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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-609

======================================================================



 
               NATIONAL LEVEE SAFETY PROGRAM ACT OF 2006

                                _______
                                

 July 28, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4650]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4650) to direct the Secretary of 
the Army to carry out programs and activities to enhance the 
safety of levees in the United States, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Levee Safety Program Act of 
2006''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act, the following definitions apply:
          (1) Board.--The term ``Board'' means the National Levee 
        Safety Advisory Board established under section 4(d).
          (2) Committee.--The term ``Committee'' means the Interagency 
        Committee on Levee Safety established by section 4(a).
          (3) Levee.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``levee'' means an 
                embankment (including floodwalls)--
                          (i) the primary purpose of which is to 
                        provide hurricane, storm, and flood protection 
                        relating to seasonal high water and storm 
                        surges; and
                          (ii) that normally is subject to water 
                        loading for only a few days or weeks during a 
                        year.
                  (B) Inclusion.--The term ``levee'' includes 
                structures along canals that constrain water flows and 
                are subject to more frequent water loadings but that do 
                not constitute a barrier across a watercourse.
          (4) Federal entity.--The term ``Federal entity'' means a 
        Federal agency or entity that designs, finances, constructs, 
        owns, operates, maintains, or regulates the construction, 
        operation, or maintenance of a levee.
          (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Army.
          (6) State.--The term ``State'' means--
                  (A) a State;
                  (B) the District of Columbia;
                  (C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and
                  (D) any other territory or possession of the United 
                States.
          (7) State levee safety agency.--The term ``State levee safety 
        agency'' means the State agency that has regulatory authority 
        over the safety of any non-Federal levee in a State.
          (8) United states.--The term ``United States'', when used in 
        a geographical sense, means all of the States.

SEC. 3. INSPECTION AND INVENTORY OF LEVEES.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall carry out a program under which, 
as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary shall inspect levees in the United States for the purpose of 
protecting human life and property.
  (b) Levees to Be Inspected.--
          (1) In general.--In carrying out the program under subsection 
        (a), the Secretary shall inspect--
                  (A) each levee in the United States constructed by 
                the Secretary;
                  (B) each levee in the United States maintained by the 
                Secretary;
                  (C) each levee constructed by a Federal entity and 
                identified to the Secretary by the head of such entity;
                  (D) each levee constructed by a federally recognized 
                Indian tribe, located on tribal lands, and identified 
                to the Secretary by the head of such tribe; and
                  (E) each levee located in a State identified by the 
                Governor of the State in a list transmitted to the 
                Secretary.
          (2) Exceptions.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), in carrying 
        out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall not 
        be required to inspect--
                  (A) any levee that has been inspected by a State 
                levee safety agency during the 1-year period 
                immediately preceding the date of enactment of this Act 
                if the Governor of the State requests an exception; and
                  (B) any levee that the Secretary determines would not 
                pose a significant threat to human life or property in 
                case of failure.
  (c) State Participation.--On request of a State levee safety agency 
with respect to any levee subject to an inspection under this Act and 
the failure of which would affect the State, the Secretary shall--
          (1) allow an official of the State levee safety agency to 
        participate in the inspection of the levee; and
          (2) provide information to the State levee safety agency 
        relating to the location, construction, operation, or 
        maintenance of the levee.
  (d) Determination.--
          (1) Inspection requirements.--For the purpose of determining 
        whether the failure of a levee, including the release of any 
        water constrained by the levee, constitutes a danger to human 
        life or property, the Secretary shall take into consideration 
        the possibility that the levee may be in danger of failing due 
        to disparities in floodwall height or construction materials, 
        overtopping due to flooding or storm surges, seepage, 
        settlement, piping or internal erosion, cracking, earth 
        movement, earthquakes, hurricanes, the failure of bulkheads or 
        sheet walls, flashboards, gates or conduits, wetlands erosion, 
        soil erosion, hydrologic modification, or other conditions that 
        exist or may occur in any area in the vicinity of the levee.
          (2) Previously-inspected levees.--For any levee with respect 
        to which the Secretary made any determination regarding the 
        safety of the levee before the date of the inspection of the 
        levee under this section, the Secretary shall review the 
        determination, taking into consideration information most 
        recently available to the Secretary relating to the matters 
        referred to in paragraph (1).
  (e) Inspection Results.--
          (1) Notice to states.--As soon as practicable after the 
        inspection of a levee under this Act, the Secretary shall 
        notify the Governor of the State in which such levee is 
        located, the Governor of any other affected State, any affected 
        local government authority, and any affected federally 
        recognized Indian tribe of the results of the inspection.
          (2) Hazardous conditions.--If the Secretary finds a hazardous 
        condition during an inspection, the Secretary shall--
                  (A) immediately notify the Governor of the State in 
                which such levee is located, the Governor of any other 
                affected State, any affected local government 
                authority, and any affected federally recognized Indian 
                tribe; and
                  (B) provide to a Governor or entity referred to in 
                subparagraph (A), upon request, advice relating to 
                timely remedial measures necessary to mitigate or 
                obviate the hazardous condition.
  (f) National Levee Inventory.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than August 1, 2007, and every 2 
        years thereafter, the Secretary shall publish and submit to the 
        Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public 
        Works of the Senate an inventory of--
                  (A) levees subject to inspection under this Act, and 
                a characterization of the risk posed by such levees; 
                and
                  (B) levees identified by a State under section 
                5(e)(2)(H).
          (2) Considerations.--In determining the risk a levee poses 
        under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall consider the 
        condition of the levee and the potential impact on human lives 
        and property if the levee fails.
          (3) Contents.--An inventory to be submitted under paragraph 
        (1) shall include for each levee the following information:
                  (A) The location of the levee.
                  (B) The owner of the levee and any other responsible 
                party.
                  (C) The physical condition of the levee.
                  (D) The probability and consequences of a failure of 
                the levee.

