Don’t Delay Repairs, Maintenance at Dams
The proverbial sky may not be falling yet over old watershed dams in West Virginia – but without action by the Legislature, it could.
About 100 of the 170 watershed dams, including some in the Northern Panhandle, do not meet current design standards, lawmakers were told last week by Brian Farkas, head of the West Virginia Conservation Agency.
Some of the dams need basic maintenance and repairs, but his agency does not have the money to do the work, Farkas added.
He was quick to emphasize no immediate danger exists. “Don’t walk out of this meeting thinking I’m saying the sky is falling,” Farkas said.
Good for him. But his message, that legislators need to consider more funding to avoid problems with the dams, should not be dismissed. If repairs and maintenance are put off too long, the sky could fall.