Dam Safety Statute and Rules

Dam Safety Statute

State Statute 10 V.S.A Chapter 43: Dams governs the regulation of dams at the State level. Therefore, Chapter 43 applies to dams regulated by both the Dam Safety Program and the Public Utility Commission.

Dams Regulated by DSP
Regulated dams in Vermont
DSP regulated dams in Vermont

  • Artificial barriers, including appurtenant works, capable of impounding water, other liquids, or accumulated sediments. There are no volumetric or height thresholds.
  • Non-power dams (dams that do not relate to the generation of electricity energy for public use)
  • Non-federal dams (dams that are not owned by the US nor subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license or exemption)

Dams not Regulated by DSP


Following the passage of Act 161 - An Act Relating to the Regulation of Dams in 2018, the portion of Chapter 43 that applies to DSP regulated dams, that is, non-power, non-federal dams was amended. The amendments included the addition of a purpose statement, definition of a “dam,” requirements for developing inspection schedules, hazard classifications, dam inventorying, and dam recording in the land records. In addition, the statute authorizes the Dam Safety Program to develop “Administrative” and “Standard” Dam Safety Rules.


Dam Safety Rules

Updated February 18, 2021


The Administrative Dam Safety Rules are now in effect as of August 1, 2020. The DSP is working to implement the associated requirements.

Please contact Chief Dam Safety Engineer, Ben Green at benjamin.green@vermont.gov or 802-622-4093 with any questions, concerns, or comments.


The development of the Standards Rules is underway with adoption scheduled for July 2022. Please stay tuned! This set of rules includes:

  • Siting, design, construction, alteration
  • Operation & Maintenance
  • Inspection, monitoring, record keeping, reporting
  • Repair, breach, or removal
  • Application for authorization under 1082
  • Emergency Action Plans requirements and guidance