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Tribal Safety of Dams Committee

The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act), codified at 25 U.S.C. 3805, requires the formation of a Tribal Safety of Dams Committee (Committee) to:

  1. Conduct a thorough study of all matters relating to the modernization of the Indian Dam Safety Act (25 U.S.C 3801 - 3804);
  2. Develop recommendations for legislation to improve the Indian Dam Safety Act; and 
  3. Submit a report containing a detailed statement of findings and conclusions to Congress no later than one year after the Committee holds the first meeting.

The BIA Safety of Dams Program invites nominations for Committee members as described below and in the Federal Register notice (a link will be posted once available).

Committee Members

The Committee is comprised of fifteen members from different BIA Regions. The Committee members are selected as described below.

The Secretary of the Interior will appoint 11 non-Federal Committee members. These individuals will have knowledge and expertise in dam safety issues, flood prevention, and mitigation. Tribal leaders are encouraged to nominate individuals who meet the qualifications outlined in the Federal Register notice. Only nominations that follow the four steps outlined in the Nominations section of the Federal Register notice will be considered.

Of the 11 non-Federal Committee members at least one shall be a member of an Indian tribe in each of the following eight BIA regions:

  • Northwest,
  • Pacific,
  • Western,
  • Navajo,
  • Southwest,
  • Rocky Mountain,
  • Great Plains, and
  • Midwest.

The Secretary also invites nominations of individuals that are members of Indian tribes in the Eastern, Eastern Oklahoma, Alaska, and Southern Plains BIA regions, as well as individuals who are not members of any Tribe.

The Secretary of the Interior will also appoint two BIA employees with knowledge and expertise in dam safety issues and food prevention and mitigation to be non-voting Committee members.

The Secretary of the Interior will appoint one Bureau of Reclamation employee with knowledge and expertise in dam safety issues and food prevention and mitigation to be a non-voting Committee member.

The Secretary of the Army will select one U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee who has knowledge and expertise in dam safety issues and food prevention and mitigation to be a voting Committee member.

Committee Schedule

The Committee is expected to meet approximately 3-8 times, for a period lasting 2-3 days each meeting. Because of the scope and complexity of the tasks at hand, Committee members must be able to invest considerable time and effort to the process. Committee members must be able to attend all Committee meetings, participate in Committee work groups, consult with their constituencies between Committee meetings, and discuss issues in good faith before the Committee. Committee members will be compensated for performing their duties and reimbursed for their travel expenses.

Committee Tasks

Once the Committee is formed, the members will perform the following tasks:

  1. Select a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from among the Committee members,
  2. Meet and hold hearings to conduct a thorough study of matters relating to modernize the Indian Dam Safety Act,
  3. Analyze and discuss the findings to determine appropriate recommendations related to modernizing the Indian Dam Safety Act, 
  4. Develop a report that details the statement of findings and recommendations for legislation, within one year from its initial meeting that will be submitted to Congress, and  
  5. Submit the completed report to the following Congressional Committees:
    • Committee on Indian Affiars of the U.S. Senate and 
    • Committee on Natural Resources of the U.S. House of Representatives.

After the report is submitted to Congress, the Committee will be dissolved in 90 days.

Frequently Asked Questions Background Documents

 

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