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National Levee Safety

These web pages present a history of the work of the National Committee on Levee Safety, including a record of meetings, workshops, information sessions, and testimony before Congress.

Aligning Existing Federal Programs

At the federal level, several agencies have a role in levee safety, either through programs covering levees built or operated under their jurisdictions (including the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), or as part of a broader national program such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program and Flood Hazard Mapping program.

These federal programs vary in scope, scale and available resources. There is currently no single agency with the authority to effectively align existing federal programs to promote effective incentives and disincentives for increased levee safety. This unaligned and diffused responsibility impedes the development of comprehensive safety programs and policies, impairs ongoing coordination, and prevents a sustained focus on the issue.

The NCLS recommends that federal programs that significantly impact governmental and individual decision-making in leveed areas must be aligned toward the goal of reliable levees, an informed, involved public, and shared responsibility for protection of human life and mitigation of public and private economic damages. Harmonization of federal levee-related programs and requirements would provide a consistency for states and communities, and incentives for the development of strong levee safety programs.

For More Information

Photo of rising waters in Illinois
IL, April 15, 2011 -- Flood Insurance: The Best Defense Against Rising Waters. Photo: Mike Moore/FEMA.