Knight’s Saint Francis Dam bill passes Senate committee

A group files past remnants of the St. Francis Dam as the group takes an historical guided tour of the 1928 disaster site on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources voted unanimously to approve a bill introduced by Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale to memorialize the St. Francis Dam disaster.

The St. Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, H.R. 2156, unanimously passed the House of Representatives in July of 2017 and would create a national memorial at the site of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster in the San Francisquito Canyon.

The disaster, which claimed the lives of 431 people, would be memorialized through private donations to an independent foundation, the Saint Francis Dam Disaster Memorial Foundation, and the site would be on an area devastated during the ensuing flood after the dam breach.

“Memorializing the St. Francis Dam disaster is an important local priority of mine,” Knight said Wednesday. “It would preserve an important piece of history of Santa Clarita and the greater Los Angeles area.”

Knight said he appreciated the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resource’s decision.

“The process of moving a bill through both the House and Senate can take time, but I am thankful for the attention both chambers have given to this important issue,” he said. “There are a few more hurdles ahead in getting this important legislation finalized, but progress continues to be made.”

The bill has been introduced in previous sessions, but failed in the Senate in its past iterations, according to previous reporting.

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