, the Plan we developed is modelled on the FERC Guidelines for EAPs for dam failure.

Everything that we do in terms of the orientation, training and development is the same for that Plan.

As a matter of fact, the Authority ran its first functional training exercise for the Niagara Power Project in July of 1992. It was quite successful and we learned quite a lot. The operators and owners of the dams know their facilities very well. The challenge is to convey the impacts of possible failure to the local authorities having jurisdiction for public safety.

These exercises proved very useful in enhancing the effectiveness of this Plan, and most importantly, the state of preparedness of the local agencies to respond when they do get a call from a Power entity.

The next functional exercise will be performed at our St. Lawrence Project during 1997.

In terms of implementation, the Power Authority has a Regional Manager at each Project, who has the ultimate responsibility to maintain effectiveness of the Dam Safety Program and to maintain a workable Emergency Action Plan.

The Regional Managers have appointed site Emergency Action Plan Co-ordinators and responsible Dam Safety Engineers for each site. The site EAP Co-ordinator is the primary contact for persons should any questions arise regarding the Emergency Action Plan, whether that be from the site personnel, from local alerting agencies, or other Plan participants.

The Dam Safety Engineer is responsible for inspection, maintenance, instrumentation and documentation of the dam's performance history.

To assist the Regional Managers, the Corporation has appointed the Vice-President and Chief Engineer of the Power Authority as responsible for the integration of all of our six sites in terms of a unified approach to Dam Safety and Emergency Action planning.

We have appointed a Headquarters Emergency Action Plan Co-ordinator and Dam Safety Engineer. This individual is responsible for providing guidance and co-ordination among all the Projects regarding regulatory requirements, state-of-the-practice advancements in dam safety inspection and monitoring, and to assist the Site Coordinators in determining the effectiveness of the annual test and training of the Emergency Action Plan. He keeps the Project personnel apprised of all current requirements and addendums to FERC Guidelines and Regulations for dam safety and emergency action plans.

We have very active participation in professional associations, such as USCOLD and ASDSO. We are aware of the activities that are put forth by the Canadian Dam Safety Association.

One of the things that is important for the Commission to understand is that the professional community of dam safety engineers has an extensive network of educational, training and technology transfer forums, not the least of which is the Canadian Dam Safety Section, USCOLD, ASDSO, the National Hydro Power Association, where experiences and case histories are reviewed on a regular basis and information is shared.

The Vice-President and Chief Engineer of the Power Authority has been designated as the official liaison between the Power Authority and FERC for all licence compliance matters, including the Dam Safety and Action Planning.

In conclusion, knowledge and vigilance are our best bets for reducing the risks of having a dam failure. The same approach, of course, is required for emergency planning. Knowledge comes from studying, training, communicating within and outside of the organization. Vigilance requires the application of acquired knowledge in the business of operating, maintaining and inspecting our hydro facilities.

The Dam Safety Program and Emergency Action Plans, in the event of dam failure, are continuing to evolve.

The Power Authority is working in close cooperation with Federal regulators, with our joint works partner Ontario Hydro, to carry forward a tradition of public service based on a joint commitment to the values of excellence, innovation, integrity and team work. These values serve as a benchmark for the Power Authority's Dam Safety and Emergency Action Planning Program. The Program receives the full commitment of both Management and Staff.

In our view, the existing International Joint Commission Orders of Approval are considered to be adequate and appropriate. No changes appear to be necessary in order to ensure the public safety as it relates to hydroelectric facilities owned and operated by the New York Power Authority on the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers.

That concludes my remarks. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Broderick.

Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I have just a couple of questions, one about the FERC oversight.

I was told -- and tell me if I am wrong about this -- that if you stopped producing power at any one of your facilities, you would not be required by FERC to license that facility.

MR. BRODERICK: If it was no longer a hydroelectric facility in the State of New York, it would fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Conservation, which has a Dam Safety Program.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: So you would just change regulators.

MR. BRODERICK: We would change regulators.

As a matter of fact, the inspectors from the Department of Environmental Conservation do visit our Project, but a lot less frequently than they do a non-Federally regulated dam.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: With the amount of deregulation in the Power industry, I know some people are going to stop producing.

I have two other questions.

I notice that some of your facilities are more than 30 years old.


COMMISSIONER BAYH: You heard the gentleman this morning talking about 30 years versus 50 years, versus once-every-five-years inspections.

Do you feel that as these facilities age, they will need greater inspection? Or do you think five years is enough for a 30- or 50-year-old facility?

MR. BRODERICK: Basically, the gentleman was correct when he said that a well operated, well maintained facility could last essentially indefinitely.

The protocol for annual inspections and for five-year more in-depth assessments of facilities is quite reasonable when you look at the performance history of a dam. Most of ours are 40 years old; some of our facilities are over 100 years old. If their performance history has been good and the documentation is reasonable, there is no reason to go to a closer rate of inspection.

If, on the other hand, during the course of operations you find problems for concern, generally the surveillance then is increased on that aspect of the facility.

So there are checks and balances within the Licensee's operation and at the Federal level, to determine if the plant is performing well. If it is not, those frequencies increase.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: My last question -- and this is something that I just don't know: You heard the Army Corps Presentation this morning on dam safety requirements. Does FERC use exactly the same Guidelines? Are there differences within the Guidelines? And if so, what are the differences?

MR. BRODERICK: I am glad you mentioned that. In listening to the Presentation, they did not mention the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The point I would like to make is that the professionals at FERC responsible for implementation of the Dam Safety Program and the Power Authority, many of the Power Operators and Licensees, the Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, the United States Committee on Large Dams, all have an extensive network of communication and educational-type programs.

The different programs that you see from the Canadian perspective and from the American perspective, all have the essential elements of inspection, maintenance and emergency planning. The formats may be a little different but the essential elements are all the same.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Do you believe Government oversight is one of those elements?

MR. BRODERICK: Government oversight in the United States is a fact of life.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE CHAIR (U.S. Section): You said that you run simulations, in effect.

MR. BRODERICK: Yes, sir.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Do the Canadians participate with you in that simulation?

MR. BRODERICK: Yes, they do. They are invited to and they participate in our Annual Orientation Meeting, which is a verbal walkthrough; and they are parties our tabletop and our functional exercises.

We actually assign them roles. We do a little role playing.

