"Congress first authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to inventory dams in the United States with the National Dam Inspection Act (Public Law 92-367) of 1972. The NID was first published in 1975, with a few updates as resources permitted over the next ten years. The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-662) authorized the Corps to maintain and periodically publish an updated NID, with re-authorization and a dedicated funding source provided under the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-3). The Corps also began close collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state regulatory offices to obtain more accurate and complete information. The National Dam Safety and Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-310) and the Dam Safety Act of 2006 reauthorized the National Dam Safety Program and included the maintenance and update of the NID by the Corps. Most recently, the NID was reauthorized as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.
The NID consists of dams meeting at least one of the following criteria;
1) High hazard classification - loss of one human life is likely if the dam fails,
2) Significant hazard classification - possible loss of human life and likely significant property or environmental destruction,
3) Equal or exceed 25 feet in height and exceed 15 acre-feet in storage,
4) Equal or exceed 50 acre-feet storage and exceed 6 feet in height..."