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Who Can Apply for the High Hazard Potential Dam Grant Program?

Guidance & Resources

Subrecipients

Mitigation Plan Requirements

Contact

A state with a state dam safety program authorized by state legislation is the only entity eligible to submit a High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) Grant Program applications to DHS/FEMA.

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For the purposes of the HHPD, the term “state” means each of the several states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

The HHPD Grant Program is allocated to states/territories with an existing state/territory dam safety program. In FY21, this includes 49 States and Puerto Rico.

Each eligible state must designate one State Administrative Agency (SAA) to serve as the applicant for HHPD funding. Each SAA may submit only one (1) HHPD grant application to FEMA and be able to comply with regulations associated with receipt of federal financial contributions from FEMA.

Document & Resource Library

Visit our document library for additional HHPD Grant Resources, including:

  • Policy Guidance
  • Fact Sheets, Checklists and FAQs
  • PowerPoint Presentations
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Subrecipients

Eligible subrecipients under HHPD Grant Program are non-federal governmental organizations (other than the designated applicant) and nonprofit organizations.

Eligible nonprofit organizations are those organizations that are described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such code.

Subrecipient Eligibility Requirements

All subrecipient eligibility criteria can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov.

  1. Select the "Related Documents" tab to view the PDF of the NOFO.
  2. Criteria can be found in section C. Eligibility Information 3. Subrecipient Eligibility Criteria starting on page 6.
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NOTE: To be eligible, all subrecipients MUST have a FEMA-approved local or tribal mitigation plan where the dam is located.

Other Subrecipient Eligibility Considerations

Subrecipient GroupIs It Eligible?
Lake associations or homeowner associationsThe association must be classified as an eligible nonprofit organization (501c3). Please review the information from IRS.gov and in the Grants.gov NOFO for requirements.
Private dam owners (not owned by a nonprofit organization)A private dam owner cannot be a subrecipient of the grant.

Eligible applicants of the grant must be a state or territory with an enacted dam safety program, the SAA, or an equivalent state agency. The SAA is responsible for submitting an application and administering the grant as a passthrough. They will receive the grant based on the statutory formula and be responsible for making subawards to subrecipients. The subrecipient must be a non-federal governmental organization. This could be a state office or a local governmental entity that is applying as a subrecipient.
A city's municipal damIf a city has a municipal dam that needs to be rehabilitated, they can apply to the state to receive the grant as a sub-recipient. There could also be a city that has a private dam that poses unacceptable risk, and the city may want to be the subrecipient that would work directly with the state to execute a subaward the rehabilitation of that dam. The jurisdiction must have a FEMA-approved mitigation plan that includes all dam risks.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Requirements

The HHPD Grant Program is allocated to states/territories with an existing state/territory dam safety program.

Local and Tribal Governments

If the state owns the dam, only the state mitigation plan will need to include all dam risks.

For non-state dams, the approved local or tribal mitigation plan where the dam is located will need to include all dam risks. The local or tribal government where the dam is located is responsible for updating the mitigation plan to include all dam risks. The HHPD subrecipient, if different than the jurisdiction where the dam is located, will need to coordinate with the local or tribal government regarding the update to include all dam risks.

The proposed HHPD project is not eligible for HHPD funding if the local or tribal government where the dam is located does not have an approved mitigation plan.

NOTE: For mitigation planning, the definition of local government found at 44 Code of Federal Regulations §201.2 Definitions, includes special district, school districts, intrastate districts, etc.

Nonprofit Organizations

If the nonprofit organization that owns the dam was not a participant in the local mitigation plan in which the dam is located, they still be a subrecipient if the local or tribal jurisdiction where the dam is located has a FEMA-approved mitigation plan that includes all dam risks.

Nonprofit organizations are not required to participate in mitigation planning.

Plans Must Cover all Dam Risks

FEMA is responsible for validating that a mitigation plan includes all dam risks. See Section E.1 Application Evaluation Criteria of the FY21 NOFO for a description of how state, local, and tribal mitigation plans are assessed.

More information for state and local governments is provided in Section 5.8 of the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams Grant Program Guidance. Tribal mitigation plans will be assessed according to the criteria for local mitigation plans.

Once FEMA validates that the mitigation planning requirements for addressing all dam risks have been met, an approval letter will be issued to the jurisdiction.

If All Dam Risks are NOT Covered

If your approved state, local, or tribal mitigation plan does not include all dam risks, then the applicant and subrecipient can apply for a 12-month extension to the mitigation plan requirement using the Extraordinary Circumstances provision found in:

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Visit our document library for more guidance and resources.

For questions, contact the Senior Mitigation Planner in the Mitigation Division of your FEMA Regional Office.