Action Center

Urge your Members of Congress to reauthorize the National Dam Safety Program!
U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced S. 3111, the National Dam Safety Program Reauthorization Act, on October 24, 2023 to reauthorize the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) through Fiscal Year (FY) 2028. The Senate bill would also: eliminate the 35 percent cost-sharing requirement for small disadvantaged communities under the High Hazard Potential Rehabilitation Grant Program, remove the requirement that states must provide an equal match for federal funding, which will assist smaller state programs and allow other federal funds to be leveraged by states more freely, and clarify that the operations and maintenance of “high hazard potential” dams are the responsibility of dam owners.

U.S. Representatives Chuck Edwards (R-NC), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Brandon Williams (R-NY), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) introduced legislation in early August 2023 to reauthorize the NDSP. H.R. 5104, the National Dam Safety Program Reauthorization Act, would allow the program overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency  to operate through FY 2028 as well. 

NDSP is the primary source of federal funding for state dam safety programs. Federal funding from this program supports state level activities such as dam inspection and monitoring, staff training, and emergency preparedness. The NDSP expired on September 30th of this year, leaving thousands of high-risk dams across the country vulnerable to failure. ASCE strongly supports the reauthorization of the NDSP. Every state except for Alabama, which lacks an eligible state dam safety program, benefits from the resources provided by the NDSP. The program supports funding to states to allow for training, staffing, emergency planning, and dam inspection and monitoring activities to protect communities across the country from the catastrophic effects of dam failure.

ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the nation’s dams a grade of “D,” and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) estimates that it would cost $157.5 billion to bring the nation’s dams into a state of good repair. Furthermore, ASDSO estimates that more than 2,300 high-hazard potential dams are deficient due to lack of investment. While the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is making vital investments to improve our nation’s dams, those investments can be optimized by ensuring states have the tools they need, which is what makes the reauthorization of the NDSP so critical.

We need your help urging your Members of Congress to take swift action on reauthorizing the NDSP as soon as possible.  

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