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Lessons Learned from Recent Tailings Dam Failures: A Path Forward

  • 14 Sep 2017
  • 8:00 AM
  • 15 Sep 2017
  • 5:00 PM
  • San Antonio, TX


Lessons Learned from Recent Tailings Dam Failures: A Path Forward

The USSD Committee on Tailings Dams is organizing this Workshop, held in conjunction with the ASDSO national conference, Dam Safety 2017. While ASDSO attendees are encouraged to attend this Workshop, separate registration is required.

Workshop Description

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)

Venue and Hotel Reservations

The Workshop will take place at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Conference Center. The JW Marriott is also the venue for the ASDSO national conference, Dam Safety 2017. Workshop participants may reserve rooms at the JW Marriott at the ASDSO group rate of $229 plus tax per night, single or double occupancy. To reserve a room at the discounted conference rate, call the Marriott central reservations desk at 1-877-622-3140 and reference the ASDSO national conference, or visit the JW Marriott's exclusive Dam Safety 2017 reservations website. The group rate will only be available until the cutoff date of Friday, August 18. 

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.

CEUs and Professional Development Hours

Colorado State University, Division of Continuing Education, will grant CEUs after successful completion of the Workshop.The cost is $50.  PDH certificates will also be issued during the Conference (no charge).

United States Society on Dams
1616 Seventeenth Street #483 • Denver, CO 80202 - USA

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