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The Biden-Harris Administration revealed it will commit $26.3 million to enhance dam safety efforts to ensure U.S. communities have the critical infrastructure needed to protect against future disasters like extreme drought and flooding. This announcement follows news that the Panguitch Lake Dam in Utah has started to crack.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing nearly $6.8 billion toward community-wide resilience to reduce disaster suffering and avoid future disaster costs for five FEMA grant programs. FEMA’s two dam safety programs received funding over five years to help state, territorial and local governments address high hazard potential dams that pose dangers to life and property if they fail.

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 communities from increasing threats from climate change.

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 program’s goals are:

  • Reduce risks to life and property associated with dams
  • Increase awareness of the benefits and risks associated with dam infrastructure.
  • Advance the state of practice of dam safety and dam risk management.

“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,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “…funds will go toward providing effective programs like training personnel, increasing inspections and identifying repairs to ensure their dams continue to protect human life.”

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