New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that $650,000 in grant funding is now available to assist Local Government and non-profit owners of 'High Hazard' dams with infrastructure repair costs.
Funding is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grant program. Of the dozens of states that applied to this federal program, New York was one of two states that received the maximum amount of funding. DEC is now accepting applications for grants to assist with technical, planning, design, and other pre-construction activities associated with the rehabilitation of eligible dams classified as High Hazard dams.
"Ensuring dam safety is a top priority for DEC and we encourage eligible dam owners to take advantage of this important funding," said Commissioner Seggos. "The grants … will support pre-construction engineering and design activities as part of an overall program to help municipal and non-profit owners of High Hazard dams make necessary repairs and improve public safety."
New York State's High Hazard dam classification refers to the potential for damage upon a dam's failure, not its likelihood of failure. A High Hazard (or Class C) dam is classified where failure may result in widespread or serious damage to homes, main highways, industrial or commercial buildings, railroads, and/or important utilities, including water supply, sewage treatment, fuel, power, cable, or telephone infrastructure, or substantial environmental damage, such that the loss of human life or widespread substantial economic loss is likely. New York State has 425 dams classified as High Hazard.
Local governmental entities and municipalities, including but not limited to counties, cities, towns, and villages, and not-for-profit corporations with dam projects in New York State are eligible to apply. Projects must be in a county with an approved hazard mitigation plan. Projects and applicants must meet additional eligibility criteria as described in the Request for Applications. A total of $650,000 in grants is available, with awards up to $100,000 per project.
The deadline for applications is June 11, 2021. Requests for Applications (RFAs) are available online through the NYS Grants Gateway. The Grants Gateway is a web-based grant management system that streamlines the way grants are administered by the State of New York. All grant applicants, including government agencies and not-for-profit corporations, must be registered in the NYS Grants Gateway to be eligible to apply for any state grant opportunity. Not-For-Profit applicants are required to "prequalify" in the Grants Gateway system.
DEC's High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation program is funded through FEMA's HHPD grant program. A future round of grants will make funding available for eligible dam construction projects.