Summary: H.R.4650 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (07/28/2006)

National Levee Safety Program Act of 2006 - (Sec. 3) Directs the Secretary of the Army to: (1) inspect each levee in the United States constructed by the Secretary, a federal entity, or a federally recognized Indian tribe, maintained by the Secretary, or identified by a state governor, excluding levees inspected by a state levee safety agency during the preceding year if the state's governor requests an exemption and levees the failure of which would not pose a significant threat to human life or property; and (2) notify affected state and local governments and Indian tribes of inspection results, hazardous conditions found, and (upon request) remedial measures.

Directs the Secretary, by August 1, 2007 and every two years thereafter, to publish and submit to Congress an inventory of: (1) levees subject to inspection under this Act and a characterization of the risk posed by such levees; and (2) levees identified by a state the failure of which could be reasonably expected to endanger human life and property. Requires (1) such an inventory to include each levee's location, owner, and physicial condition and the probability and consequences of a failure; and (2) the Secretary, in determining risk, to consider the levee's condition and the potential impact on human lives and property if it fails.

(Sec. 4) Establishes the Interagency Committee on Levee Safety to support federal levee safety programs through coordination and information exchange among federal and nonfederal entities concerning the implementation of levee safety guidelines. Directs the Committee to establish the National Levee Safety Advisory Board.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish and maintain a national levee safety program, including federal levee safety guidelines; and (2) assist states in establishing and carrying out levee safety programs.

Requires a state, to be eligible for such assistance, to be in the process of establishing or have in effect a state levee safety program under which a state agency: (1) reviews plans to construct, modify, remove, and abandon levees; (2) performs inspections during levee construction; (3) requires or performs the inspection, at least every five years, of all levees that would pose a significant threat in case of failure to determine the continued safety of the levees and a procedure for more detailed and frequent safety inspections; (4) requires that all inspections be performed under the supervision of a state-registered professional engineer with experience in levee design and construction; (5) issues notices to require levee owners to perform necessary maintenance or remedial work, improve security, revise operating procedures, or take other actions, including breaching levees when necessary; (6) provides necessary funds to protect human life and property; (7) establishes a system of emergency procedures to be used if a levee fails or failure is imminent; and (8) provides information to the Secretary on each levee the failure of which could be reasonably expected to endanger human life and property, the maximum area that could be flooded, and critical public facilities that would be affected.

Requires: (1) a state, to be eligible for assistance, to allocate sufficient funds in its budget to carry out a state levee safety program; and (2) the Secretary to enter into an agreement with each state receiving assistance to develop a work plan.

Sets forth provisions regarding program approval. Requires the Secretary to: (1) periodically review state programs; and (2) report to Congress, by January 1, 2007 and every two years thereafter, on the program's status, including any recommendations for legislative action.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Secretary to carry out a research program to develop: (1) improved techniques and equipment for rapid and effective levee construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, and inspection; (2) devices for the continued monitoring of levee safety; (3) information resources systems to manage levee safety projects; and (4) public policy initiatives and other improvements relating to levee safety engineering, security, and management.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Secretary, at the request of a state that has or intends to develop a state levee safety program, to provide training for state levee safety agency staff.

(Sec. 8) Provides that nothing in this Act creates any liability of the United States or its officers or employees for the recovery of damages caused by an action or failure to act, nor relieves a levee owner or operator of a legal duty, obligation, or liability incident to levee ownership or operation.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2012.