THE CHAIR (U. S. Section): Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Chamberlin.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: At this point in the Scoping Hearings, are you involved in the relicensing on the St. Lawrence?

MR. BRODERICK: Yes, I am a member of the Power Authority's relicensing Task Force.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: I am assuming that a significant part of that will be devoted to safety considerations. We have not been present, except through our staff as observers, so Commissioners are not as current on that effort.

I am assuming that a significant part of that is devoted to safety considerations and relicensing.

MR. BRODERICK: The significant question is regarding the condition of the facility and future viability of the facility, as it is configured now. And that is being addressed in quite some detail.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do you do some simulation downstream as well?

MR. BRODERICK: Simulation basically is a classroom-type training environment. Because of the condition of our facilities and the effectiveness of our program, FERC has never required us to do an actual fullscale training exercise.

These plans are really based on the FEMA Guidelines for Emergency Response. If you look at the definitions and terms in the Plan, they are very similar. The definitions are all the same. It was intended to be that way so that local officials would know what we are talking about in terms of the emergency.

The simulation that we do is really a role playing, and we don't involve members of the public at that point.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do you concern yourself with Authorities downstream?

MR. BRODERICK: I beg your pardon?

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do you deal with Authorities downstream on any of those matters?

MR. BRODERICK: Indeed. They are the principal participants. Those are the people we are trying to reach.

All of the orientation meetings, the tabletop and the functional exercises are directed toward helping them develop their evacuation and preparedness.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And that is on both sides of the border?

MR. BRODERICK: The emphasis, obviously, is on the United States side. Our Canadian counterparts are knowledgeable of the Plan and they do participate in these training exercises.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: But it is predominantly American.

MR. BRODERICK: In the case of Niagara, yes; in the case of St. Lawrence, no. I think it is a joint effort.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Broderick.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Broderick. I don't suppose you would have any objection should our Staff wish to get in touch with you later on for further clarification.

MR. BRODERICK: Absolutely. I would be most happy to talk to them.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you.

--- (W. Broderick Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): We will now turn the floor over to Mr. Bruce Clarida, from Great Lakes Power Limited.

MR. McPHEE: Mr. Chair, my name is Andy McPhee. I am next on the list, from Great Lakes Power.

If it is all right with you, I will have a few opening remarks and then I will turn the mike over to Bruce, who will give us a rundown of our Dam Safety Program.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Please proceed.



A. McPhee B. Clarida

MR. McPHEE: I am Andy McPhee, from Great Lakes Power, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Superintendent responsible for the funding, operation and maintenance of the Compensating Works, Gates 1 to 8, and the Francis H. Clergue Generating Station located on the St. Mary's River.

Ultimately, I am responsible for the Dam Safety Program for these structures, ensuring that due diligence is being followed.

Issues or concerns brought forward to me by the public or Government agencies are initially addressed by myself and then formally by the Lake Superior Board of Control.

Great Lakes Power is a private utility, has been in operation for 80 years, and it takes the responsibility of operating and maintaining our facilities very seriously. Our practices and our managed systems ensure that Great Lakes Power will remain a strong and viable organization for the future.

I will leave with the Commission brochures regarding Great Lakes Power's history and operating practices.

One closing comment: As you are aware, we have completed our 1996 major repairs on the Compensation Works, from Gates 1 to 7. Prior to this project, significant maintenance has been completed and performed on a regular basis; and an ongoing maintenance program has been identified and budgeted for the future for this site.

As a follow-up to Commissioner Bayh's question regarding co-ordination between the Army Corps of Engineers and Great Lakes Power, I would like to reinforce that Great Lakes Power, and myself specifically, work closely with the local office out of Sault Ste Marie with respect to security issues, operation and maintenance for both ourselves and the Americans.

Along with myself, you have met Harvey Walsh, Manager of Engineering Services, and Bruce Clarida, Senior Civil Engineer, representing Great Lakes Power.

I will turn it over to Bruce to formally give you details on Great Lakes Power's Dam Safety Program.

MR. CLARIDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Commissioners.

Great Lakes Power is committed to dam safety at all levels of the organization, from the President to the Technical Staff level. In order to meet our commitment, we have instituted management systems which establish the goals, assigns the accountabilities and monitors the performance of our program.

Great Lakes Power, as with all other electrical utilities, is anticipating increased competition. We must balance the interests of our shareholders and our employees and the public, while responding to these competitive pressures. At the same time we are, and will continue to be, committed to safe operations.

Some of the important components of the dam safety system are leadership, risk assessment, education, control and protection and monitoring.

Using those as headings, I will proceed with leadership.

At Great Lakes Power, our Mission Statement commits us to both employee and public safety and to environmentally responsible operations. Leadership is demonstrated by actions at all levels, consistent with our goals.

In other words, we try to "walk our talk". And we do so, using the following basic tenets:

Where possible, hazards are designed out of systems; and where designs fail to remove these hazards, we employ physical barriers. Where physical barriers are not possible, we employ warning systems. And as a last resort, we employ procedural barriers to control hazardous conditions.

We refer to this as the Safety Precedent Sequence.

Also, that indicates to you that our first choice of barrier is design and our last choice of barrier is procedural.

As with all things economic, realities enter into any decision, and our response is always scaled to the level of risk in that situation.

With regard to dam safety and risk assessments, risk, in our terms and in most others' terms, is defined as "the probability multiplied by a consequence".

In the field of dam safety, to manage dam safety you are dealing with low probability but high consequence, or high probability and low consequence events. You can have high consequences -- which are associated with things like high incremental loss, including threats to personal safety -- and you can have low consequences, which is limited to scour and erosion.

High probability events would be things such as maintenance or mechanical equipment failure; whereas a low probability event would be an earthquake or a large flood.


Great Lakes Power initiated a Dam Safety Program beginning in 1989. The program began with comprehensive inspection evaluation of all of our facilities. This culminated in a list of prioritized capital and maintenance projects.

Some of these projects included further in-depth studies at some facilities to evaluate the key influence items, evaluating things such as hydrostatic pressures at depth, sliding resistance and the overall physical condition of some of the assets.

In 1981, we retained a consultant to perform a detailed investigation on the St. Mary's Compensating Works. In 1983, the International Lake Superior Board of Control released its Inspection and Maintenance Manual for the Compensating Works. This manual requires monthly and annual inspections, together with a detailed inspection every five years.

