FEMA's Green Book ensures conformance with environmental and historic preservation laws

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Release date: 
April 8, 2011
Release Number: 
1952-007

Pasadena, CA -- As public agencies in Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties  begin planning  winter storm recovery projects funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) they will consider environmental and historic matters as well as contracting issues. 

To be eligible for FEMA funding, the applicant must comply with various federal, state and local environmental and historic preservation laws and executive orders before recovery work begins.  These laws and orders include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and Executive Orders 11988 (Floodplain Management), 11990 (Wetland Protection) and 12898 (Environmental Justice).

Understanding the importance of protecting the habitat of threatened and endangered species and the significance of historic buildings and places could be a part of the recovery planning process as much as understanding the project's authorized scope of work.

Projects funded by FEMA and Cal EMA to clean up damage and rebuild infrastructure following the severe winter storms, flooding, mud flows and debris flows that occurred between December 17, 2010, and January 4, 2011, will be guided by a "Green Book."

The Green Book is a FEMA guide designed for the 12 counties included in President Obama's Major Disaster Declaration. It is referenced by all FEMA and Cal EMA personnel and applicants for Public Assistance (PA) grants, and is intended to familiarize federal, state, tribal and local officials with the environmental and historic preservation requirements that may apply to their recovery work. It integrates the enhancement of the environment and protection of historic properties into the recovery process.

Just as work funded by PA grants is evaluated by FEMA project specialists for technical and financial considerations, most projects also are given a review by environmental and historic preservation specialists

The Green Book catalogs plants, reptiles, invertebrates, fish, birds, mammals and amphibians found in the 12 declared counties that are federally listed as threatened or endangered species. Among those on the list are the coastal California gnatcatcher in San Diego County, the vernal pool ferry shrimp in Madera County, steelhead in Santa Barbara County, the San Joaquin kit fox in Kings County and the ash grey paintbrush in San Bernardino County.

It also identifies properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Mariposa County Court House in Mariposa County, Brea City Hall and Park in Orange County, Riverside Municipal Auditorium and Soldier's Memorial Building in Riverside County, Felicita County Park Prehistoric Village Site in San Diego County and the Santa Barbara County Court House in Santa Barbara County. 

To help California-based applicants in their efforts to comply with federal and state environmental and historic preservation laws, Cal EMA provides technical assistance and training on the environmental and historic review process.

Copies of the Green Book can be obtained by calling the FEMA/Cal EMA news desk at (626) 431-3910.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) coordinates overall state agency preparedness for, response to and recovery from major disasters. Cal EMA also maintains the State Emergency Plan, which outlines the organizational structure for state management of the response to natural and manmade disasters.

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Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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