SEC. 4. INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON LEVEE SAFETY.

  (a) Establishment.--There is established a committee to be known as 
the ``Interagency Committee on Levee Safety''.
  (b) Membership.--The Committee shall be composed of 5 members as 
follows:
          (1) The Secretary (or the Secretary's designee), who shall 
        serve as the chairperson of the Committee.
          (2) The Secretary of Agriculture (or the Secretary's 
        designee).
          (3) The Secretary of the Interior (or the Secretary's 
        designee).
          (4) The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
        (or the Director's designee).
          (5) The United States Commissioner of the International 
        Boundary and Water Commission (or the Commissioner's designee).
  (c) Duties.--The Committee shall support the establishment and 
maintenance of effective Federal programs, policies, and guidelines to 
enhance levee safety for the protection of human life and property 
through coordination and information exchange among and between Federal 
and non-Federal entities concerning the implementation of Federal 
guidelines relating to levee safety.
  (d) National Levee Safety Advisory Board.--
          (1) Establishment.--The Committee shall establish an advisory 
        board, to be known as the ``National Levee Safety Advisory 
        Board'', to advise the Committee on--
                  (A) the safety of levees in the United States;
                  (B) the implementation of this Act by State levee 
                safety agencies; and
                  (C) policy relating to national levee safety.
          (2) Membership.--The Board shall be composed of 14 members 
        appointed by the Secretary as follows:
                  (A) A representative of State levee safety agencies 
                for each of the 8 civil works divisions of the Corps of 
                Engineers.
                  (B) 2 representatives of the private sector who have 
                expertise in levee safety.
                  (C) 4 representatives of local and regional 
                governmental agencies with expertise in levee safety.
          (3) Duties.--
                  (A) In general.--The Board shall support the 
                activities of the Committee and the establishment and 
                maintenance of effective programs, policies, and 
                guidelines to enhance levee safety for the protection 
                of human life and property throughout the United 
                States.
                  (B) Coordination and information exchange among 
                agencies.--In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Board 
                shall assist the Committee in coordination and 
                information exchange among and between Federal entities 
                and State levee safety agencies that share common 
                problems and responsibilities relating to levee safety, 
                including planning, design, construction, operation, 
                emergency action planning, inspections, maintenance, 
                regulation or licensing, technical or financial 
                assistance, research, and data management.
          (4) Compensation of members.--A member of the Board shall 
        serve without compensation.
          (5) Travel expenses.--To the extent amounts are made 
        available in advance in appropriations Acts, the Secretary 
        shall reimburse a member of the Board for travel expenses, 
        including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized 
        for an employee of an agency under subchapter 1 of chapter 57 
        of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or 
        regular place of business of the member in performance of 
        services for the Board.
          (6) Applicability of federal advisory committee act.--The 
        Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply 
        to the Board.

