Dam Safety

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- A new state law establishes safety standards for dams on publicly-owned rivers across the state.

Governor Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY'-uh-vitch) signed the legislation focusing on dam safety yesterday.

Low-head dams create rushing waters that make them especially dangerous.

The law creates "exclusion zones" around these dams. Anyone who goes into the zones can face up to a year in jail and a $25 hundred fine.

The law also requires that buoys are placed near the 32 publicly-owned dams and signs are posted to warn people about their danger.

State Senator A.J. Wilhelmi says the law is an important step to give people the first warning they need.

The legislation was developed in the wake of six deaths on low-head dams last year.

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