National Dam Safety Program

Agency - Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for list of addresses of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regional Offices.
Website Address

Program Accomplishments


Uses and Use Restrictions

A primary goal of Public Law 104-303 is to encourage the establishment and maintenance of effective State dam safety programs and to provide financial assistance incentives to States that are moving toward improved safety of nonfederal dams in their States.

Public Law 104-303 provides for the two-tiered assistance program described below.

Primary Assistance: For a State to be eligible for primary assistance under the National Dam Safety Program, the State's dam safety program must be working toward State dam safety program that is authorized by State legislation to include substantially at a minimum the following criteria and budgeting requirements: 1) The authority to approve plans and specifications to construct, enlarge, modify, remove, and abandon dams; (2) the authority to perform periodic inspections during dam construction to ensure compliance with approved plans and specifications; 3) a requirement on completion of dam construction, State approval be given before operation of the dam; 4) the authority to require or perform the inspection at least once every 5 years of all dams and reservoirs that would pose a significant threat to human life and property in case of failure to the dams and reservoirs to determine the continued safety of and a procedure for more detailed and frequent safety inspections; and 5) a requirement that all inspections be performed under the supervision of a State-registered professional engineer with related experience in dam design and construction; 6) the authority to issue notices, when appropriate, to require owners of dams to perform necessary maintenance or remedial work, revise operating procedures, or take other actions, including breaching dams when necessary; 7) regulations for carrying out the legislation of the State described in this paragraph; 8) the provision for necessary funds to ensure timely repairs or other changes to or removal of a dam to protect human life and property, if the owner of the dam does not take the action described above, to take appropriate action as expeditiously as possible; 9) A system of emergency procedures to be used if a dam fails or if the failure of a dam is imminent; and 10) an identification of each dam the failure of which could be reasonably expected to endanger human life, the maximum area that could be flooded if the dam failed, and necessary public facilities that would be affected by the flooding.

For a State to qualify for primary assistance, State appropriations must be budgeted to carry out the legislation of the State as described in this paragraph.

Advanced Assistance: For a State to qualify for advanced assistance under Public Law 104-303, the State dam safety program must meet the criteria and budgeting requirements listed above for primary assistance.

Also, the State must be working toward advanced requirements and standards established by the National Dam Safety Review Board (Board) and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with the assistance of established criteria such as the Model State Dam Safety Program, FEMA 316, April 1987, as amended.

More advanced requirements and standards include but are not necessarily limited to the following: Legislation; Regulations; Permitting/Approval of Plans; Inspections; Enforcement Capabilities; Emergency Response; Program Staffing and Funding; Education and Training; and Public Relations Plans.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

All States are eligible for the National Dam Safety Program Assistance for State Dam Safety Programs including the territory of Puerto Rico.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The State Dam Safety Program Office of eligible States.


A State application is required. The application form is provided by FEMA's National Dam Safety Program Office and the State dam safety office must complete the application, sign it, and return all appropriate documentation.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Application deadline and other information are contained in the application/program guidance.

Award Procedures

FEMA makes the award to the State Dam Safety Program Office. Applications or plans are reviewed by DHS program and administrative staff. Any issues or concerns noted in the application will be negotiated with the successful applicant prior to the award being issued.


Refer to announcement or application guidance for further information.


Water Resources Development Act of 1996, Section 215, Public Law 104-303. Dam Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-460 December 2006).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Refer to program guidance document.




Each subsequent fiscal year a State dam safety office must apply for financial assistance incentives. The amount of funding is contingent upon acceptability of the work plan in the application and the amounts made available for primary assistance to be allocated to the States using the one-third/two-third formula in Public Law 104-303, Section 215.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

For fiscal year 2007, the amount authorized to be appropriated for financial assistance for State dam safety programs is $4,000,000. Amounts made available to be allocated to the States will be as follows: (1) One-third among States that qualify for assistance under Section 8(f) of Public Law 104-303; and (2) Two-thirds among States that qualify for assistance under Section 8(f) of Public Law 109-460 to each State in proportion to: (a) the number of dams in the State that are listed as State regulated dams in the National Inventory of Dams as compared to: (b) the number of dams in all States that are listed as State regulated dams on the Inventory of Dams. The maximum amount of allocation to a State may not exceed 50 percent of the reasonable cost of implementing the State dam safety program. The Director and the Board shall determine the amount allocated to States needing assistance. There are no matching requirements for this program. (3) Federal assistance for a fiscal year is conditional upon the State maintaining aggregated expenditures of the State from all sources for programs to ensure dam safety for the protection of human life and property at or above a level at or above the average annual level of expenditures for the two preceding fiscal years.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Refer to program guidance. Awards are subject to the Cash Management Improvement Act for payment and/or reimbursement of expenditures.

Post Assistance Requirements


Grantees are required to submit quarterly financial and performance reports.

Quarterly Progress Reports must include the progress of each sub-grant award.

Reports are due 30 days after the end of each quarter: January 30, April 30, July 30, and October 30.

Generally, final financial and performance reports are due 90 days after the expiration or termination of grant award.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards (or receive property, or a combination of both, within the fiscal year) will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal 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. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency, submitted through the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, not later than 9 months after the end of the grantees fiscal year.


Grant records shall be retained for a period of 3 years from the day the recipient submits its final expenditure report. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, or other action involving the records has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3 year period, whichever is later. Grant records include financial and program/progress reports, support documents, statistical records, and other documents that support the activity and/or expenditure of the recipient or sub-recipient under the award.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $3,212,000; FY 08 est $3,212,000; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Refer to program guidance.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

FEMA Performance Office of Partnership Agreement and Cooperative Agreement guidance, Office of Financial Management Modular Instruction, FEMA's National Dam Safety Program Implementation Plan (September 97).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for list of addresses of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regional Offices.

Headquarters Office

Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), c/o 245 Murray Lane Building #410, Washington, DC 20523. Telephone: (800) 621-FEMA (3363).

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Refer to the program guidance for information on criteria for selecting proposals.

Co-founders William Mann and David Mravyan devised the Sensimat during a mandatory project for their MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada. Sensimat is a device that helps manage and assess pressure among wheelchair users.

More Federal Domestic Assistance Programs

PPHF 2012 Public Health Laboratory Infrastructure financed solely by 2012 Prevention and Public Heal | Southern Nevada Public Land Management | Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program | Aerospace Education Services Program | Emergency Rehabilitation of Flood Control Works or Federally Authorized Coastal Protection Works |  Site Style by YAML | | Grants | Grants News | Sitemap | Privacy Policy

Edited by: Michael Saunders

© 2004-2024 Copyright Michael Saunders