SEC. 5. NATIONAL LEVEE SAFETY PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary, in consultation with the Committee 
and State levee safety agencies, shall establish and maintain a 
national levee safety program.
  (b) Purposes.--The purposes of the program under this section are--
          (1) to ensure that human life and property protected by new 
        and existing levees are safe through the development of 
        technologically, economically, socially, and environmentally 
        feasible programs and procedures for hazard reduction and 
        mitigation relating to levees;
          (2) to encourage acceptable engineering policies and 
        procedures to be used for levee site investigation, design, 
        construction, operation and maintenance, and emergency 
        preparedness;
          (3) to encourage the establishment and implementation of 
        effective levee safety programs in each State;
          (4) to develop and support public education and awareness 
        projects to increase public acceptance and support of State 
        levee safety programs;
          (5) to build public awareness of the residual risks 
        associated with living in levee protected areas;
          (6) to develop technical assistance materials for Federal and 
        State levee safety programs;
          (7) to develop methods of providing technical assistance 
        relating to levee safety to non-Federal entities; and
          (8) to develop technical assistance materials, seminars, and 
        guidelines to improve the security of levees in the United 
        States.
  (c) Strategic Plan.--In carrying out the program under this section, 
the Secretary shall--
          (1) prepare a strategic plan to achieve the purposes of the 
        program under this section; and
          (2) transmit, not later than 120 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the plan to the Committee on 
        Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public 
        Works of the Senate.
  (d) Federal Guidelines.--
          (1) In general.--In carrying out the program under this 
        section, the Secretary, in consultation with the Committee, 
        shall establish Federal guidelines relating to levee safety.
          (2) Incorporation of federal activities.--The Federal 
        guidelines under paragraph (1) shall incorporate, to the 
        maximum extent practicable, activities and practices carried 
        out by a Federal entity as of the date on which the guidelines 
        are established.
          (3) Incorporation of state and local activities.--The program 
        under this section shall incorporate, to the maximum extent 
        practicable--
                  (A) the activities and practices carried out by 
                States, local governments, and the private sector to 
                safely build, regulate, operate, and maintain levees; 
                and
                  (B) Federal activities that foster State efforts to 
                develop and implement effective programs for the safety 
                of levees.
  (e) Assistance for State Levee Safety Programs.--
          (1) In general.--To encourage the establishment and 
        maintenance of effective State programs intended to ensure 
        levee safety to protect human life and property and to improve 
        State levee safety programs, the Secretary shall provide 
        assistance, using amounts made available to carry out this Act, 
        to assist States in establishing and carrying out levee safety 
        programs.
          (2) Criteria.--To be eligible for assistance under this 
        subsection, a State shall be in the process of establishing or 
        have in effect a State levee safety program under which the 
        State levee safety agency, in accordance with State law, 
        shall--
                  (A) review and approve plans and specifications to 
                construct, enlarge, modify, remove, and abandon levees;
                  (B) perform periodic inspections during levee 
                construction to ensure compliance with approved plans 
                and specifications;
                  (C) require or perform the inspection, at least once 
                every 5 years, of all levees that would pose a 
                significant threat to human life and property in case 
                of failure to determine the continued safety of the 
                levees and a procedure for more detailed and frequent 
                safety inspections;
                  (D) require that all inspections of levees be 
                performed under the supervision of a State-registered 
                professional engineer with experience in levee design 
                and construction;
                  (E) issue notices, when appropriate, to require 
                owners of levees to perform necessary maintenance or 
                remedial work, improve security, revise operating 
                procedures, or take other actions, including breaching 
                levees when necessary;
                  (F) provide necessary funds from State sources or by 
                requiring levee owners to pay for timely repairs or 
                other changes to, or removal of, a levee in order to 
                protect human life and property;
                  (G) establish a system of emergency procedures to be 
                used by the State, or required to be used by levee 
                owners, if a levee fails or the failure of a levee is 
                imminent;
                  (H) identify and provide information to the Secretary 
                on--
                          (i) each levee the failure of which could be 
                        reasonably expected to endanger human life and 
                        property;
                          (ii) the maximum area that could be flooded 
                        if the levee failed; and
                          (iii) critical public facilities that would 
                        be affected by the flooding, including costs 
                        and consequences of the flooding; and
                  (I) issue regulations necessary to carry out the 
                program.
          (3) Budgeting requirement.--To be eligible for assistance 
        under this subsection, a State shall allocate sufficient funds 
        in its budget to carry out a State levee safety program.
          (4) Work plans.--The Secretary shall enter into an agreement 
        with each State receiving assistance under this subsection to 
        develop a work plan necessary for the State levee safety 
        program to reach a level of program performance specified in 
        the agreement.
          (5) Maintenance of effort.--Assistance may not be provided to 
        a State under this subsection for a fiscal year unless the 
        State enters into such agreement with the Secretary as the 
        Secretary requires to ensure that the State will maintain the 
        aggregate expenditures of the State from all other sources for 
        programs to ensure levee safety for the protection of human 
        life and property at or above a level equal to the average 
        annual level of such expenditures for the 2 fiscal years 
        preceding the fiscal year.
          (6) Approval of programs.--
                  (A) Submission.--To be eligible for assistance under 
                this subsection, a State shall submit to the Secretary 
                a State levee safety program and receive the 
                Secretary's approval of the program.
                  (B) Approval.--
                          (i) In general.--If the Secretary determines 
                        that a program submitted by a State under 
                        subparagraph (A) substantially meets the 
                        requirements of this subsection, the Secretary 
                        shall approve the program and immediately 
                        notify the State in writing of the approval.
                          (ii) Deemed approval.--A program submitted by 
                        a State under subparagraph (A) shall be deemed 
                        to be approved by the Secretary on the 120th 
                        day following the date of the Secretary's 
                        receipt of the program unless the Secretary 
                        before such 120th day approves or disapproves 
                        the program.
                  (C) Notification of disapproval.--If the Secretary 
                determines that a program submitted by a State under 
                subparagraph (A) does not substantially meet the 
                requirements of this subsection, the Secretary shall 
                disapprove the program, immediately notify the State in 
                writing of the disapproval, and provide the reasons for 
                the disapproval and the changes that are necessary for 
                the program to be approved.
          (7) Reviews of state levee safety programs.--
                  (A) Periodic reviews.--The Secretary shall 
                periodically review State levee safety programs.
                  (B) Revocation of program approval.--If the Secretary 
                finds that a State levee safety program has proven 
                inadequate to reasonably protect human life and 
                property, the Secretary shall revoke approval of the 
                State levee safety program, and withhold assistance 
                under this subsection, until the State levee safety 
                program again substantially meets the requirements for 
                approval.
  (f) Report.--Not later than January 1, 2007, and every 2 years 
thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate a report 
describing--
          (1) the status of the program under this section;
          (2) the progress made by Federal entities during the 2 
        preceding fiscal years in implementing Federal guidelines 
        relating to levee safety;
          (3) the progress made by State levee safety agencies 
        participating in the program; and
          (4) recommendations for legislative or other action that the 
        Secretary considers to be necessary, if any.

