U.S. FERC gives suggestions for handling project emergencies

A document prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Division of Dam Safety &Inspections provides advice to dam owners on how to be prepared to handle emergencies at hydropower projects.

The publication, “Preparations for Handling Emergencies and Potential Emergencies at Projects,” is available on the Internet at www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/safety/eap/prep.pdf.

FERC spokesman Celeste Miller said the document is not a guidance or standard licensees must follow, but is provided as a public service to help advance the “state of the practice.”

The document includes sections identifying:
* Information that should be available for each project;
* Things to do upon initial notification of a developing problem or emergency;
* Staff to be dispatched to emergencies and their responsibilities; and
* Things for the project engineer to do in the event of flooding or seepage, if stability of an embankment is in question.

Other sections look at coordination of personnel during emergencies and procedures for communicating with the news media. Attachments identify steps to be followed in an earthquake, circumstances when post-earthquake inspections by FERC staff are necessary, and what emergency inspection teams might need.

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