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Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick Weighing Dam Safety Bill

deval-patrick2BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is weighing a bill making it easier for cities and towns to repair or remove crumbling dams and seawalls.

The legislation would set aside $17 million to help communities deal with unsafe, abandoned or useless dams while also strengthening coastal infrastructure.

The bill, which was approved by lawmakers on New Year’s Eve, would require state officials to issue a report on all dams in the state and draft emergency plans for dams deemed to be at a high or significant hazard.

There are about 3,000 dams in Massachusetts.

A portion of the money would also go toward coastal infrastructure improvements, including improving jetties, retaining walls, and levies. The bill would also provide low-interest loans to private dam owners.

Patrick has until Thursday to decide whether to sign the bill

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