SEC. 6. RESEARCH PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary, in cooperation with the Committee, 
shall carry out a program of technical and archival research to develop 
and support--
          (1) improved techniques, historical experience, and equipment 
        for rapid and effective levee construction, maintenance, 
        rehabilitation, and inspection;
          (2) the development of devices for the continued monitoring 
        of levee safety;
          (3) the development and maintenance of information resources 
        systems required to manage levee safety projects; and
          (4) public policy initiatives and other improvements relating 
        to levee safety engineering, security, and management.
  (b) Participation by State Levee Safety Agencies.--In carrying out 
the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall--
          (1) solicit participation from State levee safety agencies; 
        and
          (2) periodically update State levee safety agencies, the 
        Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives, and the Committee on Environment and Public 
        Works of the Senate on the status of the program.

SEC. 7. LEVEE SAFETY TRAINING PROGRAM.

  Upon request of a State that has (or intends to develop) a State 
levee safety program, the Secretary shall establish a program under 
which the Secretary shall provide training for State levee safety 
agency staff.

SEC. 8. EFFECT OF ACT.

  Nothing in this Act--
          (1) 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; or
          (2) relieves an owner or operator of a levee of a legal duty, 
        obligation, or liability incident to the ownership or operation 
        of a levee.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out 
this Act $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2012. Such 
sums shall remain available until expended.