In June 1990, a consultant completed the first of our five-year detailed inspections. These reports are filed with the Commission.

During the period from 1981 to 1990, Great Lakes Power completed remedial works in accordance with the findings of the consultant's reports. These included underwater concreting of some of the gatesills and also the addition of post-tension anchors at all piers.

The Compensating Works are classified in accordance with the Hazard Classifications of the Canadian Dam Safety Association Guidelines. The Compensating Works are classified as a low hazard structure.

This classification is based on the fact that incremental damage downstream, following large release, or indeed failure of the structure, would not result in a loss of life or damage to the plant or facilities of others.

This classification was borne out in 1996 when all gates at the Compensating Works were opened to assist in the regulation of Lake Superior levels. Water level increases downstream of the gates, while were appreciable, did not result in damage to downstream facilities.

Based on this same classification, our Francis H. Clergue plant is a low-hazard structure.

Great Lakes Power has developed a set of Dam Safety Guidelines -- these are our Corporate Guidelines -- and we have filed copies of this with the Commission. The document presents the Guidelines we use to evaluate all of our water retaining structures.

These Guidelines also set out the objectives of our Dam Safety Program, a review of our responsibilities for dam safety and a brief description of the Guidelines prepared by other agencies that we also have reference to.

The overall objective of our Guidelines is to establish our maintenance and operating practices to safeguard the public, the environment, our company assets and to determine and demonstrate our compliance with the CDSA Guidelines.

Our Dam Safety Policies provide a comprehensive set of requirements which cover all facets of dam structure operation.

These policies are as follows:

Each dam shall be classified in terms of consequences of failure, including public safety, economic and environmental risks.

Each structure, including foundation and abutments, shall safely withstand reasonably foreseeable combinations of loads consistent with industry standard practices.

Dam safety review and evaluation shall be performed for each dam structure at intervals established by the Guidelines.

Operation and maintenance of dam structures and facilities should be performed as required to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation.

Surveillance and monitoring is performed, as needed, to detect potentially unsafe conditions in a timely manner.

Plans for emergency preparedness and flood action are developed as needed to mitigate safety risks. These plans include procedures for training, testing and updating the Action Plan.

With regard to education, one of the key components of our program is the education of the people involved in it. Technical and Maintenance staff are trained by Engineering staff in all aspects of the program, including inspection and maintenance procedures and Emergency Response measures.

Through active participation and understanding of their roles, our employees can maintain a level of vigilance that would not otherwise be attained.

In regard to questioning earlier, our people are on site almost every day, at all of our facilities. Our people are around the area and are easily approached by the public.

Our number one means of approach is through our front door. We encourage people to do so. So far, that seems to have worked well for our company. We are locally based. All of our employees live in the local areas and are known to people generally throughout the area.

Our Sault area Technical staff and our station Maintenance people work together with the Engineering staff to perform the annual evaluations of both the Compensating Works and the Francis H. Clergue.

Field inspections are conducted by observing aspects of the structures required by our Guidelines and the Dam Safety Criteria. These are entered and recorded on inspection checklists. Technical staff also perform inspections to the Compensating Works in April and October of each year --

that is, prior to fresh ice and prior to freeze-up. Monthly inspections are conducted.

The Engineering staff assists with the field work and goes with Technical staff to the site, where we discuss both the inspection and the reasons that these things are being looked at and why we do them.

Also, Engineering staff conduct a review of the inspection's results and findings and assists with the annual inspections at both locations.

The five-year detailed inspections, as required by the Commission, are conducted by Engineering staff. I am personally involved in them.

The inspections are reported to our Vice-President of Generation and Transmission, who in turn reports to the President and to the Board.

Regarding control and protection, emergency equipment and procedures provide protection to the structure and to the public. Emergency equipment is tested on site and is inspected, and test operations are performed. Procedures are reviewed by area Superintendents, Technical and Engineering staff to ensure consistent understanding of roles and responsibilities and also to learn from previous years' experience.

Regarding monitoring, we believe that monitoring provides the best source of early notice of conditions. Monitoring is performed by the area Technical staff. We have instruments at sites, together with periodic inspections, which are conducted in spring and fall.

All of the results are reviewed by Engineering staff, and these results are reported to the Vice-President of Generation and Transmission.

We conduct a program of annual inspections, as previously discussed. These inspections include monitoring by visual means. Our five-year inspection includes underwater examination and photography.

We look at all of the sills; we look at all of the gates; and we look at the seals and the joints between the piers and the aprons. We try to get to as many sites as we can reasonably get to where damage or wear and operating conditions could affect.

Instrumentation at the Compensating Works consists of position-monitoring monuments which have been established on the nose of each pier by a total station survey. Our monuments are tied to the baseline, which includes the U.S. Army Corps monuments.

Our monitoring results are recorded on a cumulative table and plotted as overlays on the original base survey.

Therefore, you can see a numerical change, but you also have a graphical depiction that is visually obvious once you see the overlays.

We have filed our five-year reports with the Commission. Instrumentation at our Francis H. Clergue plant includes piezometers in the concrete structure and the earth-filled dykes. Piezometers are monitored twice yearly. We also have displacement and settlement monuments in concrete structures and in the earth dykes, and these are measured on an annual basis.

Regarding work management, or how all of this stuff gets done, Great Lakes Power has implemented a computer-based work management system which records, tracks and schedules work throughout the Company.

All work which is to be performed at the Compensating Works in Clergue's plant as a result of field inspections or annual five-year inspections are initiated and tracked through this system. A Preventative Maintenance Work Order is issued by the system in the spring and fall of each year for completion of site inspections by Technical staff and review by Engineering staff.

The significance of a Preventative Maintenance Work Order is that it has a high priority. In annual work schedules, high priorities are done first.

The system also allows for the planning and scheduling of the work, as well as the capture of field data for inclusion in further plans and the analysis of the findings.

In conclusion, Great Lakes Power takes its role in dam safety very seriously. We believe that we have demonstrated our commitment to dam safety by developing and implementing the procedures we have just outlined.

The benefits of these procedures are both economic as well as qualitative in terms of preparedness of GLP's staff and management to handle all situations.

