levee owners are given a specified timeframe to address maintenance deficiencies identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

The USACE has initiated a national levee inventory and assessment program to identify the condition, location, level of protection, and maintenance activities for all levees within its jurisdiction. This inventory will assist in the assessment of the risk to public safety associated with levees and levee systems across the Nation. The USACE and FEMA are working together throughout the inventory and assessment phase to coordinate this effort with Map Mod activities. The inventory data collected to date will be used by FEMA and the USACE to categorize levees for which the full documentation required by 44 CFR Section 65.10 is NOT readily available into the five scenarios described below.


A levee is defined as a manmade structure, usually an earthen embankment, designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering practices to contain, control, or divert the flow of water so as to provide protection from temporary flooding. The term does not include structures that are otherwise defined as dams in the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety.

For the purpose of this guidelines document, levees are identified as being USACE or non-USACE levees. Levees within the USACE program include:

     • Levees built by the USACE that were authorized for construction by the U.S. Congress or by USACE continuing authorities (e.g., Section 205);

     • Levee projects constructed by non-Federal interests or other (non-USACE) Federal agencies and incorporated into the USACE Federal system by specific congressional action;

     • Federal projects that are either operated and maintained by the USACE or turned over to a local sponsor for operation and maintenance; and

     • Non-Federal projects within the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program (RIP), Public Law 84-99.

Non-USACE levees are defined to include:

     • Levees not authorized by the U.S. Congress or other Federal agency authority;

     • Levees built by other Federal agencies and not incorporated into the USACE Federal system;

     • Locally built and maintained levees built by a local community; and

     • Privately built by a nonpublic organization or individuals and maintained by a local community.

A “levee owner” can be a Federal or State agency, a water management or flood control district, a local community, a levee district, a nonpublic organization, or an individual. The “party responsible for operating and maintaining the levee” must be a Federal or

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