TABLE C.1 Principal Laws and Policies Shaping Dam Safety Governance

Date Law or Mandate Relevance Policy and Programs Enabled
1917 Flood Control Act First major flood legislation Dealt primarily with levees on the Mississippi and Sacramento Rivers
1928 Flood Control Act Expanded Extended 1917 act to include control mechanisms Policy extended to include floodways, spillways, and channels; provided foundation for dam safety legislation
1972 33 USC 467: National Dam Safety Act Authorized national inspection of dams U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tasked with inventorying and inspecting dams
1977 Department of Energy Organization Act Established Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from Federal Power Commission FERC licenses and inspects nonfederal hydroelectric projects
1979 Executive Order 12148 Created Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); required federal agencies to implement federal guidelines for dam safety Guidelines for dam safety management
1986 Water Resources Development Act Authorized National Dam Safety Program under secretary of the Army Established National Dam Safety Review Board, National Inventory of Dams, and state assistance
1996 Water Resources Development Act, Pub. L. 104-303, § 215, National Dam Safety Program Act Reauthorized National Dam Safety Program under FEMA Granted assistance to states for research and training; expanded National Dam Safety Review Board
2002 PL 107-310: Dam Safety and Security Act Reauthorized National Dam Safety Program and added national-security considerations Failed to provide funding for repair and rehabilitation
2006 PL 109-460 National Dam Safety Program Act Reauthorized National Dam Safety Program

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