An example of this preparedness was the successful management of flooding during the 1996 season. Right across our system, we saw floods which varied from the one-in-thousand year flood in our Montreal River Reservoir to the one-in-eighty year flood on our Michipicotan River Reservoirs.

Flows were successfully passed with no significant incident and only minor incremental damage downstream of our facilities.

It was evident, following these events, that our preparedness and our ability to attenuate the flood wave as it passed through our facilities was fundamental in reducing the amount of damage which could have resulted had the flood flows not been managed.

As a private utility, we will ultimately be judged by our performance. We believe that regulations and standards are an important component of managing risk, and we trust that the Regulators and Commissioners will work with us to ensure value for dollars invested, help us focus on real issues and look for win-win solutions.

At the same time, we believe that we all have a responsibility to work with members of the public to enhance their understanding of real hazards and to develop solutions that promote wise investment in risk-reduction efforts.

We believe that performance-based regulations, which allow innovative ways to deal with problems, are beneficial to both parties. Should the Commission be considering the development of further regulations, we would request that these be performance-based and not prescriptive and that these are based on guidelines for dam safety, such as those published by CDSA.

We submit that St. Mary's Compensating Works and Francis H. Clergue Generating Station are examples of the application of our managed system for dam safety.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes our presentation. We look forward to any questions you might have.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Mr. Clarida, Mr. McPhee, thank you.

Are there any questions?

Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: What is a compensating work? What is the difference between a dam and a compensating work?

MR. CLARIDA: A dam and a compensating work: In this instance, the compensating works basically are control ---

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Commissioner Baldini and I made a tour of your place last year, so we are well aware of ---

What is the difference?

MR. CLARIDA: It is a control structure which establishes an upstream water elevation. Once that elevation is established ---


MR. CLARIDA: A dam holds back a reservoir, holds back a store of water which you use for your annual budget of generation.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: The only thing I think we had any concern about was something that was mentioned by the chap from the Corps this morning, that only two of the gates are done electrically.

If you saw the wheel that has to be operated, I would like to know how it can be done at 40 below.

MR. CLARIDA: Well, Mr. McPhee has had that pleasure!

--- (Laughter/Rires)

MR. McPHEE: Actually, we do not operate many of the gates in the winter time.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: I would think not!

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Perhaps I misunderstood this: it seemed like creeping into some of your presentation was this idea of risk assessment.

Am I right?

MR. CLARIDA: Yes, Commissioner Bayh.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: My problem with risk assessment, when you are talking about public safety, is that inherent in the idea of risk assessment is that some risk is acceptable.

When you are talking about public safety, and you are talking about a member of the public and a member of the family, you don't want that risk to be on your family.

In dam safety, how can you use that term, because a loss of any life or any limb is not acceptable?

MR. CLARIDA: We agree with that. But our position is that with the classification of the structure, the significance of the structure in its system is classified -- let's say, a water retaining system -- by the incremental damage that will result from that structure having an upset condition. That hazard classification then tells you what you can expect to have happen downstream.

The fact of assessing a risk on a risk-assessment basis is more a management tool that allows you to do prescriptive or predictive-type work. It is not to predict who will or will not get hurt. It is the hazard classification of the dam that we use for that.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Is it used to set priorities in terms of maintenance and other things?

MR. CLARIDA: No. The hazard classification is more persuasive in setting the priority; in fact, the most persuasive, at least in our system. I am sure the same is true in others.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: My other question related to your consultant who does your assessment or inspection.

They report directly to the company, and then they make recommendations on maintenance. But you also talked about return to shareholders --

something I am very interested in.

From the pool of money -- we noticed the Corp of Engineers fellow was having exactly the same problem. He said that sometimes they can't get it all done in one year.

Is there any oversight by anyone else that is not paid by the company -- because a consultant is paid by the company -- to ensure that maintenance actually gets done?

MR. CLARIDA: Certainly our Board, albeit paid by the Company, but also facing personal liability in these cases.

I have a professional responsibility; my manager has a professional responsibility; and so does Mr. McPhee. We don't take those responsibilities lightly.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: No, I wouldn't think you would.

MR. CLARIDA: That would be my licence, and others' licences as well.

Also, the prioritizing of work and the completion of work in our system is our ability to do business. That is our ability to demonstrate to others that we are the ones that can do that business the best.

It really is, if you will, madam, the raison d'être to our business. We really do need to be able to demonstrate to anyone who comes along that, yes, we can do this and we do it right.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Your business is to produce power. Do you consider your business also to do that in a safe manner?


COMMISSIONER BAYH: As long as you include that as part of your Mission, then that makes sense.

MR. CLARIDA: Those are conditions of our performance in our company.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Chamberlin, please.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: I had a similar question about the classification of dams. Is there any requirement that that classification be reviewed on a periodic basis?

What would trigger a review of a reclassification of a dam? Would it be just the perception of the managers that the conditions below a dam had changed?

Can you elaborate a bit on that?

MR. CLARIDA: Actually, one of the first things that starts us moving is when our technical staff say: "Boy, you should see what they built downstream." That is one big item for us.

The CDSA Guidelines require that you review, as part of your Dam Safety Program, these classifications for time to time. The basis of that "time to time" for us is largely generated by our people saying: "You should see what they have done down there."

MR. WALSH: That is not totally complete; I would like to add a dimension to that.

In the CDSA, there is a tabular direction as to when you carry out your review of the hazard classification of any dam. It is all part of the ongoing process of dam safety. It is tied to the hazard classification of the dam, which in turn is dictated by the risk and the consequences associated with the risk that is there.

We follow those practices in our performance of our Dam Safety Program.

We also use risk as a tool to rank things so that we can make good decisions. We are faced, just as the Corps is, with budgetary requirements, but we want to make sure that risk and safety go hand in hand.

Risk is not something that we can totally eliminate -- we accept it by living every day of our lives -- but we try to make it come into balance with what we can do in a timely manner that provides the greatest impact for the safety of the public and our facilities.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you.

--- (A. McPhee and B. Clarida Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): I now have two other persons who have registered with us and who wish to make a statement today.

I would ask anyone else who has not registered and would want to do it with one of the Secretaries, Murray Clamen or Kathy Prosser. Otherwise, we will likely terminate this Hearing within the next hour.

Of course, as I said this morning, any one of you can add statements or any document, as the public record will be open until March 21 at both of our offices.

