Saturday, April 3, 2021

$650,000 in grant funding available for dam repairs

Floating islands going over Higley Dam, c. 1943Funding Available to Local Government and Non-Profit Owners of ‘High Hazard’ Dams for Pre-Construction Activities
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced $650,000 in grant funding is now available to assist eligible dam owners 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.

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. For more information about Grants Gateway, please visit the Grants Management website or contact the Grants Gateway Team at:

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.

Photo of Higley Dam by Niagara Mohawk. Courtesy of Potsdam Public Museum

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.


4 Responses

  1. Ed says:

    650,000 ? That won’t do much.

  2. Ed Burke says:

    I agree with the other Ed. Those grants should total in the multi-millions with the dam at Penfield Pond being addressed immediately. In 1973 when Niagara Mohawk removed the timber dam on the Hudson at Fort Edward a twenty year old friend was put in a boat to “catch” any timbers that “might” float down from the project. Of course what actually floated down was more than a million cubic yards of sediment contaminated with PCBs and heavy metals and billions have been spent trying unsuccessfully to mitigate that disaster.

    • Ed says:

      Dam repairs have to be drawn up by engineers . Those costs alone can be tens of thousands on small mill ponds.

  3. Bill Ott says:

    That divides out to $1,529.41 per dam. Now if the dams could qualify for the stimulus package, that would almost double the amount available per dam.

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