Taum Sauk Rupture Fails to Lead to New Dam Safety Law

MAY 19, 2006 - Posted at 8:18 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The failure of the Taum Sauk reservoir unleashed a torrent of water last year and seemed certain to result in greater state oversight of dams.

But legislation that would have stepped up state inspections of dams failed to come to a final vote before lawmakers adjouned last week.

Sponsoring Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington is steaming with frustration.  He says the result is that Missourians are less safe.

The bill would have increased the number of dams inspected by the state from about 600 to 2,100.  It also would have made federally regulated reservoirs like Taum Sauk subject to state inspections.

The Missouri Farm Bureau was fine with the bill.  But some rural lawmakers raised concerns about the potential cost and hassle to landowners.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)