Dam Safety Day highlights funding opportunities for dam rehabilitation

May 31, 2024

National dam safety funding programs open

Today marks Dam Safety Day, emphasizing the importance of dams in the United States’ infrastructure.

Dams contribute significantly to economic development and social welfare but face risks from natural hazards, human threats, and aging infrastructure.

The Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program has announced funding opportunities for Fiscal Year 2024, with approximately $185 million available.

Additionally, around $26 million is accessible through the National Dam Safety State Assistance Grant Program.

These investments, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aim to protect communities from flooding, reduce disaster costs, and enhance climate resilience.

Details of the dam safety funding opportunities

The Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program offers grants to non-federal governments and nonprofits.

These grants cover technical expertise, planning, design, and construction needed to rehabilitate eligible non-federal high hazard potential dams.

The National Dam Safety State Assistance Grant Program is available for states and territories with enacted dam safety programs.

It supports the establishment and maintenance of effective state programs to ensure dam safety and protect lives and property.

Eligible states or territories may submit one grant application.

Application process and resources

The funding opportunity opens on November 6, with a deadline of February 29, 2024.

FEMA encourages stakeholders to view webinars on application requirements.

The Pre-Award webinar is currently available, and special topics webinars will be posted as they become available.

Topics include cybersecurity, hazard mitigation planning, and environmental planning.

FEMA has enhanced training programs to share expertise between federal and state sectors and offers Collaborative Technical Assistance to help communities understand the risks and potential consequences of dam-related emergencies.

Federal guidelines and advisory committees

The Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS) has developed guidelines for federal agency dam owners and regulators, which may also be used by non-federal entities.

ICODS, founded in 1980, coordinates federal activities in dam safety and security and advises FEMA’s Administrator on national dam safety priorities.

The National Dam Safety Review Board includes members from FEMA, four federal agencies, five state dam safety officials, and one private sector representative.

The board advises on setting national dam safety priorities and considers the impact of national policies on dam safety.

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