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    The purpose of H.R. 4650 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Army to carry out programs and activities to enhance the safety 
of levees and those living in levee-protected areas.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The 2005 hurricane season illustrated the importance of 
flood protection infrastructure and in particular the 
importance of levees. When they fail or are overwhelmed by a 
massive flood event, the consequences can be catastrophic. 
While much of the attention has been focused on the Gulf Coast, 
particularly on the hundreds of miles of levees protecting New 
Orleans, it is important to recognize that many other cities 
around the country face the same, if not greater risk, of 
flooding.
    The United States Army Corps of Engineers has constructed 
nearly 9,000 miles of the nation's estimated 15,000 miles of 
levees. On the federal level, new levee construction requires 
complex engineering and its capacity is based on a level of 
protection that is justified by an analysis of the risks, 
costs, and benefits of constructing the project. There are 
strict engineering standards required when a federal levee is 
designed and built.
    There are undoubtedly thousands of miles of other levees 
built by other federal agencies, states, towns, farmers, and 
landowners. Some of these are well-built and well-maintained 
levees. Others are not. What we know about the existence and 
condition of these other levees we often learn when one fails 
or is overwhelmed by a flood event. There has never been an 
inventory of the levees in the country that could identify 
where they are, what condition they are in, or what resources 
are at risk if one should fail or be overtopped.
    Except for the mainline levees of the lower Mississippi 
River, maintenance of the levees constructed by the Corps of 
Engineers is a non-federal responsibility. Little is known 
about the current condition of both federal and non-federal 
levees, including whether these levees were designed to meet 
current conditions, or whether they have been properly 
maintained by the non-federal interest.
    People and property behind a levee are always subject to 
some level of risk although, often those living and working 
behind levees are unaware of the risk. That risk may have to do 
with the height or the condition of the levee or the risk that 
a flood event will occur that is greater than the design of the 
levee.
    For urban areas, the federal government typically designs 
levees and flood damage reduction projects around a 1-percent 
annual probability of such an event, more commonly referred to 
as a ``100-year flood'', as the minimum standard for 
identifying, mapping, and managing flood hazards. Often in 
urban areas, a greater level of protection is warranted and 
larger levees are constructed. Levees that protect agricultural 
lands typically are designed to protect against smaller floods 
that are more likely to occur in a given year, such as a flood 
with an annual probability of 20 percent, more commonly 
referred to as a ``five year flood.''
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operates the 
National Flood Insurance Program as a way to manage flood risk 
without having to rely on federal disaster assistance. In the 
United States there is only a small private insurance market 
for flood insurance. Participating communities are required to 
adopt building codes and other types of activities that will 
reduce losses posed by a 100-year flood. However, structures 
built behind the protection of 100-year levees are not 
designated as being within the floodplain, and therefore 
occupants within these areas are not required to participate in 
the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA does require levees 
protecting flood-prone areas to be certified for structural 
soundness, proper maintenance, and provide protection against a 
100-year flood. The Army Corps of Engineers performs a majority 
of these certifications, however, this process is currently not 
designed to assess the geotechnical conditions of the levees or 
the hydrological conditions of the areas to be protected. While 
levee structures may be sound, the underlying geology or 
hydrology may impact the structure. Performing this type of 
assessment could represent a significant cost for levee owners. 
The Corps estimates that to perform these types of assessments 
for the 1,600 miles of levees in California's Central Valley 
will cost $100 million, or $60,000 per mile of levee.
    While some States have programs to regulate levees 
constructed by non-federal entities, the majority of States do 
not have such programs. Those States that have programs are in 
response to the National Flood Insurance Program or regulatory 
programs that require localities to control land use or 
implement other floodplain management measures. Under the 
National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency can exempt communities from certain 
requirements of the program if the communities can show that 
the levees protecting them are designed, constructed, located, 
and maintained according to certain criteria. The accuracy of 
maps used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to 
define flood hazard areas are currently under review, as more 
than 75 percent of them are more than 10 years old, raising 
concerns that hydrologic data has changed since the maps were 
last reviewed. A 2004 analysis by the Army Corps of Engineers 
found some locations along the Missouri River where the 100-
year flood elevation is four feet higher than what was shown on 
previous flood maps. As FEMA updates its maps through its Map 
Modernization Initiative, some communities that were once 
thought to be protected from the 100-year flood event may find 
themselves with less protection and subjected to different 
flood insurance requirements.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 of the bill specifies that the short title is the 
``National Levee Safety Program Act of 2006.''

