Are you ready for November?
All declared dam owners need to meet new requirements under the Dams Safety Act 2015 and Dams Safety Regulation 2019 by Monday, 1 November 2021.
These requirements include:
- establish and implement a dam safety management system
- prepare an operations and maintenance plan that complies with the new requirements
- prepare an emergency plan that complies with the new requirements, and share it with Dams Safety NSW and the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES)
- conduct emergency exercises with relevant staff and, where practical, agencies listed in the emergency plan
A range of annual, five-yearly and fifteen-yearly reporting and safety review requirements also come into effect. Of particular note is the Annual Dam Safety Standards Report, which must be published by all declared dam owners by the end of March 2022, and needs to be signed off by the dam owner. This could be a General Manager, two directors, a CEO or another set of individuals depending on your organisation. A copy of the report also needs to be sent to Dams Safety NSW.
Chris Salkovic, CEO of Dams Safety NSW said: “New regulations for declared dams in NSW commenced back in 2019. The two-year transition period for dam owners to align with these new rules ends soon, on Monday, 1 November 2021.”
Dams Safety NSW recognises that some declared dam owners may be finding it difficult to meet all of their regulatory obligations due to the impacts of COVID-19. In particular, in-person interactions, such as practical emergency exercises, may not be possible due to current Public Health Orders.
Dams Safety NSW will be taking a reasonable and pragmatic approach to these issues as they arise – provided that public safety is not compromised.
“We’re here to help,” Chris said. “Dam owners can access guidelines, webinars and other resources on our website to help them get ready, and they can contact our team on 0418 259 984 with questions or issues.”