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06/24/2024 06:36 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: April 11, 2024 09:54 AM
From: Representative Natalie Mihalek
To: All House members
Subject: Dam Classification
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that makes a simple change to existing law but could also save lives.  
On May 22, 2022, Jon Gentile and his father were kayaking along the Delaware River when they passed over an unmarked dam.  The strong current pulled Jon under the dam, trapping him and taking his life.  Less than a year after this tragic accident two kayakers at the same dam became trapped but were fortunate to escape.  
Pennsylvania is unfortunately a leader in dam related drownings.  Current law does not require marking of various hazardous dams because they do not meet the criteria of being a run-of-the river dam despite having all the characteristics of these so-called drowning machines.
My legislation would expand the definition to include any dam that creates a dangerous current, thus requiring appropriate signage to warn of the danger posed by the current.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation that would help Pennsylvanians to enjoy our natural resources without risking their lives.

Introduced as HB2209