Our next presenter will be Tom Howard from the Georgia Pacific Corporation.

Mr. Howard, please.



T. Howard

MR. HOWARD: Mr. Chairman, Commission Members: My name is Tom Howard. I am the Northeast Regional Manager of Government Affairs for Georgia Pacific Corporation.

We have several facilities on the St. Croix River. I promise that my remarks will be very brief.

On January 15th, we submitted some extensive reports to the Commission, which included our most recent FERC Safety Inspection Reports, as well as Inspection Reports done by Consulting Engineers for our firm, along with Emergency Action Plans and several other collateral materials that relate to the topic at hand.

Let me just say initially that I find myself very much in agreement with Mr. Broderick with regard to the FERC inspections, the timing and so forth, the handling with his company and the way that we experience them.

Our corporate Mission Statement says that our facilities shall be operated with top regard to safety and top regard to environmental considerations; otherwise, they won't operate.

We have found over the last several years that there have been a number of instances where, particularly on environmental considerations, we have not been able to meet a certain standard or a condition, and we have closed that facility until the problem has been corrected.

We have a number of different agencies that have some regard with safety, including your own: the yearly inspections by the IJC and the Board of Control; our Forest City and our Vanceboro projects come under FERC jurisdiction; the company does regular safety inspections using the services of a consulting engineer.

Like several of the previous testifiers, we also visit our facilities on a regular basis; in fact, we visit them daily. Somebody in the company is assigned to visit each of our storage dams and our hydroelectric facilities on a daily basis.

I know, particularly in the Opening Statement, it was mentioned, Mr. Chairman, that there have been issues about some of the facilities on the St. Croix River. Most recently, I know at Forest City, there was concern raised regarding the movement of the fish passageway.

We are following up on our Consultant's Report, which was submitted to you. We have established 13 benchmarks where regular readings are taken to see if there is any more shifting of that passageway.

We believe that it is stabilized. But if we find that it has not, then we will address that issue.

In regards to the Vanceboro Dam, there was some settling of the gabions along the top ridge resulting in a small crack at the top. That work was completed in October and November of last year.

I know that an ongoing concern that the Commission has raised has been the cracking and spalling of the gunite facing at the Grand Falls facility. We have received funding for half of the work on that, to be completed in the summer of 1997.

We believe that there are adequate existing regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of those people and the property that is downstream of our facilities. I might add that we have the largest investment downstream of our facilities of any production capabilities, capacities.

At the same time, the regulation that we operate under also enhances the recreational aspects of the St. Croix River facility and helps to protect the environment.

Commission Bayh made several comments about the aging of the pulp and paper industry, and indeed we are a mature industry.

But I might point out that the pulp and paper industry in North America is really the last commodity-based industry that is able to compete in a world-class global market.

A large reason that we are able to do so, Commissioner, is the fact that we have hydro systems that will allow us to generate electricity on a cost-competitive basis, which will in turn allow us to compete with the world-class competition.

Finally, I would just say that we would like to reserve our right to submit written comments at a later time, but mindful of your March 21st deadline.

Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you very much.


Commissioner Chamberlin, please.


If I could ask you to editorialize for just a minute: Is the State of Maine activity involved in inspection of all of your facilities?

MR. HOWARD: We were visited in August of 1996 by representatives of the Maine Emergency Management Agency. They did what was termed a "cursory inspection" of our facilities.

I would not say that they are actively involved, although they do retain the right to become involved.

That would include all of our facilities, both on the International boundary, as well as our storage facilities wholly within the State of Maine.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: If you have been here, you are aware that we have asked whether or not facilities are covered by insurance. I would ask you, if you don't mind ---

MR. HOWARD: We are largely self-insured. We do carry some excess coverage, which we purchase largely through Lloyds.

But for the most part, we are self-insured.


MR. HOWARD: You're welcome.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Some of your dams are under FERC and others aren't. What is the difference?

MR. HOWARD: Actually, that is a question about which we are trying to seek clarification from FERC.

Our hydroelectric dams are not covered by FERC. They pre-date the Federal Power Act.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Oh, that's it; okay.

MR. HOWARD: Three of our storage dams, because of the linkage to the hydro dams, are covered by FERC.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: What is the reporting chain of command in your company as to safety?

MR. HOWARD: The energy and steam operation within the production facilities report to the General Manager. We have a Vice-President for Main Operations who is on site in Maine. He reports to the Executive Vice-President for Pulp and Bleached Board. He reports to the Chairman and CEO.

If I can add further: With regard to safety, and also with regard to the environment, in a pulp and paper operation, it is not like you can hit one switch and shut everything down.

However, I think it is safe to say that if any employee should observe something that is unsafe or is environmentally damaging or threatening, then that employee, through the chain of supervisors, would be able to either isolate that portion of the production facility or, if necessary, take the entire facility down.

That is exactly what happened in December of 1994.

There was an issue where it appeared as though we were trending toward exceeding one of our water quality permits. Rather than exceed that permit -- there was a problem within the facility -- the facility shut down for a total of 11 days.


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Does your Board have an Environmental Committee?

MR. HOWARD: The Board does not, per se, have an Environmental Committee. There is an Environmental Committee that reports to the Board.

One other thing: We have taken the step, starting in 1995, of issuing every two years a report to all of our stakeholders on our environmental and safety performance. We have set out approximately 40 different goals under environmental and safety concerns.

We announced them in our first report to our stakeholders, Safety and Environmental Considerations.

In a subsequent report, we gave an update on where we are in terms of meeting the goals. We have met a number of the goals; some of them we have failed to meet. It is all noted in the report, those that we met and those that we did not meet.

I would be happy to provide copies of that report to the Commission Members.

COMMISSIONER CHAMBERLIN: Just for clarification, you are saying "stakeholders" rather than "shareholders"?

MR. HOWARD: That is correct.


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: It is quite common today in the forest industry to have that; correct?

MR. HOWARD: Yes. Stockholders are certainly among the stakeholders, but the audience that this is aimed toward is much broader than that.

It goes, for example, to all elected officials, all appointed officials in the communities in which we operate.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

COMMISSIONER BALDINI: Thank you. Just to go back: Great Lakes Power -- is your facility insured, self-insured?

MR. McPHEE: We are not self-insured, but we do have insurance.

So yes, we are insured.

