Dam Safety

State law regulating the safety of dams in Maine is Title 37B MRSA , Chapter 24, entitled “Dam Safety” which assigns administration of the Maine Dam Safety Program (DSP) to the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, with duties to;

  • Inspect existing dams and reservoirs to determine their hazard potential
  • Review the design and construction of new and reconstructed dams
  • Assist dam owners develop emergency action plans (EAP’s) to minimize the effect of dam failure
  • Take all necessary actions in emergency situations of probable dam failure to protect life and property.

The Maine Dam Safety program facilitates Emergency Action Planning with owners of all high and significant hazard dams in Maine, inspects State-regulated dams for both hazard and condition, and recommends action on inspection findings.

The Program is funded by the State and FEMA grants. The principal grant is the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) grant administered by FEMA.

Dam Safety Statistics

There are 1,140 dams on the Departments database of which 766 meet the definition of a dam qualifying them for regulation, apportioned as follows:

  • 551 dams by the Maine Dam Safety Program
  • 156 jurisdictional dams by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
  • 65 on or impacting the Salmon Falls River on the ME-NH border by the NH-DES Dam Bureau and NH FERC
  • 2 dams, Woodland and Grand Falls, located on the Canadian border by the International Joint Commission (IJC) on dams and Maine Dam Safety Program

Current statistics may vary from these published figures slightly at any given time, as a result of recent reevaluations and inspections.

For more information, please contact us.

Dam Types in Maine

Dam types in Maine range from simple stone or earthen structures more than a hundred years old to highly engineered hydro-electric facilities.

  • Bauneg Beg Dam

    Stone: Bauneg Beg Dam built 1900, 10 feet high storing 1,450 acre feet

  • Aziscohos Dam

    Concrete Arch, Buttress & Earth: Aziscohos Dam built 1911, 68 feet high storing 368,000 acre feet

  • Telos Dam

    Timber Crib with Stone Ballast: Telos Dam built 1890, 20 feet high storing 198,000 acre feet

  • Ripogenus Dam

    Concrete Mass Gravity: Ripogenus Dam built 1916, 82 feet high storing 1,690,000 acre feet

  • North Twin Hydro

    Gated Buttress & Hydro Station: North Twin Hydro built 1934, 35 feet high storing 348,000 acre feet

  • Churchill Dam

    Earth dam with gated spillway: Churchill Dam

  • Durepo Brook

    Large Earth Embankment SCS Flood Control: Durepo Brook built 1974, 60 feet high storing 7,500 acre feet

  • Union Gas Hydro Dam

    Stone: Union Gas Hydro Dam (Failed 2001), built 1924, 35 feet high storing 475 acre feet