Problems at Deep Creek Lake Penstock Pose No Immediate Threat

Problems at Deep Creek Lake Penstock Pose No Immediate Threat

Press Release

Maryland Department of the Environment

Media Contacts

Robert Ballinger
(410) 537-3012

Problems at Deep Creek Lake Penstock Pose No Immediate Threat

BALTIMORE, MD (February 1, 2008) The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) was notified early this morning that Brookfield Power has activated the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for Deep Creek Dam. The EAP is a plan that outlines the steps that a dam owner will take in the event of an emergency. The EAP for Deep Creek Dam includes actions such as notifying appropriate agencies and the public. The penstock, which carries water from the lake to the powerhouse, is leaking. The source of the leak has been found. Preliminary indications are that repairs can be completed quickly. There is no immediate threat of the dam failing.

Garrett County Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management is coordinating with Brookfield Power on implementing the EAP.

“MDE’s Dam Safety Program is coordinating with Brookfield Power and emergency management personnel to monitor the situation,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “MDE has sent staff from our compliance program to investigate the leak. We will continue to monitor the situation as long as necessary to ensure the safety of Maryland residents living in the vicinity.”

The State of Maryland has been assuring the safety of dams since 1934 through a permit and inspection program. MDE’s Dam Safety Division administers the laws governing dam safety. Maryland’s Dam Safety Program ensures that Maryland’s 400 dams are designed, constructed operated and maintained safely to prevent dam failures and the resulting consequences. MDE’s responsibilities include conducting inspections of dams based on their “hazard class;” issuing permits for construction, repairs, or for modifying dam structures; conducting construction inspections; and working with dam owners and emergency management professional to develop and exercise “Emergency Action Plans” to be used in the event of dam failure. More information can be found at mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/DamSafety/Pages/index.aspx.

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