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The Division of Water Supply’s Safe Dam Program is responsible for conducting certifications, inspections and approval of dams and reservoir projects. This program is designed to assure public safety from dangers of failures.

All non-federal dams are required to have a certificate of approval from the Commissioner to construct, alter, or operate an impoundment. Non-federal dams may also require other environmental permits. Specifically, non-federal dams may require an ARAP (Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit), Storm water Runoff Permit, and/or a Corps of Engineers' 404 Permit even though the dam may not be subject to the Safe Dams Act.

The permits listed on this web site are not intended to be an all-inclusive list. If you have any question about whether or not an activity you wish to pursue requires a permit, contact the Environmental Permit Program that you think may have permitting authority over the activity you wish to do.

Safe Dam Program responsibilities include:

  • Inspect Dams to assure ability to withstand storm events and evaluate stability
  • Issue or deny certificates for construction, alteration, or operation of dams
  • Assess civil penalties for violations of the Act or of the regulations and to institute court proceedings as necessary to enforce the Act or the regulations.
  • Hear appeals from orders issued, certificates denied or suspended, etc.
  • Request that the governor declare a state of emergency, if necessary and take whatever actions needed to render a dam safe.