A North Bay lawmaker plans to introduce a bill requiring more oversight of California’s dams amid ongoing concern for the stability of Oroville Dam and the safety of hundreds of thousands of people living below it.

The bill by Marc Levine, D-Greenbrae, would require the California Department of Water Resources to perform annual physical inspections of auxiliary spillways at dams the agency manages, and to update operating procedures and manuals.

“As California’s water infrastructure ages, the Department of Water Resources must take annual inspections of vital infrastructure seriously because people’s lives are at risk,” Levine said in a statement.

The Oroville Dam, which collects water from the Feather River in the Sierra Nevada foothills for use in Southern California, suffered a gaping hole in the main spillway two weeks ago. With concerns the emergency spillway would fail, officials ordered the evacuations of about 200,000 residents while emergency repairs were undertaken.

According to Levine, visual inspections of the dam were inadequate and operating manuals had not been updated since 1970, two years after the dam’s construction.

Find more in-depth cannabis news, culture and politics at EmeraldReport.com, authoritative marijuana coverage from the PD.