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 of the bill defines (1) ``Board'' to mean the 
National Levee Safety Advisory Board, (2) ``Committee'' to mean 
the Interagency Committee on Levee Safety, (3) ``Levee'' tomean 
an embankment or structure that's primary purpose is to provide 
hurricane, storm, and flood protection relating to seasonal high water 
and storm surges and that is normally subject to water loading for only 
a few days or weeks during a year, including structures along canals 
that constrain water flows and are subject to more frequent water 
loadings but do not constitute a barrier across a watercourse, (4) 
``Federal Entity'' to mean a federal agency that designs, finances, 
constructs, owns, operates, maintains, or regulates the construction, 
operation, or maintenance of a levee, (5) ``Secretary'' to mean the 
Secretary of the Army, (6) ``State'' to mean a State, the District of 
Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territorial 
possession of the United States, (7) ``State Levee Safety Agency'' to 
mean a State agency that has regulatory authority over the safety of 
any non-federal levee in the State, and (8) ``United States'' to mean, 
in a geographical sense, all of the States.

Section 3. Inspection and inventory of levees

    Section 3 of the bill creates a program authorizing the 
Secretary to inspect levees constructed or maintained by the 
Corps of Engineers, each levee constructed by other Federal 
entities or Indian tribe, and any levee identified by the 
Governor of a State. Levees that do not pose a significant 
threat in case of failure would be exempt from inspection under 
this Act. State officials are permitted to accompany the 
Secretary during inspections, and the Secretary may provide 
information to the State levee safety agency relating to the 
location, construction, and maintenance of a levee.
    In determining whether the failure of a levee constitutes a 
danger to life or property, the bill requires the Secretary 
during the levee inspection to take into consideration multiple 
scenarios that could lead to a levee failure. The Secretary 
will then report to the Governors of the affected States, local 
governments, and tribes the results of these levee inspections. 
Should hazardous conditions be found during the inspection, the 
Secretary shall also provide to the Governors of the affected 
States advice relating to measures necessary to mitigate or 
obviate the hazard.
    Section 3 also requires the Secretary to submit to Congress 
by August 1, 2007, and every two years thereafter, a national 
inventory of levees inspected and a characterization of the 
risks posed by the levees. In determining the risk, the 
Secretary shall consider the condition of the levee and the 
potential impact on human lives and property if the levee 
fails. The inventory shall include the location of the levee, 
the owner of the levee, the physical condition of the levee, 
and the probability and consequences of failure of the levee. 
The Secretary is not required to conduct risk assessments of 
levees identified to the Secretary under section 5(e)(2)(H) of 
this Act.

Section 4. Interagency Committee on Levee Safety

    Section 4 establishes the five-member Interagency Committee 
on Levee Safety to establish and maintain effective programs 
and policies to enhance levee safety among Federal and non-
Federal entities. The five-member Committee shall include the 
Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of Agriculture, the 
Secretary of the Interior, the Director of the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency, and the United States Commissioner 
of the International Boundary and Water Commission.
    The Committee shall be supported by the National Levee 
Safety Advisory Board. The Board shall assist the Committee in 
coordination and information exchange between the Federal 
agencies and State levee safety agencies that share common 
challenges and responsibilities. The Board shall be comprised 
of eight representatives from State levee safety agencies 
representing each of the eight Army Corps of Engineers 
divisions, two representatives from the private sector who have 
expertise in levee safety, and four representatives of local 
and regional governmental agencies with expertise in levee 
safety. These Board members shall serve without compensation, 
but may be reimbursed for travel expenses including per diem. 
The Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to this 
section.

