Under state law, the Department of Ecology (Ecology) is responsible for regulating dams that capture and store at least 10 acre-feet (about 3.2 million gallons) of water or watery materials such as mine tailings, sewage and manure waste. Ecology's Dam Safety Office currently oversees about 870 dams across the state. Through plan reviews and construction inspections, the agency helps ensure these facilities are properly designed and constructed. To reasonably secure the safety of human life and property, Ecology also conducts inspections of existing dams to assure proper operation and maintenance.
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