THE U.S. CHAIR: Mr. Broderick from the New York Power Authority, I think you said it, but I am not sure.

MR. BRODERICK: My observation in dealing with agents from the insurance company that is reviewing our assets is that they are poorly trained and poorly skilled in the recognition of issues related to dam safety and how those facilities operate.

However, the answer is, yes, we do have insurance.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, do you have a question?

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I have a concern where you talked about Grand Falls. In front of me, I have results from two inspection reports, one conducted in 1992 and one conducted in 1995 that has some findings from 1993 and 1994.

Both say that a detailed inspection of the spillway and preparation of comprehensive concrete rehabilitation program was recommended.

These were done by your consultants, Acres International and Shawinigan Inc.

And now you tell me that in 1997, this year, some three years later, you are only funding one-half of the maintenance that was required by both of those reports.

I think this underscores what I think is the problem with the competitive pressure versus what you have to do to maintain.

Can you explain this to me?

MR. HOWARD: Your own report, which was issued in 1996, says, and I quote, that "the cracking and the spalling is not considered a constructural element"; that it is just "the wearing surface".

If you look in the Board of Control's report, you will find that the structural integrity of the facility is found to be in very good -- I can look at the exact language; I am not sure if it says "excellent", but I do think it says "very good condition".

COMMISSIONER BAYH: How old is the Grand Falls dam?

MR. HOWARD: It was built in approximately 1912 or 1914.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: So in respect of the assumptions that were made by the Army Corps as well as the Canadian counterpart in dam safety, about a structure lasting forever, as long as it is well maintained, that failure to do that maintenance may make a structure that is that old fail.

MR. HOWARD: I am not an engineer, but I think that that is probably a safe assumption.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: So then why would we postpone for three, five, six years required maintenance and then only fund half of it?

MR. HOWARD: Well, it is a little ---

COMMISSIONER BAYH: It is hard for me to tell from the outside.

MR. HOWARD: Sure. If I could use this analogy: I guess it would be a little bit like you may delay maintenance paving on a highway. The highway may not ride as smoothly as it should; if it were allowed to continue for an extended period, then perhaps the road base would deteriorate. But if the base is still solid, you can delay the wearing surface.

And that is what the guide is at the Grand Falls dam. It is the wearing surface that is cracking and spalling. It is not the structural components of the dam that are in any kind of danger.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: But with a dam that old, doesn't it make you nervous to take that kind of chance?

MR. HOWARD: No. To use another analogy, I guess it would be like painting a bridge: Eventually, if the bridge isn't painted, then you may foster a greater growth of rust or something like that.

But in terms of the wearing surface, its ---

Again, I just refer back to your report.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I know that if you don't paint a house over a series of years, you lose your wood on the outside of the house.

MR. HOWARD: Yes. But again, to go back to your report, it is not considered a structural element.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: When do you expect the other half of this maintenance to be finished?

MR. HOWARD: We would hope in 1998.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: "We would hope"...?

When would the funds be committed or not committed?

MR. HOWARD: The way that our standard process works is that in November of 1997, those projects would be looked at.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Could I ask you to report to us when the 1997 ---

MR. HOWARD: I think we report to you on all of our projects.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: -- reports are complete, and then 1998.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE U.S. CHAIR: I want to follow up generically.

This morning, we were advised that one of the safety features, control elements -- whatever term I want to use -- for the dams is the insurance company, at least on the Canadian side, and I just heard from Broderick that the insurance companies on the U.S. side are not what are considered to be experts. They are more concerned with "What is our total liability going to be?" and then getting on with it.

Does anyone care to comment on that?

What we have here is that on one hand, we have somebody saying that the insurance companies are the ones who are providing the guidance, the safety; and then on the other hand, we have the statement that the insurance company is not necessarily providing that guidance or safety.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Mr. McPhee, please.

MR. McPHEE: From our perspective at Great Lakes Powers, our insurers, on a regular basis, hire a company called Riskcor, which comes in and makes an analysis of our stations, dams, and then reports back to the insurance companies; and the insurance company then forwards to us the recommendations from Riskcor.

So basically, in my terms, the insurance company has some form of policing outside of Great Lakes Power. They bring in an external audit.

THE U.S. CHAIR: Have we ever seen premiums change because you are not complying?

What do they do? Do they tell you to fix it, or pay more, or both?

MR. McPHEE: They won't insure us.

THE U.S. CHAIR: They won't insure you -- if it is serious enough.

MR. McPHEE: Exactly. They won't insure us.

MR. TAWIL: I am familiar with two projects in Canada whereby every three years, I believe, the owner is supposed to provide an assessment of the two plants to the insurance company, including a safety evaluation.

In the last three weeks, I have received two requests from CDSA for information on dam safety procedures. One was last week from a company in Toronto that is looking to evaluate a mine's tailing dam in Asia.

I am sure that there is probably a great deal of variation amongst insurance company, because it is a fairly new subject to a lot of them. However, there is increasing interest, for example, at our conferences; more and more insurance delegates come to our conferences.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Just a follow-up on Commissioner Baldini's question.

If an insurance agent doesn't have an engineering/scientific background, would they not --

these are fairly complex investigations or assessments -- carry out inspections.

Is that your point here, Mr. Broderick; that their expertise may be in another area and not specifically in an engineering area?

MR. BRODERICK: In response to that, my dealings with the insurance company -- and we occasionally change insurers based on a competitive-bid process that we use -- is that they generally have technical engineering people on staff. They look at the facilities with regard to risk and safety for their liability. And they have, on occasion, brought in an independent consultant to review our program.

But they did not make a detailed inspection; they did not review our fundamental criteria, our safety criteria; they did not review our emergency action plans; they did not look at it as an integrated dam safety program.

They looked at it, in my view, as a liability assessment for their own company.

So I do not think you are getting the same level of review you are getting if you follow the guidelines that most companies are using today.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Mr. Broderick, yours is probably more of a re-insurance type of assessment.

MR. BRODERICK: That is perhaps right, yes.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And I presume it is the same for you, Mr. Howard; that it would be for re-insurance purposes rather than primary.

Is that correct?

MR. HOWARD: Yes, sir, I think you are right. It would be the same with us.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Broderick. I see it as a positive sign that you have insurers bidding for your business. It means that there is some element of safety there.