Section 5. National levee safety program

    Section 5 authorizes the Secretary to establish and 
maintain a national levee safety program, in consultation with 
State levee safety agencies and the Interagency Committee on 
Levee Safety. The program shall ensure that life and property 
is protected by levees that are safe through the development of 
technologically, economically, socially, and environmentally 
feasible programs and procedures for hazard reduction and 
mitigation. The program will encourage acceptable engineering 
policies and procedures to be used for levee site 
investigation, design, construction, operation and maintenance, 
and emergency preparedness. The program shall encourage the 
establishment and implementation of effective levee safety 
programs. The program shall develop and support public 
education and awareness projects to increase public acceptance 
and support of State levee safety programs. The program shall 
build public awareness of the residual risks associated with 
living in levee protected areas. The program shall develop 
technical assistance materials for federal and State levee 
safety programs. The program shall develop methods of providing 
technical assistance relating to levee safety to non-federal 
entities. The program shall develop technical assistance 
materials, seminars, and guidelines to improve the security of 
levees. The program shall incorporate the activities and 
practices carried out by States, local governments, and the 
private sector to safely build, regulate, operate, and maintain 
levees. The program shall incorporate federal activities that 
foster State efforts to develop and implement effective 
programs for the safety of levees.
    In addition, the Secretary shall prepare a strategic plan 
to achieve the purposes of the program and submit it to the 
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the 
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works within 120 
days of enactment. In carrying out the program, the Secretary, 
in consultation with the Interagency Committee on Levee Safety, 
shall establish federal guidelines relating to levee safety, 
and shall incorporate activities and practices currently being 
carried out by federal agencies.
    To encourage the establishment and maintenance of State 
programs to ensure levee safety, and to improve State levee 
safety programs, the Secretary shall provide assistance through 
amounts available by the Act, to assist States in carrying out 
levee safety programs.
    To be eligible for assistance, a State shall be in the 
process of establishing or have in effect a State levee safety 
program. The State levee safety program shall review and 
approve plans and specifications to construct, enlarge, modify, 
remove, and abandon levees. The State levee safety program 
shall perform periodic inspections during levee construction to 
ensure compliance with approved plans and specifications. The 
State levee safety program shall require or perform the 
inspection, at least once every five years, of all levees that 
pose a significant threat to human life and property in case of 
failure to determine the continued safety of the levees and a 
procedure for more detailed and frequent safety inspections. 
The State levee safety program shall require all inspections of 
levees be performed under the supervision of a State-registered 
professional engineer with experience in levee design and 
construction. The State levee safety program shall issue 
notices when appropriate to require owners of levees to perform 
necessary maintenance or remedial work, improve security, 
revise operating procedures, or take other actions, including 
breaching levees when necessary. The State levee safety program 
shall provide necessary funds from State sources or require 
levee owners to pay for timely repairs or other changes to, or 
removal of, a levee in order to protect human life or property. 
The State levee safety program shall identify and provide 
information to the Secretary for each levee the failure of 
which could be reasonably expected to endanger human life and 
property, on the maximum area that could be flooded if a levee 
failed, and critical public facilities that would be affected 
by the flooding including the costs and consequences of the 
flooding. The State levee safety program shall issue 
regulations necessary to carry out the program. Lastly, to be 
eligible for assistance, the State shall allocate sufficient 
funds in its budget to carry out a State levee safety program.
    The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with each State 
receiving assistance to develop a work plan necessary for the 
State levee safety program to reach a level of program 
performance specified in the agreement. Assistance may not be 
provided to a State for a fiscal year unless the State enters 
into such agreement with the Secretary as the Secretary 
requires to ensure the State will maintain the aggregate 
expenditures of the State from all other sources for programs 
to ensure levee safety for the protection of human life and 
property at or above a level equal to the average annual level 
of such expenditures for the two fiscal years preceding the 
fiscal year. To be eligible for assistance, a State shall 
submit to the Secretary for approval a State levee safety 
program. If the Secretary determines the program substantially 
meets the requirements, the Secretary shall approve the program 
and immediately inform the State in writing of the approval. A 
program submitted by a State shall be deemed to be approved by 
the Secretary on the 120th day of the Secretary's receipt of 
the program unless the Secretary approves or disapproves the 
program before the 120th day. If the Secretary determines the 
State program does not substantially meet the requirements, the 
Secretary shall disapprove the program, immediately notify the 
State in writing of the disapproval, and provide the reasons 
for the disapproval and the changes necessary for the program 
to be approved.
    The Secretary shall periodically review State levee safety 
programs. If the Secretary finds that a State levee safety 
program has proven inadequate to reasonably protect human life 
and property, the Secretary shall revoke approval of the State 
levee safety program, and withhold assistance under this 
subsection, until the State levee safety program again 
substantially meets the requirements for approval. Not later 
than January 1, 2007, and every two years thereafter, the 
Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate a 
report describing the status of the program, the progress made 
by Federal agencies during the two preceding fiscal years in 
implementing Federal guidelines for levee safety, the progress 
made by State levee safety agencies participating in the 
program, and recommendations for legislative or other action 
that the Secretary considers to be necessary, if any.

