DAMSFEMA Funding Opportunities for Dam Safety

Published 19 May 2022

There are 90,000 dams in the United States, many of them old and poorly maintained. FEMA will commit $33 million for two funding opportunities to enhance dam safety efforts across the United States.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell earlier this week announced FEMA will commit $33 million for two funding opportunities to enhance dam safety efforts across the United States, including $15 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The investments will help protect communities from flooding, avoid costs from future disaster and strengthen resilience to climate change. The Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program is making $22 million available and another approximately $11 million available through the National Dam Safety State Assistance Grant Program.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing $6.8 billion that FEMA will invest in communitywide resilience to reduce disaster suffering and avoid future disaster costs, including $733 million in dam safety grants over the next five years. 

“Aging and deteriorating dams in America cannot compete with the impacts of climate change,” said Criswell.

“With the increase of both extreme storms and downstream populations, the safety of America’s dams is paramount to the resilience of our neighborhoods. FEMA is committed to providing funding dedicated to maintaining and strengthening dams that pose severe risks to vulnerable communities.”  

The application period for the fiscal year 2022 funding opportunities will opened Monday, 16 May. Non-federal governments and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to review the announcement on Grants.gov and apply by the 15 July 2022 deadline. “These funding opportunities will help to ensure the safety of communities whose economic development and social welfare benefit from dams, many of which are aging and deteriorating,” FEMA said

Grants through the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program are available to non-federal governments and nonprofits for technical, planning, design and construction assistance to rehabilitate eligible 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

·  With a current, approved emergency action plan by the state or territorial dam safety agency

·  Failing to meet minimum dam safety standards of the state or territory or poses an unacceptable risk to the public

The State Assistance Grant Program provides funds to establish and maintain effective state programs that ensure dam safety and protect human life and property.

In a state or territory with an enacted dam safety program, the state administrative agency or an equivalent state agency is eligible to apply. Each eligible state or territory may submit only one grant application.

For more information, visit FEMA’s Dam Safety webpage.