View all text of Chapter 46 [§ 3301 - § 3306]

§ 3301.
In this chapter, the following definitions apply:

The term “Administrator” means the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Canal structure
In general
The term “canal structure” means an embankment, wall, or structure along a canal or manmade watercourse that—
(i) constrains water flows;
(ii) is subject to frequent water loading; and
(iii) is an integral part of a flood risk reduction system that protects the leveed area from flood waters associated with hurricanes, precipitation events, seasonal high water, and other weather-related events.

The term “canal structure” does not include a barrier across a watercourse.


The term “committee” means the Committee on Levee Safety established by section 3302(a) of this title.

Floodplain management

The term “floodplain management” means the operation of a community program of corrective and preventative measures for reducing flood damage.

Indian tribe

The term “Indian tribe” has the meaning given the term in section 5304 of title 25.

The term “inspection” means an actual inspection of a levee—
(A) to establish the global information system location of the levee;
(B) to determine the general condition of the levee; and
(C) to estimate the number of structures and population at risk and protected by the levee that would be adversely impacted if the levee fails or water levels exceed the height of the levee.
In general
The term “levee” means a manmade barrier (such as an embankment, floodwall, or other structure)—
(i) the primary purpose of which is to provide hurricane, storm, or flood protection relating to seasonal high water, storm surges, precipitation, or other weather events; and
(ii) that is normally subject to water loading for only a few days or weeks during a calendar year.
The term “levee” includes a levee system, including—
levees and canal structures that—
(I) constrain water flows;(II) are subject to more frequent water loading; and(III) do not constitute a barrier across a watercourse; and
(ii) roadway and railroad embankments, but only to the extent that the embankments are integral to the performance of a flood damage reduction system.
The term “levee” does not include—
(i) a roadway or railroad embankment that is not integral to the performance of a flood damage reduction system;
(ii) a canal constructed completely within natural ground without any manmade structure (such as an embankment or retaining wall to retain water or a case in which water is retained only by natural ground);
(iii) a canal regulated by a Federal or State agency in a manner that ensures that applicable Federal safety criteria are met;
a levee or canal structure—
(I) that is not a part of a Federal flood damage reduction system;(II) that is not recognized under the National Flood Insurance Program as providing protection from the 1-percent-annual-chance or greater flood;(III) that is not greater than 3 feet high;(IV) the population in the leveed area of which is less than 50 individuals; and(V) the leveed area of which is less than 1,000 acres; or
(v) any shoreline protection or river bank protection system (such as revetments or barrier islands).
Levee feature
The term “levee feature” means a structure that is critical to the functioning of a levee, including—
(A) an embankment section;
(B) a floodwall section;
(C) a closure structure;
(D) a pumping station;
(E) an interior drainage work; and
(F) a flood damage reduction channel.
Levee system
The term “levee system” means 1 or more levee segments, including all levee features that are interconnected and necessary to ensure protection of the associated leveed areas—
(A) that collectively provide flood damage reduction to a defined area; and
(B) the failure of 1 of which may result in the failure of the entire system.
National levee database

The term “national levee database” means the levee database established under section 3303 of this title.

Participating program

The term “participating program” means a levee safety program developed by a State, regional district, or Indian tribe that includes the minimum components necessary for recognition by the Secretary.

Regional district

The term “regional district” means a subdivision of a State government, or a subdivision of multiple State governments, that is authorized to acquire, construct, operate, and maintain projects for the purpose of flood damage reduction.


The term “rehabilitation” means the repair, replacement, reconstruction, removal of a levee, or reconfiguration of a levee system, including a setback levee, that is carried out to reduce flood risk or meet national levee safety guidelines.


The term “risk” means a measure of the probability and severity of undesirable consequences.

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.
State levee safety agency

The term “State levee safety agency” means the agency of a State that has regulatory authority over the safety of any non-Federal levee in the State.

United States

The term “United States”, when used in a geographical sense, means all of the States.

(Pub. L. 110–114, title IX, § 9002, Nov. 8, 2007, 121 Stat. 1288; Pub. L. 113–121, title III, § 3016(b), June 10, 2014, 128 Stat. 1289; Pub. L. 114–322, title I, § 1130(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1650.)