Thank you, Mr. Howard, for taking the time to make this presentation.

MR. HOWARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners.

--- (T. Howard Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): We will now here from Mr. Jay Lofgren from Boise Cascade Corporation.

Mr. Lofgren, please.



J. Lofgren

MR. LOFGREN: Mr. Chairman, fellow Members of the Commission, and guests: Thank you for this opportunity to speak. My name is Jay Lofgren, and I am a senior Engineer with Boise Cascade Corporation's International Falls, Minnesota pulp and paper mill.

I have responsibility for compliance with dam safety and lake levels for the U.S. portion of dams located at Kettle Falls, Minnesota, on Namikan Lake, and International Falls, Minnesota, on Rainy River.

Boise Cascade is the owner and operator of the U.S. portion of these dams.

My comments represent the position of Boise Cascade regarding the subject of this Hearing. The comments have also been sent as a letter signed by an officer of Boise Cascade to the U.S. Secretary of the International Joint Commission.

Boise Cascade has an operating and maintenance permit for the U.S. portion of the dam in International Falls, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or the FERC, on December 31, 1987 and expiring December 1, 2027.

One of the requirements of this permit is to conduct a physical inspection of the U.S. portion of the dam once every five years and an operating inspection once every two years. All inspections must comply with Comprehensive Federal Dam Safety Regulations, which can be found at 18 CFR, Section 12.

There have been two physical inspections of this dam during the term of the current Permit. Excerpts of both Inspection Reports have been previously sent to you as requested.

Although the Reports indicate the need for some routine maintenance and repair, the most recent Report concluded that the U.S. portion of the dam "appears to be well maintained and in good condition", quote/unquote.

In addition to being regulated by the FERC, this dam also comes under the jurisdiction of the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, which has jurisdiction over all dams within the State for purposes of dam safety.

The DNR conducts an operating inspection once every two years. However, we have been verbally informed by the DNR that it is deferring the exercise of its dam safety jurisdiction to the FERC.

In 1989, Boise Cascade Corporation spent approximately $9 million to replace the headworks of the U.S. portion of the dam and to refurbish the four largest of the seven hydroelectric generators, also on the U.S. portion of the dam.

In addition, our licence required a dam failure analysis and an emergency action plan to be implemented in the event of a dam emergency. Part of this action plan specifies notification of the Rainy Lake Board of Control of any emergency condition.

The intent of these remarks is to convey to you that the U.S. section of this dam is well maintained, well managed, and its safety is already assured under existing FERC regulations.

Additional regulation by the International Joint Commission would, in our view, be redundant, would add unnecessary costs, and be of no additional benefit to the dam safety inspection program already in place.

Thank you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Lofgren.

Commissioner Murphy, please.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: The other half is not inspected. Is that right?

MR. LOFGREN: The other half is under the ownership and operation of Stone Consolidated Paper Company. I can't speak for them, but I believe they do inspect their dam.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Yes, but there is no equivalent of FERC?

MR. LOFGREN: I don't know that.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: How important is it that the two dams function together?

MR. LOFGREN: Pardon?

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: It is one continuous dam across, is it not?

MR. LOFGREN: That is correct; it is one continuous dam.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: So if there is a weakness in one, it is to some extent a weakness in the other.

MR. LOFGREN: Well, if ---

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: If one side goes, the water is going to go out.


MR. LOFGREN: That is correct; it will.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: So is there any coordination between the two companies on matters?

MR. LOFGREN: Yes. There is coordination between the two companies with respect to the Dam Safety Program and the Emergency Action Plan, but not with respect to inspection.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Could you tell us about the Emergency Plan?

MR. LOFGREN: As was outlined in other Emergency Action Plans, we do a dam failure analysis. We have an Emergency Notification Plan in case there should be an emergency on the dam. That program is reviewed and re-issued annually.

The Notification includes notification of the Army Corps of Engineers, local and state jurisdictions of authority, and also notification of the Fort Frances Plant, which in turn notifies their local jurisdictions.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Do you coordinate with the people downstream?

MR. LOFGREN: We don't directly. We notify the local authorities, the Country Sheriff, the State of Minnesota.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And you leave it up to the state to take care of.


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Were the dams not owned by one company at one time?

MR. LOFGREN: Yes, they were. Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company, and Ontario and Minnesota Paper Company prior to 1966, owned the dams together.

In 1966, I believe it was, Boise Cascade took over ownership of both of those companies.

That stayed as it was until I believe approximately 1994.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Yes, it has not been very long since we have had separate ownership.

Isn't that right?


COMMISSIONER MURPHY: What did they do before 1994, as far as safety was concerned, because only half was FERC?

MR. LOFGREN: There were inspections that were made prior to us getting our FERC licence. I couldn't tell you what the frequency of those inspections were.

But beginning in 1987, when we got our licence, we then went under the FERC program of inspections once every five years.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And you just did one half and not the other half?

MR. LOFGREN: Correct. The FERC inspection, yes.

The Canadian side, though, have inspected their dam.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: There are two dams; one is higher than the other. Is there a safety factor if the top one goes and the bottom one doesn't do something?

MR. LOFGREN: The dam at International Falls?


MR. LOFGREN: That is one continuous dam.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Are there two dams?

MR. LOFGREN: There is an upstream dam at Namikan Lake, yes.

Could you please repeat your question?

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: If anything went wrong with it, could it affect the lower one?

MR. LOFGREN: Yes. That dam flows into Rainy Lake, which flows into this dam.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Is there any coordination on safety?

MR. LOFGREN: We coordinate with Fort Frances on inspection of the upper dam. That inspection is done ---

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: The upper dam is owned by whom?

MR. LOFGREN: There are actually two dams. One dam, half of which is the United States, the other half is in Canada; the other dam is entirely in Canada.

The most recent inspection was done in 1994, for both dams.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Who owns the upper dams?

MR. LOFGREN: The Canadian portion is owned by Stone Consolidated Paper Company.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And the American...?

MR. LOFGREN: By Boise Cascade Corporation.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: If the upper dam failed, would it create a problem on the lower dam?

MR. LOFGREN: It would increase the flow. That dam is approximately a 10-foot or 12-foot head dam, and it comprises approximately one-third of the flow into Rainy Lake.

So it would raise the level. And I would suspect that under possible emergency conditions it could affect the dam, yes.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Is there any method to ensure co-ordination on those things?

