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Georgia Senate Panel Approves New Dam Regulations

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Georgia could soon loosen safety standards for dams that sit above newly built homes under a proposal passed unanimously by a state Senate committee.

Senate Bill 319 would allow for homes and other inhabitable structures to be built in a dam’s inundation zone, meaning the area that would be flooded if the dam fails, without causing the dam to be recategorized and required to meet higher safety standards.

Structures would have to be built to withstand a breach of the dam and receive certification from an engineer approved by the state Environmental Protection Division’s Safe Dams Program.