Although the Federal Government owns or regulates only about 5 percent of the dams in the United States, many of these dams are beneficial to the public, but would be correspondingly devastating should they fail.
Since the implementation of the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety in 1979, Federal agencies have done an exemplary job in ensuring the safety and improvement of dams within their jurisdiction by sharing resources whenever and wherever possible. Many Federal agencies also maintain very comprehensive research and development and training programs, and have now incorporated security considerations and requirements into these programs to protect their dams against terrorist threats.
The Dam Safety and Security Act of 2002, signed into law on December 2, 2002, reauthorized the NDSP for 4 more years and added enhancements to the 1996 Act that are designed to safeguard dams against terrorist attacks.
To encourage individual and community responsibility for dam safety, the FEMA coordinates partnerships through two Federal organizations, the National Dam Safety Review Board and Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS).