Disaster Public Notice: FEMA-4728-DR-IL
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice to the public of its intent to reimburse eligible applicants for eligible costs to repair and/or replace facilities damaged by severe storms and flooding during the period of June 29 to July 2, 2023. This notice applies to the Public Assistance (PA) and Hazard Mitigation Grant (HMGP) programs implemented under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207.
Under a major disaster declaration (FEMA-4728-DR-IL) signed by the President on August 15, 2023, the following county has been designated adversely affected by the disaster and eligible for Individual Assistance: Cook County. On September 15, 2023 (FEMA-4728-DR-IL) was amended to include the following counties which have been designated adversely affected by the disaster and are eligible for Public Assistance: Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Hancock, Macon, McDonough, Monroe, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Sangamon, Scott, Vermillion, Warren, and Washington. Additional counties may be designated later for Public Assistance. On October 23, 2023 (FEMA-4728-DR-IL) was amended to include the following counties which have been designated adversely affected by the disaster and are eligible for Public Assistance: Calhoun and Logan. All counties in the State of Illinois are eligible for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding.
This public notice concerns activities that may affect historic properties, activities located in or affecting wetland areas or the 100-year floodplain, and critical actions within the 500-year floodplain. Such activities may adversely affect a historic property, floodplain, or wetland, or may result in continuing vulnerability to flood damage. Subsequent public notices may be published as necessary, as more information becomes available.
FEMA may provide IA program funding for disaster-related emergency housing. These actions may adversely affect a floodplain or wetland or may result in continuing vulnerability to floods. These actions may include repair, restoration, or construction of housing or private bridges, purchase and placement of manufactured housing units, or repair of structures as minimum protective measures. This will be the only public notice concerning these actions.
FEMA also intends to provide HMGP funding to the State of Illinois to mitigate future disaster damages. These projects may include construction of new facilities, modification of existing, undamaged facilities, relocation of facilities out of floodplains, demolition of structures, or other types of projects to mitigate future disaster damages. In the course of developing project proposals, subsequent public notices will be published as necessary, as more specific information becomes available.
Presidential Executive Order 12898, Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, directs each federal agency to avoid disproportionate and high adverse human health or environmental effects to low-income and minority populations. FEMA aims to identify low income and minority communities at the onset of a declared event to gain better understanding of how response and recovery efforts, including mitigation, may impact such groups and communities. Additionally, once low income and minority communities have been identified, FEMA aims to minimize any potential adverse impacts to those communities through encouraging an alternative analysis and open public engagement, including HMGP projects.
Presidential Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 require that all federal actions in or affecting the floodplain or wetlands be reviewed for opportunities to relocate and evaluated for social, economic, historical, environmental, legal and safety considerations. Where there is no opportunity to relocate, FEMA is required to undertake a detailed review to determine what measures can be taken to minimize future damages. The public is invited to participate in the process of identifying alternatives and analyzing their impacts through this notification.
FEMA has determined that for certain types of facilities there are normally no alternatives to restoration in the floodplain/wetland. These are facilities meeting all of the following criteria: 1) FEMA’s estimate of the cost of repairs is less than 50-percent of the cost to replace the entire facility, and is less than $100,000; 2) the facility is not located in a floodway; 3) the facility has not sustained major structural damage in a previous presidentially declared flooding disaster or emergency; and 4) the facility is not critical (e.g., the facility is not a hospital, generating plant, emergency operations center, or a facility that contains dangerous materials). FEMA intends to provide assistance for the restoration of these facilities to their pre-disaster condition, except that certain measures to mitigate the effects of future flooding or other hazards may be included in the work. For example, a bridge or culvert restoration may include a larger waterway opening to decrease the risk of future washouts.
For routine activities, this will be the only public notice provided. Other activities and those involving facilities that do not meet the four criteria noted above are required to undergo more detailed review, including study of alternate locations. Subsequent public notices regarding such projects will be published, if necessary, as more specific information becomes available.
In many cases, an applicant may have started facility restoration before federal involvement. Even if the facility must undergo detailed review and analysis of alternate locations, FEMA will fund eligible restoration at the original location if the facility is functionally dependent on its floodplain location (e.g., bridges, piers, or flood control facilities), or the project facilitates an open space use, or the facility is an integral part of a larger network that is impractical or uneconomical to relocate, such as a road. In such cases, FEMA must also examine the possible effects of not restoring the facility, minimize floodplain/wetland impacts, and determine both that an overriding public need for the facility clearly outweighs the Executive Order requirements to avoid the floodplain/wetland, and that the site is the only practicable alternative. The State of Illinois and local officials will confirm to FEMA that proposed actions comply with all applicable state and local floodplain management and wetland protection requirements.
A Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) was established by Executive Order to supplement existing Federal Agency floodplain reviews as described above. At FEMA, FFRMS will apply to new construction, repair of substantial damage, and substantial improvement projects under the Public Assistance program. In addition to those three specific activities, under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, all elevation, mitigation reconstruction, and dry floodproofing must also comply with FFRMS. For all FEMA programs and project types, if a state, local, tribal, or territorial government has its own higher elevation standard, FEMA requires use of the higher standard. FEMA program policies also reference additional consensus codes and standards, such as ASCE-24-14, that incorporate additional elevation requirements beyond the base flood elevation.
The National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. Those actions or activities affecting buildings, structures, districts, or objects fifty (50) years old or older or that affect archeological sites or undisturbed ground will require further review to determine if the property is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (Register). If the property is determined to be eligible for the Register and FEMA’s undertaking will adversely affect it, FEMA will provide additional public notices. For historic properties not adversely affected by FEMA’s undertaking, this will be the only public notice.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the civil rights of persons with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by the federal government, federal contractors, and by recipients of federal financial assistance. Any recipient or sub-recipient of federal funds is required to make their programs accessible to individuals with disabilities. Its protections apply to all programs and businesses that receive any federal funds. This applies to all elements of physical/architectural, programmatic, and communication accessibility in all services and activities conducted by or funded by FEMA. FEMA intends to comply with the Rehabilitation Act in all federally conducted and assisted programs in alignment with the principals of whole community inclusion and universal accessibility.
As noted, this may be the only public notice regarding the above-described actions under the PA and HMGP programs. Interested persons may obtain information about these actions or a specific project by writing to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Regional Environmental Officer, 536 South Clark Street, Sixth Floor, Chicago, IL 60605, by calling Regional Environmental Officer Duane Castaldi at 312-408-5549, or by contacting Mr. Castaldi by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments should be sent in writing to Andrew Friend, Federal Coordinating Officer, at the above address. Comments should be made within thirty (30) days of the date of this notice.