QLD – The state regulator has updated the Failure Impact Assessment (FIA) Guidelines

The state regulator has updated the Failure Impact Assessment (FIA) Guidelines

An update to the failure impact assessment (FIA) guideline has just been published on the Business Queensland webpage: Dam safety guidelines and requirements. The guideline describes how to establish whether a dam is referable and therefore regulated for dam safety purposes in Queensland.

The guideline is the first major revision since 2003. Significant updates include:

  • an increased dam size criteria triggering the requirement for assessment, which was introduced by legislative amendments in 2012
  • legislative amendments in 2017 that provide for the exclusion of certain population at risk (PAR) when determining the failure impact rating of a dam
  • relaxation of hydraulic impact criteria to reflect the lower relative risk to individuals exposed to low flood hazard (or lower depth times velocity values)
  • guidance for assessing potential impacts of dam failure on transient populations driving on major roads (not specifically required for FIA)
  • a reworked layout with a section for dam owners / decision makers followed by technical sections and appendices.

Our thanks go to the external reviewers who provided valuable and constructive feedback during the development of the guidelines.

Is your dam still referable? For dam owners in Queensland, check the guidelines to determine if your dam is still referable. Legislative amendments in 2017 allow for the exclusion from population at risk (PAR) calculations when determining whether a dam is referable or not (and for assigning the failure impact rating). The exclusions, intended to avoid any duplication of regulatory requirements, include those on the dam property and those on mine sites.

Author: Chris Nielsen, Director Dam Safety, Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy, Queensland Government

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