If yours is among the many locations across America where dams exist, the answer is a resounding yes. There are now 90,000 dams nationwide, and a high number of them have received less than favorable Dam Safety Action Classification (DSAC) ratings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Even more distressing, of those 90,000 dams, the federal government believes about 15,000 of them are classified as having high hazard potential (HPP). That means that failure could result in significant destruction of property, or worse, loss of life.

Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was appropriated $10 million to implement the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams (HHPD) Grant Program. For FY2019, the HHPD will provide assistance for planning and other pre-construction activities. Such money can go a long way toward improving your community’s emergency preparedness and resilience.

The HHPD Grant Program, authorized under the recently funded Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, provides technical, planning, design, and construction assistance in the form of grants for rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams.

Eligible applicants must be non-federal sponsors, which include non-federal governments and non-profit organizations. Per FEMA, eligible non-federal dams are:

  • located in a state or territory with a state or territorial dam safety program;
  • classified as ‘high hazard potential’ by the dam safety agency in the state or territory where the dam is located;
  • has an emergency action plan approved by the state or territorial dam safety agency; and
  • the state or territory in which the dam is located determines either of these criteria – the dam fails to meet minimum dam safety standards of the state or territory; and the dam poses an unacceptable risk to the public.

Want to learn more about the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams Grant Program and how it can benefit your community? Visit http://www.fema.gov/rehabilitation-high-hazard-potential-dam-grant-program. Just know that time is of the essence as the current closing date for applications is July 8, 2019.

BOLDplanning provides comprehensive consulting services and powerful, online software for the collaborative development of Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), Continuity of Operations/Government Plans (COOPs/COGs) and Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs).