Committee on Tailings Dams


The Committee on Tailings Dams contributes to the USSD Vision of a world class organization dedicated to advancing the role of tailings dams and ash impoundments and building the community of practice. The Committee engages in activities that contribute to and support the USSD Mission of advocating, educating, collaborating and cultivating. The Committee on Tailings Dams

  • Advocates (champions) the engineering, construction, operation, and reclamation of tailings dams and ash impoundments in a safe, environmentally and socially responsible manner.
  • Educates by providing a forum for exchange of knowledge and experience in tailings dams and ash impoundments design, construction, operational performance, and reclamation within the community of practice. We also disseminate information from the committee through workshops and by contributing to documents published by USSD or ICOLD.
  • Collaborates by providing a forum for exchange of information within members of the committee, by interacting and participating in activities with other USSD committees as well as providing a liaison with the ICOLD Committee on Tailings Dams and Waste Lagoons.
  • Cultivates by providing a community of practice related to tailings dams and ash impoundments.

The objectives of the Committee are consistent with the current Terms of Reference for the ICOLD Committee on Tailings Dams and Waste Lagoons.

Recently completed and currently planned projects conducted by the USSD Committee on Tailings Dams are listed below:

  1. The Committee organized several well-attended workshops over the last 3 years, as follows:
    • Dam Break Analysis Applied to Tailings Dams (Denver, 2011),
    • Closure of Tailings Dams (Phoenix and Seattle, 2013), and
    • Seismic Design of Tailings Dams (San Francisco, 2014).
    The 2011 workshop was summarized in a paper that was presented at the 33rd USSD Annual Conference and Meeting in Phoenix.
  2. The Committee has initiated the preparation of a document entitled Seismic Design of Tailings Dams as a follow up to the San Francisco workshop. The document will be written for practitioners and will summarize the key issues affecting the seismic design of tailings dams.
  3. The Committee is planning the preparation of a white paper on the state of practice in the U.S. for design, reclamation and closure of tailings storage facilities.
  4. The Committee is planning the preparation of workshops on Ash Impoundments and Risk Associated with Tailings Dams. The Ash Impoundment workshop will likely be offered during the 35th USSD Annual Conference and Meeting in Louisville, KY (April 2015) and the Risk workshop in the fall of 2015 at a location to be determined.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Committee Chairperson:

José L. M. Clemente, Chairperson
Bechtel Mining & Metals
5275 Westview Drive
Frederick, MD 21703
Telephone: 301-228-7646
Fax: 240-379-2773
e-mail: jlclemen@bechtel.com
Committee Members
Tatyana Alexieva, Vice Chairperson
Carmen Bernedo
James F. Daly
Christopher N. Hatton
Dean K. Korri
Richard Lech Kulesza
Robert E. Snow
Clinton L. Strachan
Steven G. Vick
Michael J. Wheeler
Christina Winckler
Lisa R. Yenne



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