Corps center to manage dam risk assessments

The Corps of Engineers is establishing a Dam Safety Risk Management Center whose personnel will lead, manage, and execute the risk engineering aspects of Corps dam safety programs.

The center is a collaborative effort between the Corps’ Headquarters Dam and Levee Safety Programs and the Institute for Water Resources. Headquarters Dam and Levee Safety Programs are agency-wide safety programs developed to manage the reliability and risk posed by Corps-built infrastructure. IWR is the strategic and academic arm of the Corps’ Civil Works program.

The Corps says it is modeling the new center after its Hydrologic Engineering Center in Davis, Calif.

Risk Management Center activities initially will focus on dams and eventually will expand to levees and other infrastructure, Corps Civil Works Director Steven Stockton said. The Corps is responsible for about 600 dams.

The center is to begin operations once a director is named later this year. Its staff is to develop, deploy, train, oversee, and manage risk assessments and activities related to assurance of reliable, safe infrastructure. Stockton said the center is expected to forge a strong relationship with academia to advance mutual interests.

In addition to supporting Corps activities, the center will offer its services to other organizations, said Eric Halpin, Special Assistant for Dam and Levee Safety, at Corps headquarters.

Previously, the Corps managed such activities through ad hoc and temporary assignments, Halpin said.

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