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Fax   973-728-2880
Write: 1480 Union Valley Road West Milford NJ 07480

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Upper Greenwood Lake Dam






Upper Greenwood Lake Dam  located on Lakeshore Drive, pictured below,  is state compliant






However, Stowaway Park dam pictured below is not:






        The Township of West Milford is a lake community.  Many of the Lakes are man-made and have dams.  Following the winter thaw or exceptional rain (as Floyd brought) these dams  become a threat not only to those who live near them, but to the entire surrounding  community.  Some of West Milford's dams have been upgraded, many have not. Local dams which have  been ordered to upgrade, must upgrade or have the lake drained entirely, as West Milford Lake opposite of Shop Rite recently was as shown below and in the upper left corner:



    Dams store water for crop irrigation and drinking, provide inexpensive and safe hydro electrical power, cerate bodies of water for recreation, and provide flood control for the Nation.  

    Dams also pose a significant risk to the public if they are not maintained properly.  Today, this risk is greater than at any other time as a large number of our dams approach and exceed their intended lifespan.  The cost to the public of a dam failure can be significant.  When a dam fails, the potential energy of the water stored behind even a small dam can cause loss of life and great property damage if there are people downstream.  Despite the strengthening of dam safety programs since the 1970's, dams continue to fail, causing loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage.  In July of 1994, Tropical Storm Alberto caused over 200 dam failure in Georgia.  Nearly one-half of the deaths from the floods occurred when a series of unregulated earthen dams near Americus burst, sending deadly walls of water through the town and surrounding areas and drowning 15 people.  Between 1960 and 1997, there have been at least 23 dam failures causing 1 or more fatalities.  Some failures also caused downstream dams to fail. There were 318 deaths as a result of these failures.

    The most important recent event in dam safety was the passage of the National Dam Safety Program Act.  On October 12, 1996 President Clinton signed into law the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-303).  Section 215 of Public Law 104-303 established the National Dam Safety Program and named the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as its coordinator.  

    The purpose of the National Dam Safety Program, as stated in Public Law 104-303, is to "reduce the risks to life and property from dam failure in the United States through the establishment and maintenance of an effective national dam safety program to bring together the expertise and resources of the Federal and non-Federal communities in achieving national dam safety hazard reduction."  Broadly stated, Public Law 104-303 establishes a grant assistance program to the States to improve their dam safety programs; provides funds for research and training; creates a National Dam Safety Review Board to monitor the State assistance program; and funds the National Inventory of Dams (NID) under the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    To a great extent, Public Law 104-303 codified a program that has been successfully promoting dam safety and mitigating the effects of dam failures for almost 20 years.  Since 1979, FEMA has been responsible for a number of achievements in dam safety that have led to a reduction in the risk of loss of life, injuries, economic costs, and destruction of property from dam failure.  

    The new legislation shifts the focus of the National Dam Safety program from the oversight of Federal agency activities in dam safety to the establishment and maintenance of safe dams at the State and local level, the owners and regulators of more than 95 percent of dams in the United States.  Since the passage of Public Law 104-303, FEMA has undertaken a number of activities to meet the challenge posed by our Nation's aging dams.  

    There are many organizations that provide you with information on dams and dam safety:


Last modified: April 07, 2005


West Milford Flood Zones

flood1.jpg (156595 bytes)


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 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  Telephone 973-728-2840

Evening Information:  973-728-2800













Lake Lookover Dam located on Clinton Road in the Township of West Milford, is one of the Township's dams which is new and State  compliant.










Township of West Milford OEM


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Mailing Address:  1480 Union Valley Road West Milford NJ 07480

Site location:  13 Edgar Drive West Milford NJ 07480