Dam Safety

Dam Safety


Construction Fees for New Dams or Modifications to Existing Dams

Any person intending to construct or modify any dam must submit plans, specifications, and a construction inspection plan for review and approval by Ecology.  Construction permit fees are required for examining plans and specifications.  Fees are charged on a per project basis.

New Construction Fees

For new construction, fees are based on the height of the dam and the length of the top of the dam (crest length).  See the "Construction Fees Table".

Procedures for paying construction permit fees require dam owners to include an initial payment with their construction permit application.  Ecology will then bill the unpaid balance.  The minimum initial payment is $1,977.

Modifications to Existing Dam Fees

Modification fees are a percentage of the new dam construction fees, based on the features to be modified and whether those modifications do or do not significantly enlarge the storage capacity of the impoundment (the “significant enlargement factor”*).

To determine your dam modification construction fees: use the Construction Fees Table and multiply by the enlargement factor in Table 1 below. 

Please note that the minimum fee for a construction permit to modify an existing dam is equal to the minimum initial payment of $1,977.

Table 1

Dam Modifications Fees With/Without Enlargement *


Modification Fee as a Percentage of the Fee for New Dam Construction

Features Modified

Modifications Involving

Significant Enlargements*

Modifications Without

Significant Enlargements*




Impounding Barrier



Appurtenant Works and Miscellaneous Construction Elements



* Significant Enlargement is any modification of an existing dam that increases the dam height or normal pool height more than 5.0 feet, and which also represents a ten percent or greater increase in dam height or normal pool height over that which existed prior to the modification.


Fee adjustments for repairs, removals, and reclamation

The exceptions to the normal construction inspection fees above are:

  • For dam safety deficiency repairs required by Ecology, fees are equal to the minimum initial payment of $1,977.
  • For removal of a dam with safety deficiencies, fees are $10.
  • For reclamation of mining operation dams, fees are equal to the minimum initial payment of $1,977.
  • There is NO fee for routine maintenance, normal replacement, or minor repairs.
  • NO fees are required for review of conceptual plans, changes required during review, or construction change orders.


Dam Safety Fees