MR. LOFGREN: Yes. We are in contact almost daily, I would say, with the Fort Frances people on the regulation of the flow through all three of the dams.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: Is there any one person or committee that supervises this, to make sure that if anything does go wrong with the upper ones, that what is necessary to do for the bottom one will be done down below?

MR. LOFGREN: Yes. I am the person with Boise Cascade; a fellow by the name of Frank Strain is the person in Stone Consolidated.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: There are arrangements in place so that the situation is covered all of the time?

MR. LOFGREN: The lower dam is manned by an operator continuously on the Canadian side of the dam; and there is an operator on the American side of the lower dam at International Falls, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.

The two dams at Kettle Falls are unmanned.


at Fort Frances, you say?

Where are the two upper dams?

MR. LOFGREN: The two upper dams are in Namikan Lake.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: How far apart are they from one another?

MR. LOFGREN: Approximately 45 miles, I would say.

COMMISSIONER MURPHY: And if the upper one of that goes out, could it seriously affect the next one?

MR. LOFGREN: The two upper dams are in series. They are at Namikan Lake, which is approximately 50 miles east of the Rainy Lake dam.

If either of those dams fails, I don't know of a specific condition where it would cause the threat of failure of the lower dam. I don't know that.

My guess is that it would not, because it is relatively low-head low-flow dam.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Commissioner Baldini, please.

THE U.S. CHAIR: Mr. Lofgren, this question may be out of your area: What is the snow impact up there? Is there a lot of snow this year?

MR. LOFGREN: There is a lot of snow up there. The snow depth this year compared to last year at this time is a little bit less; however, the moisture content of the snow is greater now than last year.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Mr. Lofgren, is your dam insured?

MR. LOFGREN: Yes, it is.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Are the two dams above you also insured?

MR. LOFGREN: I know for sure that the United States portion of the one dam is insured; I cannot say for sure whether the Canadian portion is insured, or not.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Does coverage of the upper dams include damage to your lower dam?


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Therefore there is a possibility that something would happen, then. If insurance coverage includes damage to the lower dam from failure of the upper dam, it is a possibility that it would occur.

MR. LOFGREN: What I meant to say is that if the upper dam were to fail and cause damage to the lower dam, our insurance would cover us for failure of the lower dam. But I don't ---

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): You don't know if the upper dam has coverage for possible damage.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): I am trying to look at damage to third parties.

For example, are you insured for damage to third parties downstream from your structures?

MR. LOFGREN: I believe we are -- but I can't say for sure. However, I could find that out for you and get back to you.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): So you wouldn't know what the amount of that coverage would be?

MR. LOFGREN: No, I would not. But I could find that out.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Could we obtain this information from you between now and March 21st?

MR. LOFGREN: I could get that for you, yes.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you.

Commissioner Bayh, please.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I am a little confused. Fort Frances is subject to FERC?


COMMISSIONER BAYH: International Falls dam is subject to FERC?

MR. LOFGREN: There is one dam in International Falls that spans the boundary between Canada and the United States. The United States portion of that dam is under the jurisdiction of FERC.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Kettle Falls: You said that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources was giving up their right to FERC. But the information I have says that FERC does not have any responsibility over that.

So who is regulating that?

MR. LOFGREN: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has told us verbally that it has relinquished its responsibility to the FERC for the U.S. portion of the International Falls dam.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Has FERC conducted any site visits or done anything with it?

MR. LOFGREN: The U.S. portion of the International Falls dam?

COMMISSIONER BAYH: No, the Kettle Falls dam.

MR. LOFGREN: No. They have no jurisdiction.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Under whose jurisdiction is the dam at Kettle Falls?

MR. LOFGREN: The United States portion of the dam at Kettle Falls is under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: But you just told me that they were giving it to FERC.

MR. LOFGREN: That is the other dam.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Okay. So they are keeping this one?


COMMISSIONER BAYH: How often are their inspections carried out?

MR. LOFGREN: To my knowledge, they have not made an inspection.


MR. LOFGREN: I don't know.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: I have a report from their last inspection in 1989 that says that the dam had a significant problem with the removal of stop logs.

That concerns me, because you have just said that it was an unmanned dam. If the only procedure you have in place is for two guys to get out there and pull this thing out...

MR. LOFGREN: There is a mechanical mechanism to remove and install stop logs. There are mechanical breakdowns with it; it is an old system.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: Are there people out there, or not?

MR. LOFGREN: We have contracted with people to operate the dam as we call them, on an as-needed basis. And they respond within the same day.

COMMISSIONER BAYH: But the Minnesota DNR is not doing any periodic inspection to determine whether you have corrected this problem, at this point?

MR. LOFGREN: Not to my knowledge, no.

Again, I would say that this dam is approximately a 10-foot high head dam. It is a stone masonry construction on bedrock.


THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you, Mr. Lofgren.

--- (J. Lofgren Withdrew)

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): If there are no further questions, I will ask Chair Baldini to make some closing remarks.

THE U.S. CHAIR: Thank you, Commissioner Béland.

As Commissioner Béland stated when we opened this meeting, our purpose was to receive information about the procedures that are in place, as well as additional measures, if any, to ensure the safety of the dams and other structures subject to IJC orders, pursuant to our Treaties and Rainy Lake Convention.

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to come here, for providing some of the documentation that some of you submitted prior to today, as well as documentation that I suspect some of you will be submitting, as well as for your testimony here today.

It has been very informative. I think you can tell by our questions that it is an issue that we do have some concern about.

The record is going to be open until March 21st. At that time, obviously we will review that and assess where we want to go.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank our Staff.

They have done an extensive amount of background research for us. I think you can tell by some of our questions that they have provided us, not only with a great deal of reading material, but also a great deal of background information, so that we could come here prepared today to listen with some intelligence as to what your comments were.

I also want to thank our Boards. I know that they have worked in conjunction with our Staff to provide that information. They also do provide to us, on a continuous basis, information and updates -- and I would suspect that we are going to have a busy spring with them, also.

Thank you very much.

If there are no other comments, then we stand adjourned.

THE ACTING CHAIR (Cdn. Section): Thank you all very much.

With that, we stand adjourned.

--- The Hearing Closed/La séance est levée

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Revised: 2 April 1997
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