United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Nov 30, 2022

§ 467f.
National dam safety program
(a)
In general
The Administrator, in consultation with ICODS and State dam safety agencies, and the Board shall establish and maintain, in accordance with this section, a coordinated national dam safety program. The Program shall—
(1)
be administered by FEMA to achieve the objectives set forth in subsection (c);
(2)
involve, to the extent appropriate, each Federal agency; and
(3)
include—
(A)
each of the components described in subsection (d);
(B)
the strategic plan described in subsection (b); and
(C)
assistance for State dam safety programs described in subsection (e).
(b)
Duties
The Administrator shall prepare a strategic plan—
(1)
to establish goals, priorities, performance measures, and target dates toward effectively administering this subchapter in order to improve the safety of dams in the United States; and
(2)
to the extent feasible, to establish cooperation and coordination with, and assistance to, interested governmental entities in all States.
(c)
Objectives
The objectives of the Program are to—
(1)
ensure that new and existing dams are safe through the development of technologically and economically feasible programs and procedures for national dam safety hazard reduction;
(2)
encourage acceptable engineering policies and procedures to be used for dam site investigation, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and emergency preparedness;
(3)
encourage the establishment and implementation of effective dam safety programs in each State based on State standards;
(4)
develop and implement a comprehensive dam safety hazard education and public awareness initiative to assist the public in preparing for, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from dam incidents;
(5)
develop technical assistance materials for Federal and non-Federal dam safety programs;
(6)
develop mechanisms with which to provide Federal technical assistance for dam safety to the non-Federal sector; and
(7)
develop technical assistance materials, seminars, and guidelines to improve security for dams in the United States.
(d)
Components
(1)
In general
The Program shall consist of—
(A)
a Federal element and a non-Federal element; and
(B)
leadership activity, technical assistance activity, and public awareness activity.
(2)
Elements
(A)
Federal

The Federal element shall incorporate the activities and practices carried out by Federal agencies under section 467e of this title to implement the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety.

(B)
Non-Federal
The non-Federal element shall consist of—
(i)
the activities and practices carried out by States, local governments, and the private sector to safely build, regulate, operate, and maintain dams; and
(ii)
Federal activities that foster State efforts to develop and implement effective programs for the safety of dams.
(3)
Functional activities
(A)
Leadership

The leadership activity shall be the responsibility of FEMA and shall be exercised by chairing the Board to coordinate national efforts to improve the safety of the dams in the United States.

(B)
Technical assistance

The technical assistance activity shall consist of the transfer of knowledge and technical information among the Federal and non-Federal elements described in paragraph (2).

(C)
Public awareness

The public awareness activity shall provide for the education of the public, including State and local officials, in the hazards of dam failure, methods of reducing the adverse consequences of dam failure, and related matters.

(e)
Assistance for State dam safety programs
(1)
In general

To encourage the establishment and maintenance of effective State programs intended to ensure dam safety, to protect human life and property, and to improve State dam safety programs, the Administrator shall provide assistance with amounts made available under section 467j 1

1
 See References in Text note below.
of this title to assist States in establishing, maintaining, and improving dam safety programs in accordance with the criteria specified in paragraph (2).

(2)
Criteria and budgeting requirement
For a State to be eligible for assistance under this subsection, a State dam safety program must be working toward meeting the following criteria and budgeting requirement:
(A)
Criteria
A State dam safety program must be authorized by State legislation to include, at a minimum—
(i)
the authority to review and approve plans and specifications to construct, enlarge, modify, remove, and abandon dams;
(ii)
the authority to perform periodic inspections during dam construction to ensure compliance with approved plans and specifications;
(iii)
a requirement that, on completion of dam construction, State approval must be given before operation of the dam;
(iv)
the authority to require or perform periodic evaluations of all dams and reservoirs to determine the extent of the threat to human life and property in case of failure;
(v)
(I)
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 determine the continued safety of the dams and reservoirs; and
(II)
a procedure for more detailed and frequent safety inspections;
(vi)
a requirement that all inspections be performed under the supervision of a State-registered professional engineer with related experience in dam design and construction;
(vii)
the authority to issue notices, when appropriate, to require owners of dams to perform necessary maintenance or remedial work, install and monitor instrumentation, improve security, revise operating procedures, or take other actions, including breaching dams when necessary;
(viii)
regulations for carrying out the legislation of the State described in this subparagraph;
(ix)
provision for necessary funds—
(I)
to ensure timely repairs or other changes to, or removal of, a dam in order to protect human life and property; and
(II)
if the owner of the dam does not take action described in subclause (I), to take appropriate action as expeditiously as practicable;
(x)
a system of emergency procedures to be used if a dam fails or if the failure of a dam is imminent; and
(xi)
an identification of—
(I)
each dam the failure of which could be reasonably expected to endanger human life;
(II)
the maximum area that could be flooded if the dam failed; and
(III)
necessary public facilities that would be affected by the flooding.
(B)
Budgeting requirement

For a State to be eligible for assistance under this subsection, State appropriations must be budgeted to carry out the legislation of the State under subparagraph (A).

