An excavator breaks a logjam in April 2013 above the Three Mile Dam on the Umatilla River north of Hermiston. The Oregon Water Resources Department is considering seeking tougher dam inspection laws.

An excavator breaks a logjam in April 2013 above the Three Mile Dam on the Umatilla River north of Hermiston. The Oregon Water Resources Department is considering seeking tougher dam inspection laws.

EO Media Group File

Laws governing dam safety in Oregon have become outdated, prompting state regulators to seek upgraded authority to inspect and order repairs to the structures.

In the next legislative session, the Oregon Water Resources Department plans to ask lawmakers to revise dam safety statutes that were originally written nearly 90 years ago.

The ability to enter property without a warrant to conduct dam inspections is one request th,e agency is considering, said Racquel Rancier, senior policy coordinator for OWRD.

Currently about a dozen dams in Oregon haven’t been inspected by OWRD in recent years because the landowners denied entry to their property, said Keith Mills, the department’s dam safety engineer.

Read the whole story at the East Oregonian.