Safety of Dams on Indian Lands

To improve the structural integrity of dams on Indian lands, including operations and maintenance of these dams.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Projects commonly encompass three phases of program work: conceptual design, involving engineering studies of construction alternatives; final design, including structural dam design and cost estimation; and construction repair, the physical rehabilitation of existing structures.

Also, included are recurring operations and maintenance of the dams, early warning systems and emergency action plans.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - Applications may be filed with the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, the design phase was completed on three project and two construction projects were completed.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds allow for the inspection, operation and maintenance, early warning systems, and emergency action plans of high and significant hazard dams under the responsibility of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and for safety of dam rehabilitation construction necessary to correct identified deficiencies on the most unsafe dams.

Financial awards are specific to a given site and awards are restricted to Indian tribes or tribal organizations affected by the projects.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments and Native American Organizations authorized by Indian tribal governments to be benefited by the award.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments and their members and Native American Organizations.


The application must be accompanied by a resolution of the governing body of the Indian tribe.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Informal preapplication conference is recommended.

Technical assistance in preparing the application is available upon request.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Initial applications must contain the information specified in 25 CFR Part 900, Subpart C, "Contract Proposal Contents." For the rehabilitation construction, applications must contain the information specified in 25 CFR Part 900, Subpart J, "Construction." An Indian tribe or tribal organization that wishes to secure a construction project should contact the appropriate local BIA agency office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Award Procedures

In most cases, the award can be approved at the agency level. In some instances, the application will be forwarded to the Area Director for approval.


Notification of specific fund allocations for construction projects is made to Indian tribes or tribal organizations to be benefited by the availability of the funds. A 30-day time period is usually set for the tribe to notify the Bureau of Indian Affairs of its intent to seek award of the available project.


Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638, as amended, 25 U.S.C. 450; Snyder Act of 1921, 25 U.S.C. 13, Public Law 67-85, 42 Stat. 208; Indian Dams Safety Act of 1994, Public Law 103-302, 108 Stat. 1560; Secretarial Order No. 3048.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applications for construction projects will be processed within 90 days after receipt of the final proposal.


An unsuccessful applicant may request an informal conference with the deciding official, or may appeal the denial of the application to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, or may bring suit in U.S. District Court. Full appeal procedures are found in 25 CFR, Part 900, Subpart L.


Projects are generally multi-year agreements with no renewal. Under extenuating circumstances, extensions may be granted.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Contracts are for the duration of the project, often one to five years, and the funds remain available until expended by the contractor/grantee. The timing of payments will be negotiated with the grantee.

Post Assistance Requirements


Financial status reports, SF 269A, are required.

The timing and nature of program accomplishment data will be negotiated with the contractor/grantee.


For awards made under this program, grantees and subgrantees are responsible for obtaining audits. All non-Federal entities that expend $500,000 or more of Federal awards in a year ($300,000 for fiscal year ending on or before December 30, 2003) are required to obtain an annual audit in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et. seq.) and Circular A-133. Non-federal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular A-133.


Financial records must be retained for 3 years from the date of submission of the single audit report. Procurement records must be retained for 3 years from the date of final payment. Property records must be retained for 3 years from the date of disposition, replacement, or transfer. Records pertaining to any litigation, audit exceptions, or claims must be retained until the dispute has been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Total Amount of Awards) FY 07 $8,900,000; FY 08 est $6,900,000; and FY 09 est $9,100,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Highly variable, depending on the scope of work. Awards are commonly awarded for various phases of the safety program. For example, conception design $100,000 to $300,000; final design $300,000 to $1,000,000; and construction repair $1,000,000 to $17,000,000. For non-construction portion, awards can be from $10,000 up to $250,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

25 CFR Part 900; and Department of the Interior Safety of Dams (SOD) Program.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Applications may be filed with the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Office of Trust Services, Division of Irrigation, Power and Safety of Dams, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street N.W., MS 4655 MIB, Washington, DC 20240. Telephone: (202) 208-5480. Contact: Ross Mooney.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The relative probability of dam failure (risk-of-failure) is determined from the technical factors used in the SEED report to determine placement on the Department of the Interior's Technical Priority Rating List. This priority list is then used to prioritize budget requests for repair of the Bureau's most unsafe dams. Approximately $22,000,000 of the funds for the Safety of Dams program are distributed in accordance with the Technical Priority Rating listing for Department of the Interior dams.

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