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Planning Guidance: Dam and/or Levee Safety

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Engineer Circulars (ECs)

  • Engineer Circular 1110-2-6074: Guidance for Emergency Action Plans, Incident Management and Reporting, and Inundation Maps for Dams and Levee Systems (2018)
    The purpose of this circular is to expand and tailor current federal guidelines for dam emergency action planning and other available resources for implementation within the USACE Dam and Levee Safety Programs. Because there are no federal guidelines for emergency action planning for levee systems, USACE has chosen to apply the same approaches for dam emergency action planning to levee systems. This document establishes the requirements for consistent application of certain key Emergency Action Plan (EAP) features for USACE operated/maintained dams or levee systems. This document also serves as an advisory document for use by other project owners/operators and provides policy for the use and dissemination of inundation map data.

    Engineering and Construction Bulletins

  • Engineering and Construction Bulletin 2017-15: Managed Overtopping of Levee Systems (2017)
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will use this directive and guidance for commands responsible for planning, design, construction, and operation and maintenance of civil works projects. The procedures are general in nature and can be applied to any phase of study, as directed by Engineer Regulation (ER) 1110-2-1150. The level of detail in the overtopping analysis will depend on the study phase. This document is applicable for all USACE riverine levee and floodwall systems. This Engineering and Construction Bulletin (ECB) provides an interim update to expired technical guidance Engineer Technical Letter (ETL) 1110-2-299 and provides a methodology for configuring the engineered capacity exceedance related to flood overtopping at a specific location or locations along the levee system. This guidance does not address overtopping of the entire system on those occasions when the overall system capacity is exceeded. This ECB has expired and was updated by ECB 2019-8.
  • Engineering and Construction Bulletin 2019-13: Methods For Storage/Yield Analysis (2019)
    This Engineering and Construction Bulletin (ECB) outlines concepts, goals and provides interim guidance for the engineering and construction components associated with planning studies under the Director's Policy Memorandum CW 2018-05 issued in May 2018, Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery (Planning Phase and Planning Activities). A maxim of execution is that expedience is not to be prioritized over sound engineering judgment. The concepts in this ECB can also be applied, as appropriate, to other risk-informed efforts.

    Engineer Pamphlets (EPs)

  • Engineer Pamphlet 1110-2-12: Engineering and Design - Seismic Design Provisions for Roller Compacted Concrete Dams (1995)
    Engineer Pamphlet provides preliminary guidance and direction for the earthquake-resistant design of new roller compacted concrete (RCC) dams, and for the evaluation of safety and serviceability of existing RCC dams subjected to earthquake loading.
  • Engineer Pamphlet 1110-2-13: Engineering and Design - Dam Safety Preparedness (1996)
    Engineer Pamphlet provides general guidance and information concerning dam safety preparations for USACE.
  • Engineer Pamphlet 1130-2-500 Appendix F: Example of Combining Risks and Consequences: (1996)
    Engineer Pamphlet evaluates procedures for major rehabilitation where risk-based benefit-cost analysis is used.
  • Engineer Pamphlet 1130-2-500, Appendix C: Conceptual Approach for Analyzing Rehabilitation (1996)
    This guidance provides a conceptual approach for analyzing rehabilitation. It requires risk-based benefit-cost analysis and criteria.
  • Engineer Pamphlet 1130-2-500, Appendix E: Benefits Evaluation Procedures (1996)
    This appendix outlines basic procedures that can be used to evaluate rehabilitation for navigation and hydropower project purposes.
  • EP 1105-2-57: Planning Stakeholder Engagement, Collaboration and Coordination (formerly Appendix B of the PGN) (2019)
    This pamphlet explains the benefits of, and requirements for, stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and coordination in Civil Works planning studies. These activities are critical to study success because they may foster trust and credibility between USACE and the communities we serve; increase collective understanding of problems; reduce controversy and litigation risks; and improve the quality and execution of our decisions. Note: This EP replaces the existing Appendix B of the Planning Guidance Notebook.

