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FEMA's Public Assistance Grants Heed The Environment: Grants Grow Green

Release date: 
February 12, 2010
Release Number: 

PAGO PAGO, AMERICAN SAMOA -- On September 29, 2009 President Obama approved Governor Togiola Tulafono’s request for a major disaster declaration for the Territory of American Samoa in response to the earthquake, tsunami, and flooding that devastated much of the island on that date.

As a result of the Presidential declaration, the territory has been declared eligible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’S) Public Assistance (PA) and Hazard Mitigation Grant programs (HMGP). Because FEMA is responsible for ensuring its actions comply with all laws and regulations pertaining to Federal funding and that all PA and HMGP applicants ensure that their disaster recovery work meets the requirements of American Samoa’s environmental impact statement law, FEMA has developed a Green Book.

Given to all FEMA personnel and applicants for Public Assistance, this handbook familiarizes Federal, Territory and local officials with the environmental requirements associated with Public Assistance grants that are used to restore the infrastructure.

FEMA must demonstrate each project’s compliance with applicable statutes in the areas listed below:

  1. Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Laws
    1. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

  2. Air Quality, and Toxic Substances
    1. Clean Air Act
    2. Toxic Substances Control Act(TSCA)
    3. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

  3. Water Quality
    1. Clean Water Act
    2. Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)
    3. Executive Order 11990, Wetlands Protection
    4. Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management

  4. Plant and Animal Species
    1. Endangered Species Act
      1. [Note: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the following species for American Samoa: Endangered: Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricate), Leatherback
      2. Sea Turtle (Dermochelys Coriacea); Threatened: Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia Mydas) Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta Caretta). The following species occur in American Samoa and are listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service: Endangered: Humpback Whale (Megaptera Novaengliae), Sperm Whale (Physeter Catodan). The Sheath-tailed Bat (Emballonura Semicaudata), one of the three native land mammals, appears to be on the verge of extinction in American Samoa.
    2. Executive Order 13186, Migratory Birds
    3. Executive Order 13089, Coral Reef Protection
    4. Executive Order 13112, Invasive Species

  5. Historic Properties and Cultural Resources
    1. National Historic Preservation Act

  6. Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice

The Green Book also contains specific contact information for each Federal and Territory agency responsible for the laws, acts, Executive Orders, regulations and policies. Territory and Federal Public Assistance Officers and applicants review each project to ensure environmental compliance. According to Federal Coordinating Officer Kenneth Tingman, “FEMA is responsible for completing a Record of Environmental Consideration for all project worksheets submitted by eligible applicants for funding assistance under the Public Assistance Program. We take this responsibility very seriously, as does the Territory’s Department of Homeland Security.”

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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