Lessons Learned from Recent Tailings Dam Failures: A Path Forward
Recent tailings storage dam and coal combustion residual impoundment failures have cast a negative light on the mining and power generation industries in the U.S. and around the world. Proper design, operation and regulation of these waste facilities is vital to maintain the public safety of the communities they are located in. Understanding the causes of these recent failures and examining lessons learned from previous historic failures is crucial to adequately respond to public safety and environmental impact concerns.
This two-day workshop will include presentations by experts as well as breakout groups and discussion. Day 1 will provide insight on the Kingston, Mt. Polley and Samarco failures from a technical standpoint, as well as reactions and follow-up measures being implemented by dam safety officials, owners, engineers and other stakeholders.
Day 2 will bring together a diverse group of consultants, owners, dam safety and mine safety officials, regulators and other non-government agencies to discuss changes being implemented in Canada and elsewhere, and proposed changes which should be implemented in the U.S. Breakout groups will be formed to discuss design changes and regulatory changes which should be considered in response to the failures. New guidelines, such as alternative tailings disposal technologies, minimum slopes and other prescriptive regulations, FMEA and other risk-based design approaches and critical controls and governance systems, will be discussed during interactive facilitated sessions.
Preliminary Agenda (a detailed agenda will be available soon)
The JW Marriott Hill Country is about 14 miles from the San Antonio International Airport (SAT). The hotel does not provide shuttle service. Recommended ground transportation options include taxi cabs (approx. $45 one-way) or Supershuttle (approx. $30 one-way).
All Workshop participants, including those who will be attending the ASDSO national conference, must register via this website.
The registration fee includes all Workshop presentations, four refreshment breaks and handout materials.
Design, Construction, Permitting and Environmental Issues
Alaska, Canada and High Elevation Dams
September 19: NHA Alaska Regional Meeting
September 19: NHA/USSD Welcome Reception 5:30 pm
September 20-21: USSD Workshop on the Challenges of Dams in Cold Climates
September 22: Optional field trip to Lower Eklutna Dam Removal Site
The Workshop will bring together design and construction experts from the U.S. and Canada and is aimed at both seasoned professionals and those in the earlier stages of their careers. The two-day workshop will include presentations by experts as well as breakout groups and discussion. Following the Wednesday morning Plenary Session, breakouts will feature two tracks:
Track B: Getting to Construction – studies and permits for environmentally sustainable dams in Alaska.
Track B will include a one-day special training session. On Thursday, Dr. Joerg Hartmann will lead a training session on the International Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. This is the first time this topic has been presented in the U.S. Dr. Hartmann was part of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum, which developed the Protocol, and he is now an accredited lead assessor and has applied the Protocol on more than 20 hydropower projects worldwide. This leading-edge training session is not to be missed.
Track A: Investigation, Design, Construction, Operations
Air-Entrained RCC (AERCC)
Internally Vibrated RCC
Protection of Placed RCC in Extremely Cold Conditions
Track B: Getting to Construction – studies and permits for environmentally sustainable dams in Alaska
A variety of dam types (earth, concrete, RCC, DAC lined and DAC core, geomembrane lined dams) in various cold-climate locations will be discussed, including:
An optional field tour will take place on Friday, September 22, to a dam removal project just north of Anchorage. The project involves the demolition of the 61-foot high concrete Lower Eklutna Dam. The tour also includes a visit to a smaller dam on the glacial Upper Eklutna Lake in a scenic glacier-carved valley. The lower reservoir is filled with sediment, and the dam is obsolete. is intended to reestablish a salmon run in the Eklutna River. At the time of the field trip, the dam should be nearly demolished, and will be in the process of being wrapped before the winter freeze.
For those who want to walk down to the dam site, it is a strenuous climb down and back up a 400-foot flights of aluminum stairs, as shown in the aerial photo.
The field trip will leave the Hotel Alyeska at 8:00 a.m. and will return to the hotel by 4:00 p.m. Arrangements will be made for those with rental cars to leave their cars in Anchorage during the tour, and/or to take participants at the Anchorage airport by 3:00 p.m.
Note: USSD reserves the right to cancel the field trip for any reason, including inadequate attendance, weather, or site conditions that might affect the ability to tour the site. If the site tour is not possible, USSD will give as much advance notice as possible, and may be able to arrange a visit to cultural sites in the area in lieu of the site tour.
The special group rate for single or double accommodations is ONLY $99/night (plus tax), plus a required $10/night resort fee which provides access to the pool and fitness center and wireless internet access. The room block rate is guaranteed only through August 28, or until the room block fills. Reservations after the room block fills, or after August 28, will be at the prevailing room rate, subject to availability.
Call the Hotel Aleyeska at 800-880-3880 to make your reservations. Mention that you are with the NHA/USSD meeting to ensure the special rate.
Travel and weather
Fly to Anchorage (ANC), the most accessible airport in Alaska, with direct flights from large U.S. cities at attractive off-season rates during September. Alaska Airlines is offering a 7% discount off Alaska Airlines published fares (except companion and other promotional fares). Go
online to alaskaair.com and input the Discount Code ECMX977 when searching for flights. Beginning Travel Date: September 16, 2017. Last Travel Date: September 24, 2017).
The most economical option for transportation to and from the airport and the hotel is rental car. Rental cars are priced as low as $9-13 per day plus taxes (cheap off-season rates!); taxis are a more expensive alternative.
The average high temperature in the area in September is 54 degrees; the average low is 39 degrees.
Space is available for a limited number of 10' by 10' booths around the perimeter of the room where the plenary session, continental breakfasts, lunches and breaks will take place. In addition, a reception in the room be held on Wednesday evening to provide even more opportunities for face-to-face contact between exhibitors and Workshop participants.
The exhibitor fee is $1000 and includes one full Workshop registration. The fee includes one six-foot table, two chairs and access to electricity. No backdrops or booth dividers will be provided. Exhibitors may setup on Tuesday evening from 7 - 9 pm, or on Wednesday morning from 6 - 7 am. (Note: during the Wednesday evening Reception/Exhibition, the workshop tables and seating will be removed to allow more comfortable interaction with exhibitors.)
To reserve a booth, complete the Exhibitor registration form to your left.
Sponsorships provide an excellent opportunity to promote your company during the Workshop, while supporting the USSD mission. The sponsorship fee is $400 and includes:
To reserve your sponsorship, complete the appropriate registration category to the left (member, non-member, speaker/presenter, young professional), and select the sponsorship option at the end of the registration form.
Note: Click here to register for the NHA Regional Meeting (USSD Members may register at the NHA Member rate).
Registration categories and fees:
USSD or NHA Member -- $500
Non-Member -- $550
Workshop Speaker/presenter -- $400
Young Professional (age 35 and under) -- $350
NHA/USSD Welcome Reception Tuesday evening
United States Society on Dams
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