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FEMA Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Listening Sessions Report

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act increases funding for FEMA dam safety with $585 million for the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams (HHPD) Grant, $148 million for the State Assistance Grant, and $67 million total for operations and support.

Over the span of five months, FEMA’s National Dam Safety Program offered listening sessions that covered four overarching topics, as well as one official recap session (virtually and in person) for feedback from states, territories, local communities and dam safety officials.

The listening sessions covered four distinct topics; these topics were titled: 

  1. Visionary Opportunities for State Dam Safety Programs – with a focus on grant funding overall. 
  2. Assessment Prioritization, Decision Making (Resiliency-Understanding and Addressing Risk) 
  3. Grants Applications & Grants Management (HHPD & State Assistance (SA)) 
  4. Dam Rehabilitation and Removal Projects / Historic Preservation (EHP) Requirements Review & Needs Assessment / Floodplain Management Requirements 

This feedback helped to identify program areas to enhance or improve, streamline grant processes and create solutions and opportunities for BIL funding.

The overall goals of the Listening Sessions were to: 

  • Understand the needs of the stakeholders the National Dam Safety Program is intended to support. 
  • Provide opportunities for meaningful input to shape decisions and outcomes on program design, components, and products. 
  • Ensure that the unique challenges related to dams faced by disadvantaged communities and tribes are well understood and incorporated into solutions. 
  • Identify the challenges future climatic issues pose to dam safety. 

For Fiscal Year 2024, FEMA will publish the two funding opportunities for the State Assistance and the Rehabilitation of the High Hazard Potential Dams. 

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