Section 6. Research program

    Section 6 authorizes the Secretary, in cooperation with the 
Interagency Committee on Levee Safety, to carry out a program 
of technical and archival research to develop and support 
improved techniques, historical experience, and equipment for 
rapid and effective levee construction, rehabilitation, and 
inspection, the development of devices for the continued 
monitoring of levee safety, the development and maintenance of 
information resources systems required to manage levee safety 
projects, public policy initiatives and other improvements 
relating to levee safety engineering, security, and management.
    In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall solicit 
participation from State levee safety agencies, and 
periodically update State levee safety agencies, the Committee 
on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives, and the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works of the Senate on the status of the program.

Section 7. Levee safety training program

    The Secretary shall establish a program under which the 
Secretary shall provide, upon request of a State, that has (or 
intends to develop) a State levee safety program, training for 
State levee safety agency staff.

Section 8. Effect of Act

    Section 8 stipulates 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 
or relieves an owner or operator of a levee of a legal duty, 
obligation, or liability incident to the ownership or operation 
of a levee.

Section 9. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 9 authorizes $15,000,000 in appropriations to the 
Secretary to carry out this Act for each of fiscal years 2007 
through 2012. Such sums shall remain available until expended.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure met in 
open session on June 28, 2006, and ordered H.R. 4650 favorably 
reported, with an amendment, to the House by voice vote.

                             ROLLCALL VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with ordering H.R. 
4650 reported. A motion to order H.R. 4650 reported to the 
House was agreed to by voice vote.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee references the report of the Congressional Budget 
Office included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objective of this legislation are to 
create a National Levee Safety Program, to encourage that new 
and existing levees are safe, to encourage acceptable levee 
engineering policies and procedures, to establish and implement 
State levee safety programs and standards, to support public 
education about levees, to develop technical assistance 
materials for Federal and State governments, to provide 
technical assistance to non-Federal entities, and to improve 
the security of levees.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
4650 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 13, 2006.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4650, the National 
Levee Safety Program Act of 2006.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Julie 
Middleton.
            Sincerely,
                                          Donald B. Marron,
                                                   Acting Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4650--National Levee Safety Program Act of 2006

    Summary: H.R. 4650 would authorize the appropriation of $15 
million a year over the 2007-2012 period for a levee (i.e., 
flood control embankments) safety program, including the 
inspection and inventory of levees, to be administered by the 
Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps would inspect levees that it 
constructed and maintains, as well as those financed, 
constructed, or maintained by other federal agencies and Indian 
tribes. In addition, the Corps would inspect other levees that 
are identified by state Governors as a threat to human life or 
property in case of a failure. The bill also would establish a 
National Levee Safety Advisory Board. Finally, H.R. 4650 would 
authorize a research program on levee construction and 
maintenance, and a training and assistance program for state 
levee safety officials.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that carrying out this program would cost $71 million 
over the 2007-2011 period, and an additional $19 million after 
that period. Enacting H.R. 4650 would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    H.R. 4650 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA); 
the bill would benefit state, local, or tribal governments and 
any costs they incur would result from complying with 
conditions of federal assistance.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: For this 
estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 4650 will be enacted near the 
start of fiscal year 2007 and that the authorized amounts will 
be appropriated for each year. Estimated outlays are based on 
historical spending patterns for similar programs. The 
estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 4650 is shown in the 
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.......................................       15       15       15       15       15       15
Estimated Outlays.........................................        6       18       17       15       15       15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 4650 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. Enacting this bill would benefit state, local, 
and tribal governments that implement programs to improve levee 
safety; any costs they incur from establishing and maintaining 
an approved program would be incurred voluntarily.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Julie Middleton. 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa Ramirez-
Branum. Impact on the Private Sector: Fatimot Ladipo.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 4650 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H.R. 4650 makes no changes to existing law.