Bryant Measure To Charge Negligent Dam Owners For Repairs Receives Final Legislative Approval

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Wayne R. Bryant that would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to remove any dam the Commissioner has concluded to be in imminent danger of failing, and charge the dam owner for dam repairs and removal received final legislative approval today in the Assembly.

“There are a number of privately owned dams throughout the state that are in need of repair and or removal,” said Senator Bryant, D-Camden and Gloucester. “This measure would grant the DEP Commissioner the authority to decide which dams need to be repaired or removed, at the expense of negligent dam owners.”

Senator Bryant’s measure, S-1895, would authorize the Commissioner of the DEP to require dam owners found to be in violation of the Safe Dam Act to comply with the law or face financial and legal penalties. The DEP would be permitted to remove or repair dams found posing a serious danger to local property. In cases of dam repair, the DEP would be permitted to charge dam owners for all repair costs. Purposeful violation of the Safe Dam Act would constitute a fourth degree crime, and carry penalties of up to 18 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

This measure was approved 53-16 and now heads to Governor Codey for his signature.

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