    Engineer Regulations (ERs)

  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-26: Water Resources Policies and Authorities, Implementation of Executive Order 11988 on Flood Plain Management. (1984)
    This regulation sets guidance for USACE implementation of Order 11988, Floodplain Management, as it pertains to civil works projects in design and construction.
  • Engineer Regulation 1130-2-530: Project Operation - Flood Control Operations and Maintenance Policies (1996)
    This regulation establishes the policy for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of USACE flood control and related structures at civil works water resource projects and of USACE-built flood protection projects operated and maintained by non-federal sponsors.
  • Engineer Regulation 1110-2-1155: Dam Safety Assurance Program (1997)
    This regulation provides guidance and procedures for the investigation and justifications of modifications for dam safety assurance.
  • Engineer Regulation 10-1-51: Roles and Responsibilities - Dam Safety Modification Mandatory Center of Expertise (2012)
    This regulation establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Dam Safety Modification Mandatory Center of Expertise (DSMMCX) located within the Huntington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
  • Engineer Regulation 10-1-55: Organization and Functions - Roles and Responsibilities Risk Management Center (2013)
    This regulation establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Risk Management Center (RMC) located within the Institute for Water Resources, USACE.
  • Engineer Regulation 1110-2-1156: Safety of Dams - Policy and Procedures (2014)
    This regulation prescribes the guiding principles, policy, organization, responsibilities, and procedures for implementation of risk-informed dam safety program activities and a dam safety portfolio risk management process within the United States Army, Corps of Engineers (USACE).

    Institute for Water Resources

  • Socioeconomic Considerations in Dam Safety Risk Analysis (1987)
    The analytical review and summary critique of literature related to risk analysis was conducted for the purpose of highlighting those ideas, concepts and methods that have a bearing on conventional approaches to evaluating uncertainties of natural and technological hazards and the risks imposed by alternative solutions. The critique of the philosophical and analytical bases of risk analysis was further directed toward the specific problem of dam safety risk analysis. Dam safety is unique in that it represents an extreme situation characteristic of a low probability/high consequence event. Conventional rules of economic analysis are difficult to extrapolate and extend to such events. This analytical review was conducted as part of the Corps' Risk Analysis Research Program, managed by the Institute for Water Resources, of which the dam safety risk analysis research effort is but one part of the broader range of applications of risk analysis to Corps problems.
  • Multi-objective Risk Partitioning: An Application to Dam Safety Risk Analysis (1988)
  • Estimating Life Loss for Dam Safety Risk Assessment--A Review and New Approach (2002)

    Guidance Memos

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Joint Actions on Planning for Flood risk Management Projects (2012)
    This memorandum addresses the requirement to perform mitigation when proposed USACE flood-risk reduction projects increase the Base (1-percent-annual-chance) Flood Elevation (BFE). National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations (44 C.F.R. 65.12) require revisions to flood insurance rate maps to reflect BFE and/or floodway changes caused by encroachments permitted by an NFIP participating community.
  • Director's Policy Memorandum Civil Works Program 2018-05: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery (Planning Phase and Planning Activities) (2018)
    This Memorandum covers the actions that must be taken within the planning phase of the USACE Civil Works project delivery process in order to embrace and operationalize risk informed decision making. The Memorandum includes delegations for Feasibility Milestone decision making, as well as delegation of Policy Review.

    Memorandums of Agreement and Understanding

  • Memorandum of Agreement between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of the Army regarding the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Corps of Engineers Flood Damage Reduction Projects (2000)
    This Memorandum of Agreement between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of the Army underscores the policy of both agencies to facilitate the use of non-structural approaches to reducing flood damages where practicable, and that the construction of levees on Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) lands is incompatible with open space uses and, therefore, will not be recommended for implementation. The restriction on levee construction generally does not apply to structures designed specifically for ecosystem preservation, restoration, or enhancement. Structures for these purposes are deemed consistent with the open space uses requirement of the HMGP.

    Planning Bulletins

  • Planning Bulletin 2019-03: Further Clarification of Existing Policy for USACE Participation in Nonstructural Flood Risk Management and Coastal Storm Risk Management Measures (2019)
    The purpose of this planning bulletin is to provide further clarification on policy with respect to evaluation of nonstructural measures. This bulletin supplements Planning Bulletin 2016-01, Clarification of Existing Policy for USACE Participation in Nonstructural Flood Risk Management and Coastal Storm Risk, which is still in effect.
  • Planning Bulletin 2019-04: Incorporating Life Safety into Flood and Coastal Storm Risk Management Studies (2019)
    This Planning Bulletin provides information on the use of life safety in the planning process. Risks to human life are a fundamental component of all facets of flood and coastal storm risk management and must receive explicit consideration throughout the planning process. The bulletin augments, but does not supersede, the procedures in Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100, Planning Guidance Notebook and Engineer Regulation 1105-2-101, Risk Assessment for Flood Risk Management Studies. This document applies to all flood and coastal storm risk management feasibility studies, including those conducted under the Continuing Authorities Program and studies conducted by non-federal interests under Section 203 of WRDA 1986, as amended. Note: the POC for the Dam and Levee Senior Oversight Groups is Brad Arcement, MVK.