STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 100
(Senate - June 29, 2012)

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From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


          STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

      By Mr. AKAKA (for himself, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Whitehouse, and Mr. 
        Crapo):
  S. 3362. A bill to reauthorize the National Dam Safety Program Act, 
and for other purposes; to the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works.
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce legislation to 
reauthorize the National Dam Safety Program managed by the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. I thank Senators Boozman, 
Whitehouse, and Crapo for joining me in sponsoring this bill that will 
help promote public safety and prevent the destruction caused by dam 
failures. This fiscally responsible legislation will help states do 
more to protect communities and avoid costly dam incidents without 
increasing funding above the most recent authorization level.
  With more than 84,000 dams listed in the National Inventory of Dams, 
dams are a critical and ubiquitous part of our nation's infrastructure. 
In Hawaii, 142 State-regulated dams are located across our islands from 
Kekaha on Kauai to Paauilo on Hawaii Island. These dams are owned by 
non-profit organizations, private companies, individuals, and Federal, 
State, and local governments. While they go largely unseen, dams 
benefit our lives every day. They provide drinking water, hydroelectric 
power, irrigation water, flood control, and recreational opportunities.
  However, dams also pose a significant risk to public safety, local 
economies, and the environment. Our nation's dams received a grade of 
``D'' from the American Society of Civil Engineers 2009 Report Card for 
America's Infrastructure, which cited more than 4,000 deficient dams, 
including more than 1,800 that would result in loss of life if they 
failed. Unfortunately, we know that this risk is not just hypothetical. 
In 2006, the Ka Loko Dam on Kauai collapsed killing seven people, and 
dozens of other dam failures have occurred across the nation since that 
time. While we cannot avoid all dam incidents, this legislation will 
help prevent dam disasters and better prepare Americans for when they 
do happen.
  The National Dam Safety Program is the foundation of prevention 
efforts nationally. The program helps states to check for deteriorating 
conditions at dams. This is important so that repairs can be made in 
order to safeguard against incidents that result in loss of life and 
property. The program also helps ensure that states have the technical 
assistance, training, and procedures needed to prevent dams from 
reaching a condition that puts communities in danger.
  I very much appreciate the involvement of experts in dam safety, 
including FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, Hawaii Department of Land 
and Natural Resources, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the 
Association of State Dam Safety Officials, in developing this 
legislation. I urge my colleagues to support his measure.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be 
printed in the Record, as follows:

                                S. 3362

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Dam Safety Act of 2012''.

     SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

       The purpose of this Act and the amendments made by this Act 
     is to reduce the risks to life and property from dam failure 
     in the United States through the reauthorization of an 
     effective national dam safety program that brings together 
     the expertise and resources of the Federal and non-Federal 
     communities in achieving national dam safety hazard 
     reduction.

     SEC. 3. ADMINISTRATOR.

       (a) In General.--The National Dam Safety Program Act (33 
     U.S.C. 467 et seq.) is amended by striking ``Director'' each 
     place it appears and inserting ``Administrator''.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 2 of the National Dam 
     Safety Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467) is amended--
       (1) by striking paragraph (3);
       (2) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as paragraphs 
     (2) and (3), respectively; and
       (3) by inserting before paragraph (2) (as redesignated by 
     paragraph (2)) the following:
       ``(1) Administrator.--The term `Administrator' means the 
     Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.''.

     SEC. 4. INSPECTION OF DAMS.

       Section 3(b)(1) of the National Dam Safety Program Act (33 
     U.S.C. 467a(b)(1)) is amended by striking ``or maintenance'' 
     and inserting ``maintenance, condition, or provisions for 
     emergency operations''.

     SEC. 5. NATIONAL DAM SAFETY PROGRAM.

       (1) Objectives.--Section 8(c) of the National Dam Safety 
     Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467f(c)) is amended by striking 
     paragraph (4) and inserting the following:
       ``(4) develop and implement a comprehensive dam safety 
     hazard education and public awareness program to assist the 
     public in preparing for, mitigating, responding to, and 
     recovering from dam incidents;''.
       (2) Board.--Section 8(f)(4) of the National Dam Safety 
     Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467f(f)(4)) is amended by inserting 
     ``, representatives from nongovernmental organizations,'' 
     after ``State agencies''.

     SEC. 6. PUBLIC AWARENESS AND OUTREACH FOR DAM SAFETY.

       The National Dam Safety Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467 et seq.) 
     is amended--
       (1) by redesignating sections 11, 12, and 13 as sections 
     12, 13, and 14, respectively; and
       (2) by inserting after section 10 (33 U.S.C. 467g-1) the 
     following:

     ``SEC. 11. PUBLIC AWARENESS AND OUTREACH FOR DAM SAFETY.

       ``The Administrator, in consultation with other Federal 
     agencies, State and local governments, dam owners, the 
     emergency management community, the private sector, 
     nongovernmental organizations and associations, institutions 
     of higher education, and any other appropriate entities shall 
     carry out a nationwide public awareness and outreach program 
     to assist the public in preparing for, mitigating, responding 
     to, and recovering from dam incidents.''.

     SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       (1) National dam safety program.--
       (A) Annual amounts.--Section 14(a)(1) of the National Dam 
     Safety Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467j(a)(1)) (as so 
     redesignated) is amended by striking ``$6,500,000'' and all 
     that follows through ``2011'' and inserting ``$9,200,000 for 
     each of fiscal years 2012 through 2016''.
       (B) Maximum amount of allocation.--Section 14(a)(2)(B) of 
     the National Dam Safety Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467j(a)(2)(B)) 
     (as so redesignated) is amended--
       (i) by striking ``The amount'' and inserting the following:
       ``(i) In general.--The amount''; and
       (ii) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(ii) Fiscal year 2013 and subsequent fiscal years.--For 
     fiscal year 2013 and each subsequent fiscal year, the amount 
     of funds allocated to a State under this paragraph may not 
     exceed the amount of funds committed by the State to 
     implement dam safety activities.''.
       (2) National dam inventory.--Section 14(b) of the National 
     Dam Safety Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467j(b)) (as so 
     redesignated) is amended by striking ``$650,000'' and all 
     that follows through ``2011'' and inserting ``$500,000 for 
     each of fiscal years 2012 through 2016''.
       (3) Public awareness.--Section 14 of the National Dam 
     Safety Program Act (33 U.S.C. 467j) (as so redesignated) is 
     amended--
       (A) by redesignating subsections (c) through (f) as 
     subsections (d) through (g), respectively; and
       (B) by inserting after subsection (b) the following:
       ``(c) Public Awareness.--There is authorized to be 
     appropriated to carry out section 11 $1,000,000 for each of 
     fiscal years 2012 through 2016.''.
       (4) Research.--Section 14(d) of the National Dam Safety 
     Program Act (as so redesignated) is amended by striking 
     ``$1,600,000'' and all that follows through ``2011'' and 
     inserting ``$1,450,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 
     2016''.
       (5) Dam safety training.--Section 14(e) of the National Dam 
     Safety Program Act (as so redesignated) is amended by 
     striking ``$550,000'' and all that follows through ``2011'' 
     and inserting ``$750,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 
     through 2016''.
       (6) Staff.--Section 14(f) of the National Dam Safety 
     Program Act (as so redesignated) is amended by striking 
     ``$700,000'' and all that follows through ``2011'' and 
     inserting ``$1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 
     2016''.

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