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Support for Dams: Support SB 1985

Type:  Announcements  

SB 1985, An Act further regulating dam safety, repair and removal, needs your support.  Please send a letter to your State Representative in the Massachusetts House of Representatives asking him/her to contact House Leadership to support this bill.


Link to Senate Bill 1985


Do you live in one of these towns?

Abington  Dudley  Leominster  Randolph
Acton  Duxbury  Lincoln  Sandwich
Ashby  Easton  Lynn  Saugus
Athol  Fall River  Mansfield  Sharon
Attleboro  Fitchburg  Mashpee  Shrewsbury
Auburn  Foxborough  Medford  Southampton
Ayer  Freetown  Middleton  Southbridge
Bedford  Gardner  Millbury  Springfield
Belchertown  Gloucester   New Bedford  Sterling
Bellingham  Grafton  No. Attleborough  Sudbury
Blackstone  Greenfield  North Adams  Wareham
Bolton  Groton  North Brookfield  Washington
Braintree  Hanover  Northampton  Weymouth
Brockton  Haverhill  Northborough  Winchendon
Canton  Holbrook  Norton  Winchester
Chelmsford  Holden  Oxford  Worcester
Clinton   Holliston  Peabody  
Concord   Holyoke  Pembroke  
Danvers   Lancaster  Phillipston  
Dartmouth  Leicester  Pittsfield  


S. 1985, An Act further regulating dam safety, repair and removal passed in the Senate in August 2011.  Formerly S. 367, it is now in the House Committee on Ways & Means.  S. 1985 will complement the efforts to regulate dams currently defined in 302 CMR 10.00 and provide the resources to address public safety by:

  • Requiring DCR and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to submit an annual report on all public and private dams, including:
  •    - a list of owners and the  location of each dam where such ownership or operation is registered with the department;
  •    - a list of owners who have failed to meet regulatory requirements for registration and inspection;
  •    - a classification of the status of any hazardous dams and when or whether any such dam has been repaired
  •    - a list of abandoned  dams
  •    - a list of dams which pose a threat to animals and plants

Emergency action plans and an inspection schedule for  high hazard and significant hazard dams

Creation of a Dam Repair and Revolving Loan Fund with regulations giving priority in the approval municipal or nonprofit dam owners and projects to repair or remove high hazard and significant hazard dams


Link to a special list of 100 high hazard dams or dams in poor condition identified in the State Auditor’s January 2011 Report on dams, in alphabetical order by town. These are all municipal dams. This list does not include the many privately owned dams, which are also of grave concern. The House members representing the towns are in the column to the right.  This is in order by town, so State Representatives may be listed several times on this list, as there may be more than one high hazard municipal dam in their districts.


Another Dam Coalition:  ACEC/MA, BSCES, the Nature Conservancy, Mass. Audubon, and the Massachusetts Municipal Association are working in coalition on the passage of this bill.  With your help, we can get it moving forward in the House.  



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