Recommendations for a National Levee Safety Program ...From the National Committee on Levee Safety

Frequently Asked Questions

The Context: Current State of Levees and Public Safety

  1. What problem is the National Committee on Levee Safety trying to address?
  2. If I don't live in New Orleans, should levee safety concern me?
  3. If levees pose such a risk to public safety, why hasn't something been done before?
  4. How can I keep my family and my home safe?

The National Committee on Levee Safety

  1. What is the National Committee on Levee Safety? Who is on the NCLS?
  2. What is the status of the NCLS's report and recommendations?
  3. How does the Report reflect the feedback the NCLS received? How did the NCLS involve stakeholders in developing their recommendations?
  4. What is the NCLS doing now?
  5. Levee safety is important; how can I help establish a National Levee Safety Program?

The Recommended Elements of a National Levee Safety Program

  1. What did the NCLS recommend in its Report to Congress?
  2. What are the benefits of a National Levee Safety Program? How much will a National Levee Safety Program cost?
  3. Why did the NCLS recommend a new bureaucracy/agency? Why not house the National Levee Safety Program in either USACE or FEMA?
  4. Why did the NCLS recommend including canals in the National Levee Safety Program?
  5. Why is an inventory of all the nation's levees needed?
  6. Aren't there standards for levee construction or maintenance?
  7. How is the NCLS addressing concerns about environmental protection and permitting?
  8. Why is the NCLS concerned about liability?
  9. Why are state programs recommended as part of the federal National Levee Safety Program?
  10. Why did the NCLS recommend risk-based flood insurance in leveed areas?
  11. Why did the NCLS not go further into more floodplain management recommendations?

Relationship to Other Federal Efforts

  1. Doesn't USACE already have a Levee Safety Program?
  2. What is the difference between the levee inventory USACE is conducting under WRDA 2007 and the NCLS recommendation for a levee inventory?
  3. If I live behind a levee accredited in the National Flood Insurance Program, I'm not at risk of flooding. Right?
  4. How do the recommendations of the National Levee Safety Commission relate to the updating of the Principles and Guidelines?

Levees, Levee Safety, and Risk

  1. My levee looks good and is regularly maintained. Why do you think I am at risk?


Photo of Lupines on the levee.
Lupines on a Sacramento River levee in Sacramento, California.

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Test Your Levee IQ

What percentage of the approximately 15,000 miles of levees in US Army Corps of Engineers Levee Safety Program are operated and maintained by local sponsors?

  1. 10%
  2. 25%
  3. 65%
  4. 85%

Answers to this, and past, questions.