The Role Of FEMA’s Environmental And Historic Preservation Unit In A Disaster

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Release date: 
July 22, 2013
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TRENTON, N.J. -- From Liberty State Park in North Jersey to Lucy the Elephant at the Shore, the state has a wealth of historic sites along the coast that have weathered the whims of Mother Nature for many years. Some, like Lucy, are more than 100 years old.

These important historic sites require protection both before and after a disaster, when any damage that has occurred needs to be repaired in a historically and environmentally sound way.

FEMA’s Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Cadre (EHP) plays a critical role in helping municipalities and agencies understand the importance of compliance with environmental and cultural regulations so they may make informed planning decisions when repairing or rebuilding a damaged historic site.  

EHP provides expertise and technical assistance to FEMA staff, local, state and federal partners, and applicants who are tasked with the challenge of preserving historic, cultural and natural aspects of our national heritage. They help applicants understand what is required under the law and how best to meet these requirements. 

FEMA’s goal is to ensure that when FEMA funding is to be made available for the restoration of historic sites, all applicable federal, environmental and cultural statutes are identified and met.

The EHP program integrates the protection and enhancement of a state’s environmental, historic and cultural resources into FEMA’s mission, programs and activities.

Typical environmental and historic preservation laws and executive orders that may apply to an historic restoration project include the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and floodplains, wetlands and federal executive orders such as Environmental Justice. Also included are state historic preservation offices.

In a continuing partnership with local and state governments, FEMA seeks, through funding grants, to help states recover from a presidentially declared disaster and EHP is careful to advise all applicants to recognize environmental concerns in order to avoid project delays and permit denials while preserving and minimizing effects on New Jersey’s environmental and historic resources.

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.

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Last Updated: 
July 22, 2013 - 11:45
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