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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.

Strong Levee Safety Programs in All States

There are levees in all 50 states, however the total number, location and condition of many of the nation's levees - as well as population and property they protect, and who is responsible for their operations and maintenance - remains unknown. Preliminary estimates indicate that there may be more than 100,000 miles of levees across the United States, and tens of millions of people live and work behind them.

The National Committee on Levee Safety contends that states, not the federal government, should have primary authority for implementation of a National Levee Safety Program within their borders, and a National Levee Safety Program will be more effective if states tailor their levee safety programs to meet local needs and allow for regional and state variations, while meeting national standards and objectives.

States are best positioned to organize, implement and oversee levee safety programs, as they have the combination of necessary legal authorities to implement rules, regulations and procedures, and statewide reach and relationships with local governments to be successful.

The NCLS recommends that the National Levee Safety Program assist states in developing effective levee safety programs, and that federal programs and funding should provide incentives to states that voluntarily meet established criteria for robust 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.