Biden-Harris Administration Announces $211 Million in FEMA Funding Opportunities for Two Dam Safety Grant Programs

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
November 2, 2023

Grants Made Possible by President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Provide Funding to Protect Dams and Protect Communities from Disasters

WASHINGTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell today announced the Biden-Harris Administration, through FEMA, will commit more than $211 million in funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda -- a key component of Bidenomics -- to enhance dam safety efforts across the nation to ensure that communities have the critical infrastructure needed to protect against future disasters and prevent against future flooding. 

Dams are a critical part of the nation’s infrastructure, yet many are aging and deteriorating, and dam failure may occur within hours of the first signs of breaching because of intense storms. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing nearly $6.8 billion toward communitywide resilience to reduce disaster suffering and avoid future disaster costs. This includes a total of $733 million for the two dam safety programs over five years to help state, territorial and local governments take action to address high-hazard potential dams that pose dangers to life and property if they fail.

“Dams are lifelines for many communities, but when they’re not properly secured and supported, they can also pose an extreme threat to surrounding areas. By investing in critical infrastructure and helping these lifelines sustain extreme weather, we will be able to avoid the risks a failed dam poses to lives and livelihoods,” said Administrator Criswell. “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping us ensure that our nation is better equipped with vital infrastructure to keep communities safe and protect them against the impacts of climate change.”

The Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program is making about $185 million available and another approximate $26 million available through the National Dam Safety State Assistance Grant Program. The investments funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help protect communities from flooding, avoid disaster costs and strengthen resilience to climate change.

Grants through the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program are available to non-federal governments and nonprofits for the technical expertise, planning, design and construction needed to rehabilitate eligible, non-federal high hazard potential dams. 

Eligible non-federal dams are:

  • Located in a state or territory with a dam safety program.
  • Classified as high-hazard potential by the dam safety agency in the state or territory where the dam is located.
  • Current in their emergency action plan, which must be approved by the state or territorial dam safety agency.
  • Failing to meet minimum dam safety standards of the state or territory and poses an unacceptable risk to the public.

The National Dam Safety State Assistance Grant Program is available for any state or territory with an enacted dam safety program. These grants establish and maintain effective state programs to ensure dam safety and protect human life and property.  The state administrative agency, or an equivalent state agency, is eligible to apply. Each eligible state or territory may submit only one grant application. 

The funding opportunities open Nov. 6 and will be found on The deadline to apply is Feb. 29, 2024.

FEMA will post informational webinars to provide an overview of this year’s two dam safety funding opportunities to help interested applicants. For more information about dam safety and the webinars, visit FEMA’s dam safety webpage on

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