(3)
Work plans

The Administrator shall enter into a 2

2
 So in original. Probably should be “an”.
agreement with each State receiving assistance under paragraph (2) to develop a work plan necessary for the State dam safety program to reach a level of program performance specified in the agreement.

(4)
Maintenance of effort

Assistance may not be provided to a State under this subsection for a fiscal year unless the State enters into such agreement with the Administrator as the Administrator requires to ensure that the State will maintain the aggregate expenditures of the State from all other sources for programs to ensure dam safety for the protection of human life and property at or above a level equal to the average annual level of such expenditures for the 2 fiscal years preceding the fiscal year.

(5)
Approval of programs
(A)
Submission

For a State to be eligible for assistance under this subsection, a plan for a State dam safety program shall be submitted to the Administrator for approval.

(B)
Approval

A State dam safety program shall be deemed to be approved 120 days after the date of receipt by the Administrator unless the Administrator determines within the 120-day period that the State dam safety program fails to meet the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (3).

(C)
Notification of disapproval

If the Administrator determines that a State dam safety program does not meet the requirements for approval, the Administrator shall immediately notify the State in writing and provide the reasons for the determination and the changes that are necessary for the plan to be approved.

(6)
Review of State dam safety programs

Using the expertise of the Board, the Administrator shall periodically review State dam safety programs. If the Board finds that a State dam safety program has proven inadequate to reasonably protect human life and property and the Administrator concurs, the Administrator shall revoke approval of the St

(f)
Board
(1)
Establishment

The Administrator shall establish an advisory board to be known as the “National Dam Safety Review Board” to monitor the safety of dams in the United States, to monitor State implementation of this section, and to advise the Administrator on national dam safety policy.

(2)
Authority

The Board may use the expertise of Federal agencies and enter into contracts for necessary studies to carry out this section.

(3)
Voting membership
The Board shall consist of 11 voting members selected by the Administrator for expertise in dam safety, of whom—
(A)
1 member shall represent the Department of Agriculture;
(B)
1 member shall represent the Department of Defense;
(C)
1 member shall represent the Department of the Interior;
(D)
1 member shall represent FEMA;
(E)
1 member shall represent the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;
(F)
5 members shall be selected by the Administrator from among State dam safety officials; and
(G)
1 member shall be selected by the Administrator to represent the private sector.
(4)
Nonvoting membership

The Administrator, in consultation with the Board, may invite a representative of the National Laboratories of the Department of Energy and may invite representatives from Federal or State agencies, representatives from nongovernmental organizations, or dam safety experts, as needed, to participate in meetings of the Board.

(5)
Duties
(A)
In general

The Board shall encourage the establishment and maintenance of effective programs, policies, and guidelines to enhance dam safety for the protection of human life and property throughout the United States.

(B)
Coordination and information exchange among agencies

In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Board shall encourage coordination and information exchange among Federal and State dam safety agencies that share common problems and responsibilities for dam safety, including planning, design, construction, operation, emergency action planning, inspections, maintenance, regulation or licensing, technical or financial assistance, research, and data management.

(6)
Work groups

The Administrator may establish work groups under the Board to assist the Board in accomplishing its goals. The work groups shall consist of members of the Board and other individuals selected by the Administrator.

(7)
Compensation of members
(A)
Federal employees

Each member of the Board who is an officer or employee of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to compensation received for the services of the member as an officer or employee of the United States.

(B)
Other members

Each member of the Board who is not an officer or employee of the United States shall serve without compensation.

(8)
Travel expenses
(A)
Representatives of Federal agencies

To the extent amounts are made available in advance in appropriations Acts, each member of the Board who represents a Federal agency shall be reimbursed of appropriations for travel expenses by his or her agency, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of services for the Board.

(B)
Other individuals

To the extent amounts are made available in advance in appropriations Acts, each member of the Board who represents a State agency, the member of the Board who represents the private sector, and each member of a work group created under paragraph (1) shall be reimbursed for travel expenses by FEMA, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, while away from home or regular place of business of the member in performance of services for the Board.

(9)
Applicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Board.

(Pub. L. 92–367, § 8, as added Pub. L. 104–303, title II, § 215(c)(8), Oct. 12, 1996, 110 Stat. 3688; amended Pub. L. 107–310, § 3(a)–(e)(1), (f), (g), Dec. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 2450, 2451; Pub. L. 109–460, § 1(c), Dec. 22, 2006, 120 Stat. 3401; Pub. L. 113–121, title III, § 3001(a)(1), (c), June 10, 2014, 128 Stat. 1282.)
cite as: 33 USC 467f