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December 3, 2013

New Jersey has 218 high-hazard dams, according to the Association of State Dam Officials.

The term high hazard in this case indicates a dam with significant consequences if it should fail. The total number of state-regulated dams is currently 1,682, with 336 considered “significant” hazard potential and 1,128 “low-hazard” potential.

The state has 13 full-time dam inspectors, each overseeing about 129 dams. High-hazard dams are supposed to be inspected annually. The total budget for dam inspections is $1.25 million.

For the past few years, New Jersey has had an informal program of removing what it considers obsolete dams -- dams that no longer serve a purpose and instead do harm to the ecology of rivers by elevating temperatures and obstructing access.

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