Auditor: 100 Mass. Dams Are Rated Unsafe Or Poor

One hundred dams owned by 62 cites and towns in Massachusetts are rated in unsafe or poor condition, according to a report issued Tuesday by outgoing state Auditor Joseph DeNucci.

DeNucci said that should one of the dams fail, it could cause a loss of life or significant property damage.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which encompasses the Office of Dam Safety, said the findings are not a surprise to overseers or a risk to the public.

"I think people should be concerned about unsafe dams around them, but they should rest assured the state is keeping an eye on them," said Wendy Fox of the DCR.

Worcester County had the largest number, with 32 suspect dams. Middlesex had 14, while Norfolk had 13 and Bristol had 11.

Engineers' inspections found that 94 of the 100 dams are in poor condition, with six rated as unsafe. Two of the unsafe dams are in Foxborough; the others are in Athol, Bolton, Danvers and Dudley.

The Office of Dam Safety within the Department of Conservation and Recreation regulates about half of the 3,000 dams in Massachusetts.

DeNucci finishes his term next week. He will be replaced by a fellow Democrat, Suzanne Bump.

-- Here's the report (on Scribd):


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