Earlier this week, the House passed legislation I introduced in February to begin much needed repair on our nation’s aging publicly owned deficient dams. The Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act provides $200 million in grants to states over a 5-year period, and it is a major first step to improving the safety of critical dams.

In Colorado alone, there are 340 dams classified as high hazard dams -- meaning they are near people and can potentially endanger lives. Congress cannot wait for our nation to suffer a catastrophic dam failure that takes life to address this serious issue. High hazard dams owned or operated by state, local, or municipal governments or agencies that provide a significant benefit to the public will be able to compete for rehabilitation funds granted to states under this important legislation. We all stand to benefit from this critically needed funding for repairs to dams across the United States. Congress either makes the decision to repair our aging dam infrastructure today, or face the potential for catastrophic dam failures across the country in the future.