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Slashing dam repair funds in New Jersey

The US State of New Jersey’s acting governor, Donald T DiFrancesco, has cut almost US$130M from a Senate Bill that would have funded repairs to several hundred dams statewide.

The governor’s line-item veto issued would leave only US$6.73M for repairs. Many of the dams targeted for repairs in the US$136M funding request were built in the 1920s or earlier and have not been upgraded in decades.

The severe storm in August 2000 brought attention to a statewide backlog of dam repair projects. The storm destroyed or damaged nearly 700 homes and forced thousands of residents to flee in Sussex and Morris counties, in large part because of poor dam maintenance. Four dams were destroyed during the flood and it was revealed that one of them, Seneca Lake dam, had not been inspected by the state since 1992.