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Dam Safety Program

Monitors and regulates both private and public dams in Texas.


The Dam Safety Program monitors and regulates both private and public dams in Texas. The program periodically inspects dams that pose a high or significant hazard and makes recommendations and reports to dam owners to help them maintain safe facilities.

At the Dam Safety Workshops for Owners and Operators TCEQ staff present information on issues that affect anyone who owns or operates a dam including: state dam safety laws and regulations and enforcement, emergency action plans and maintenance issues for all areas on a dam, recommendations for correction, and results of the probable maximum precipitation study that is being completed. For information on future Workshops, please visit the Dam Safety Workshops for Owners and Operators page.

2023 Dam Safety Workshop Slides:
Session One
Session Two
Session Three

Effective September 1, 2013, dams that are located on private property, have a maximum impoundment capacity of less than 500 ac-ft, classified as low or significant hazard, located in a county with a population of less than 350,000 (as per 2020 census), and not located within the corporate limits of a municipality are exempt from safety requirements. Dam owners will still have to comply with maintenance and operation requirements. There is no exemption expiration date. You can view a map based on county population criteria at the following link: Exempt County Map

Guidance on Implementing Dam Safety Legislation September 1, 2013

In accordance with Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 299, Dams and Reservoirs, §299.61(b) , owners of significant and high hazard dams were required to submit an Emergency Action Plan, which may be a draft version, to the executive director for review by January 1, 2011. If you have any questions about the preparation and submittal of EAPs, please contact the Dam Safety Section at (512) 239-0326 for assistance.

The Guidelines for Developing Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for Dams in Texas publication was revised in December 2019. The revised publication includes updates to the notification flowchart, EAP templates, inundation map guidance, and a glossary of dam safety terms.

  • Template for an Emergency Action Plan for a Large Dam (Appendix C) ( DOC)
  • Template for an Emergency Action Plan for an Intermediate or Small Dam (Appendix D) ( DOC)

Emergency Action Plans must be delivered to either:

  • Trina Lancaster, P. E., Manager, Dam Safety Section
  • Denice McCalley, P.E, EAP Coordinator, Dam Safety Section; or
  • Gracyn Covert, E.I.T., Assistant EAP Coordinator, Dam Safety Section

at the following address:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087

Many actions/repairs at a dam require the services of a professional engineer. TCEQ Dam Safety Program maintains a document to answer the most commonly asked questions about hiring an engineer and to provide a list of engineers who have requested to be placed on a list. Engineers List

TCEQ had a statewide Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) study completed for Texas and immediately surrounding regions in New Mexico and Mexico. This study produced gridded PMP values for the project domain at a spatial resolution of .025 decimal degrees by .025 decimal degrees (approximately 2.5-square miles, on average). Variations in topography, climate, and storm types across the region were explicitly taken into account. A large set of storm data were analyzed for use in developing the PMP values, including Hurricane Harvey rainfall. As of July 1, 2017, these values replace those provided in Hydrometeorological Reports (HMRs) 51 and 55A and are required to be used for any hydrologic and hydraulic studies to be submitted to TCEQ. The Final Report and Appendices are provided in a pdf document. TCEQ has contracted with Applied Weather Associates, LLC to provide an upgraded Statewide PMP Web Application as of February 4, 2023. Access the Application and instructions

PMP Final Report (Zip PDF Files)

20344—Information Sheet: Existing Dam (PDF) (DOC)

20345—Information Sheet: Proposed New Construction, Modification, Repair, Alteration, or Removal of a Dam (PDF) (DOC)

20346—Hydrologic and Hydraulic (H&H) Evaluation Summary (PDF) (DOC)

20347—Engineer’s Notification of Completion (PDF) (DOC)

20361—Dam Inspection Form (PDF) (DOC)

20366—Reporting Suspicious Dam Incidents (PDF) (DOC)