Maryland’s Dam Safety Program ensures all dams are designed, constructed, operated and maintained safely to prevent failures and the resulting consequences. The Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) responsibilities include conducting safety inspections of dams based on their “hazard classification,” evaluating downstream hazard conditions, issuing permits for new construction and repairs to existing structures; and conducting construction inspections. MDE also works with dam owners and emergency management professionals to develop and exercise an “Emergency Action Plan” for dams to be used in the event of imminent dam failure.
There are over 600 dams in Maryland, ranging in height from six to 296 feet. The Dam Safety Division maintains the Maryland Dam Inventory database, and has developed a KMZ file with selected information from the database for use by the public. The KMZ file can be downloaded and viewed in software such as Google Earth.
While the Dam Safety Division makes every effort to maintain an accurate database, this data should not be solely relied upon for emergency decision-making or engineering design purposes. All data, including the dam location and hazard classification must be field verified by the user. The presence or absence of a dam in this inventory does not indicate its regulatory status. All corrections to the inventory should be submitted to the Department's Dam Safety Division with supporting information as soon as changes are known. The data was last updated on February 6, 2019.
In addition, there are many thousands of small dams that do not meet the criteria for inclusion in the Maryland Dam Inventory. There are no natural lakes or ponds in the State of Maryland, so all bodies of water exist due to a dam constructed by man or nature (beavers, coastal deposition).
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