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Mass. Urged To Remove Dangerous Dams

Lawmakers have being urged to take quick action to remove unsafe, abandoned and obsolete dams that threaten public safety or wildlife habitats in Massachusetts.

A public hearing was held Monday on legislation that would require the state to identify and remove dangerous dams. The measure would also set up revolving loan fund for private dam owners who cannot afford to repair or remove their structures.

Peter Richardson of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers described the dams as "potential time bombs" that could cause loss of life or significant property damage if they fail.

A legislative panel was told that fewer than one in five dams in Massachusetts still serve the original purpose for which they were built.

A recent state audit identified 100 dams in unsafe or poor condition.

This program aired on March 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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