361 FW 3
Emergency Actions Plans for High and Significant Hazard Dams

Supersedes 361 FW 3,

09/12/08

Date: July 2, 2014

Series: Engineering and Construction

Part 361: Dam Safety

Originating Office: Division of Engineering

PDF Version


3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes policies, procedures, and responsibilities for emergency action planning for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) high and significant hazard dams (see 361 FW 2 for definitions).

 

3.2 Why is emergency planning necessary?

 

A. We develop Emergency Action Plans and test those plans to do everything we can to avoid potential dam failures and to mitigate their impact.

 

B. A dam safety incident:

 

(1) Is an unusual event or condition that may increase the risk of failure or misoperation of a dam. It requires that the dam operator assess the situation (with help from the Regional Dam Safety Officer (RDSO) or Service Dam Safety Officer (SDSO)) and take appropriate action, including implementing the Emergency Action Plan.

 

(2) May include increased seepage, a large flood, failure of operating equipment, earthquakes, and security threats, such as criminal acts, vandalism, or unauthorized surveillance activities.

 

3.3 Who is responsible for emergency action planning for Service high and significant hazard dams? See Table 3-1.

 

Table 3-1: Responsibilities for Emergency Action Planning

This official…

Is responsible for…

A. The Director

Ensuring there is Servicewide policy in place for all Service programs.

B. Regional Directors

Ensuring the safe operation and maintenance of dams in their Regions.

 

C. The Service Dam Safety Officer (SDSO)

 

(1) Developing Emergency Action Plans and Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all high and significant hazard dams,

 

(2) Assisting Regional Dam Safety Officers in implementing Emergency Action Plans,

 

(3) Performing periodic Emergency Action Plan exercises (also see 361 FW 2), and

 

(4) Updating Emergency Action Plans and SOPs for major repairs and rehabilitation to high and significant hazard dams.

 

D. Regional Dam Safety Officers (RDSO)

 

(1) Assisting the SDSO in developing Emergency Action Plans for high and significant hazard dams,

 

(2) Providing technical and decisionmaking support to field staff during unusual or emergency events,

 

(3) Annually reviewing Emergency Action Plans,

 

(4) Annually updating and distributing revisions to Emergency Action Plans and SOPs, and

 

(5) Annually testing, verifying, and certifying Emergency Action Plans.

E. Regional Engineers

At the discretion of the Regional Director, assisting the RDSOs and SDSO in developing and implementing Emergency Action Plans.

F. Project Leaders

(1) Implementing and performing the actions described in the Emergency Action Plans;

 

(2) Ensuring adequate staff and training to implement Emergency Action Plans;

 

(3) Working with RDSOs to annually test, verify, and certify Emergency Action Plans;

 

(4) Maintaining current copies of the Emergency Action Plans and SOPs; and

 

(5) Ensuring the safety of employees and visitors who may be impacted by dam failure or misoperation.

 

 

3.4 What are the requirements for Emergency Action Plans?

 

A. All high and significant hazard dams must have an Emergency Action Plan.

 

B. Emergency Action Plans must include, at a minimum:

 

(1) Names and contact information of personnel and public officials responsible for public safety and media contacts;

 

(2) Actions required under specific hydrologic situations and other events that threaten the safety of the dam, such as earthquakes, seepage, or sabotage; and

 

(3) Actions required to mitigate a dam failure.

 

C. The RDSO must annually:

 

(1) Review Emergency Action Plans for high and significant hazard dams in his/her Region in accordance with procedures outlined in the Emergency Action Plans;

 

(2) Test, verify, and certify Emergency Action Plans by November 1st of each year;

 

(3) Submit a verification statement, in accordance with the SOPs, and any revisions to the Emergency Action Plans to the SDSO on or before November 30th of each year; and

 

(4) Distribute revisions to Emergency Action Plans to the plan holders.

 

3.5 What are the requirements for testing Emergency Action Plans to ensure they’re adequate?

The SDSO must perform tests of the EAP to ensure that the plans are current and that the responsibilities and required actions are clearly understood. The SDSO conducts two types of tests: a periodic test every 6 years at the same time as a formal Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams (SEED) Inspection and a tabletop exercise every 3 years at the same time as an intermediate SEED Inspection (see 361 FW 2 for more information about SEED Inspections).

 

A. Periodic tests of the Emergency Action Plans must involve field station personnel, emergency management professionals, the RDSO, and the SDSO (or delegated representative). The tests must include:

 

(1) An overview of the Service’s Dam Safety Program;

 

(2) A lecture on dam safety basics, potential failure modes, general operation and maintenance of the dam, inspection techniques, and monitoring. The lecture must include:

 

             (a) A description of each section of the Emergency Action Plan,

 

             (b) A description of the dam and its features, and

 

(c) A visual tour of the dam;

 

(3) Presentation of dam failure inundation mapping for both “sunny day” failure and failure caused by floods;

 

(4) Two mock failure scenarios to demonstrate the critical functions (i.e., surveillance, decisionmaking, and notification) that include role playing by the field station participants, emergency management professionals, the RDSO, and the SDSO (or delegated representative); and

 

(5) Documentation of comments, recommendations, and proposed changes to the plan (see section 3.6 below for information on the After Action Report).

 

B. Tabletop exercises must involve field station personnel and the SDSO (or delegated representative),with assistance from consultants. The exercises must include:

 

(1) A review of the description of each section of the plan, including surveillance, decisionmaking, notification, and the communication procedures within the Service;

 

(2) One mock failure scenario to demonstrate the critical functions and to test the internal communication protocols within the Service; and

 

(3)  Documentation of comments, recommendations, and proposed changes to the plan (see section 3.6).

 

3.6. What are the requirements for developing After Action Reports (AARs)?  The SDSO (with assistance from consultants, as needed) must complete an AAR after periodic tests and tabletop exercises and after significant dam safety incidents. 

 

A. The AAR for tests/exercises:

 

(1) This AAR must include:

 

(a) A description of the test/exercise;

 

(b) A list of participants;

 

(c) A discussion of the findings, comments, and suggested changes to the Emergency Action Plan; and

 

(d)  An assessment of the plan and final recommended changes to it.

 

(2) The SDSO, or his/her designee, must:

 

(a) Approve the AAR and insert it into the Emergency Action Plan, and

 

(b) Attach a completion memorandum to the original AAR verifying that the changes to the Emergency Action Plan have been completed.

 

B. The AAR for incidents:

 

(1) This AAR must include:

 

             (a) A description of the incident;

 

             (b) A list of people who were involved in or affected by the incident;

 

             (c) A discussion of the findings, comments, and final resolution of the incident; and

 

(d) An assessment of the incident and any recommended changes to the Emergency Action Plan with proposed completion dates.

 

(2) The SDSO, or his/her designee, must:

 

(a) Approve the AAR and insert it into the Emergency Action Plan, and

 

(b) Attach a completion memorandum to the original AAR verifying that the recommendations have been completed.

 

 


For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Engineering. For additional information about this Web site, contact Krista_Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.


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