Dam Emergency Action Plans

Assisting dam owners and communities in the event of a dam failure.

failure of Bergeron Dam in AltonIn New Hampshire, owners of “high hazard” or “significant hazard” dams, are required to develop and maintain an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that addresses the areas of concern and identifies procedures to be initiated in the instance of a dam failure. This is in accordance with Env-Wr 500. Low hazard dams require Operation and Maintenance Plans (OMRs), which constitute the EAP for that dam.

The NHDES Dam Bureau has developed templates for the EAP and OMR and can provide technical assistance to dam owners as they prepare the documents according to the bureau’s rules.

Dam EAPs are required to be reviewed annually. The dam owner shall submit written documentation annually, of any changes or denoting no changes. EAPs are also required to be tested periodically.

A high hazard dam EAP shall be tested every two years while a significant hazard dam EAP shall be tested every four years. The dam owner must reprint the entire EAP every eight years, even if there have been changes to individual pages in the interim. 

If you have any questions or would like to request assistance, you may contact the Dam Bureau at damsafety@des.nh.gov.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Dams are classified by the potential threat to life and potential extent of property damage in the event of a failure. There are four different classifications. Learn more.

EAP Forms

An Emergency Action Plan template and process flow chart template help dam owners create, update and test their EAPs and OMRs. Plus, there is a collection of forms for dam owners to complete.

EAP Guidance

The Dam Bureau provides a number of guidance documents for dam owners, including a notification test, update and rules reference guide. The state DOT also has a Maintenance District map

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