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    FEMA releases Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a new document entitled Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dams. This document outlines the agency's guidelines to assist dam owners and emergency management authorities to develop and implement emergency action plans (EAPs) for dams.

    The guidelines, formally released in July, are an update to FEMA 64, Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dam Owners, which was published in 2004.

    The 73-page document is divided into three sections. The first, basic considerations for preparing an EAP, discusses the purpose, scope, coordination, evacuation, document control and maintaining an EAP. The second section on provides a suggested EAP outline and contents, including inundation maps.

    One particularly useful component of the document is the glossary, which is a large reference portion with checklists, flowcharts, tables and example forms.

    - Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dams is available to download for free at www.fema.gov/media-library-data/5b20db599c212f77fd5e85d256f471a3/EAP+Federal+Guidelines_FEMA+P-64.pdf.

    Brayman wins contract for Charleroi Locks and Dam

    Brayman Construction Corp. has been awarded a US$15.2 million contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for civil construction of an emptying basin for Charleroi Locks and Dam on the Monongahela River at Charleroi, Pa.

    Brayman Construction of Saxonburg, Pa., will fabricate large precast reinforced concrete segments to form the outer shell of a 50-foot by 110-foot emptying basin, according to Corps documents. Tremie concrete is to be used as infill for the shell to solidify the structure, which will be located downstream from the dam and the new lock chamber river wall.

    With federal economic stimulus funding, the Pittsburgh District allotted $17.4 million in 2009 for critical rehabilitation of Charleroi Locks and Dam.

    Dam repair planned at 2,160-MW John Day Dam

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to hire a company to perform dam safety repairs at 2,160-MW John Day Dam on the Columbia River in Oregon.

    This work involves repairing failed monolith waterstops to significantly reduce the amount of water entering the dam. Methods to be used are to include pavement joint sealant, drilled socket waterstops, and surface-mounted rubber gasket waterstops. Repairs to the monoliths will be performed in the dewatered fishway, the roadway deck, and in several dam galleries. The work is valued at $1 million to $5 million.

    Other work intended to maintain the safety of the dam and hydro plant include replacing and upgrading the direct current and preferred alternating current system at the powerhouse. Work is to include replacing and upgrading batteries, battery racks, charges, switchboards, panel boards, feeders and feeder breakers of the system.

    Previously awarded contracts address replacement of wire report, load testing for an emergency intake create, refurbishment of thrust bearing shoes and thrust runners, and elevator refurbishment.

    One hospitalized in fire at Grand Coulee's John W. Keys III Plant

    A fire inside the John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington has resulted in the hospitalization of one worker and treatment of another for smoke inhalation.

    All employees at this plant, operated by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, were evacuated Nov. 18 after smoke was seen at the 314-MW John W. Keys III pumped-storage project. Firefighters from Reclamation's Grand Coulee unit and other area departments were able to extinguish the fire.

    Officials said they believe the fire was caused by a switchgear failure in one of the plant's six pumps or six pump-generators. The agency said four pumps and five pump-generators were undergoing maintenance when the fire started, while the remaining units were not in operation.

    The agency plans to undertake a thorough investigation into the incident. Before personnel could enter the plant to clean up the damage, tests had to be conducted to rule out the presence of toxic air or chemical residue, Reclamation says.

    The John W. Keys III plant is one component of Reclamation's 6,809-MW Grand Coulee project on the Columbia River. It pumps water from the reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam into Banks Lake, a storage reservoir for irrigation water fed via the Columbia Basin Project.

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