Department of Environmental Conservation


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NYS Comptroller


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Department of Environmental Conservation
Selected Aspects of the Dam Safety Program (Follow-Up)

Issued: June 04, 2013
Link to full audit report 2013-F-4

To determine the extent of implementation as of May 20, 2013 of the nine recommendations included in our initial audit report, Selected Aspects of the Dam Safety Program (2006-S-61).

The initial audit report, issued on March 11, 2008, examined the actions Dam Safety officials took to correct conditions at deficient dams. Officials had been slow to compel dam owners to correct the deficiencies identified and its internal policy for inspection frequency was not consistent with its actual practice at that time. In addition, Dam Safety Officials neither ensured all staff received sufficient training on the proper use of the inventory database nor ensured the database was accurate or complete. Officials also did not require owners to submit emergency action plans to prevent or mitigate the adverse consequences of a dam failure.

Key Finding

  • Department officials made substantial progress in correcting the problems identified in our initial report. However, additional improvements are still needed. Of the nine prior audit recommendations, six were implemented, and three were partially implemented.

Key Recommendation

  • Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this report.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Department of Environmental Conservation, Selected Aspects of the Dam Safety Program (2006-S-61)

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236