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Dam Safety Grants

State Assistance

High Hazard Potential Dam Grants

The primary purpose of the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) is to provide financial assistance to the states for strengthening their dam safety programs.

Grant Assistance to the States

The states use NDSP funds for the following types of activities:

  • Dam safety training for state personnel
  • Increase in the number of dam inspections
  • Increase in the submittal and testing of Emergency Action Plans
  • More timely review and issuance of permits
  • Improved coordination with state emergency preparedness officials
  • Identification of dams to be repaired or removed
  • Conduct dam safety awareness workshops and creation of dam safety videos and other outreach materials
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For more information on state dam safety programs, visit the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO).

Rehabilitation Of High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) Grant Program

The President signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act or the “WIIN Act,” on December 16, 2016, which adds a new grant program under FEMA’s National Dam Safety Program (33 U.S.C. 467f). Section 5006 of the Act, Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams, provides technical, planning, design, and construction assistance in the form of grants for rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams.

High Hazard Potential is a classification standard for any dam whose failure or mis-operation will cause loss of human life and significant property destruction.

Awards: FY 2020 & FY 2019

The High Hazard Potential Dam Grant (HHPD) awards provide technical, planning, design and construction assistance in the form of grants for rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams. A state or territory with an enacted dam safety program, the State Administrative Agency, or an equivalent state agency, is eligible for the grant.

View All HHPD Grant Awards

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Have questions? Email the HHPD helpline.

Who Can Apply

A state or territory with an enacted dam safety program, the State Administrative Agency, or an equivalent state agency, is eligible to apply for the HHPD grant. Each eligible state may submit only one HHPD grant application.

Application Resources

View FEMA Policy 104-008-7 and Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams Grant Program Guidance, as well as additional application requirement guidance such as fact sheets, templates and checklists.

View All Additional Application Requirement Guidance

Eligible High Hazard Potential Dams

To be eligible for HHPD funding, a dam must:

  • Be located in a state/territory with a dam safety program
  • Be classified as "high hazard potential" by the state/territory dam safety program
  • Have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) approved state/territory dam safety program
  • Fail to meet minimum state/territory dam safety standards and post an unacceptable risk to the public (as determined by the state/territory)

The following dams are not eligible for HHPD funding:

  • Federally owned dams
  • Hydroelectric dams licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Dams built under the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture

Eligible Activities

For FY2020, the HHPD will provide assistance for technical, planning, design, and construction activities toward:

  1. Repair
  2. Removal
  3. Structural/nonstructural rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams

None of the funds shall be used:

  1. To rehabilitate a federal dam
  2. To perform routine operation or maintenance of a dam;
  3. To modify a dam to produce hydroelectric power;
  4. To increase water supply storage capacity; or
  5. To make any other modification to a dam that does not also improve the safety of a dam.

HHPD Applicant Requirements

  1. The state, territory, or county where the dam is located must participate in, and comply with, all applicable federal flood insurance programs.
  2. Have in place a hazard mitigation plan that includes all dam risks.
  3. Commit to provide operation and maintenance of the project for the 50-year period following completion of rehabilitation (or the expected life of the dam).
  4. Meet FEMA's minimum eligibility requirements to ensure that each owner and operator of a dam is under a participating state or territory dam safety program. (i) The owner and operator will act in accordance with this dam safety program; and (ii) carries out activities relating to the public in accordance with the hazard mitigation plan.
  5. Comply with the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 42 section 5196(j)(9) – All laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performing construction through this grant shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
  6. Have a floodplain management plan in place to reduce the impacts of future flood events in the area protected by the project – or- demonstrate that it will be in place no later than one year after the date of completion of construction of the project.
Last updated December 7, 2020