DR-4503-AL Public Notice 001

Notice Date


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice to the public of its intent to provide financial assistance to the State of Alabama, local and Indian tribal governments, and private nonprofit organizations under major disaster declaration FEMA-4503-DR-AL.  This notice applies to the Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA) programs implemented under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (Stafford Act). This public notice concerns activities that may affect historic properties, activities that are located in or affect wetland areas and the 100-year floodplain, and may involve critical actions within the 500-year floodplain. Such activities may adversely affect the historic property, floodplain or wetland, or may result in continuing vulnerability to flood damage.

I. Public Notice – Major Disaster Declaration FEMA-4503-DR-AL and Overview of Authorized Assistance

The President declared a major disaster for the State of Alabama on March 28, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to his authority under the Stafford Act.  This declaration has authorized FEMA to provide, through its Public Assistance Program, reimbursement or direct Federal assistance to eligible applicants for emergency protective measures (Public Assistance Category B) for all areas in the State of Alabama. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is under review and has not yet been approved for this declaration.

This declaration also authorized FEMA to provide Individual Assistance in the form of funding for the Crisis Counseling Program under Section 416 of the Stafford Act.  These actions are not anticipated to have an impact on a floodplain/wetland. This will be the only public notice concerning these actions.

The Public Assistance Program is authorized by Sections 403, 406, and 407 of the Stafford Act.  FEMA may provide financial assistance under the Public Assistance Program for the State of Alabama, local and Indian tribal governments, and private nonprofit organizations to perform emergency protective measures in response to COVID-19.  These actions may include the establishment of mobile testing sites, temporary medical facilities, temporary staging locations, and temporary sheltering for at-risk populations. This will be the only public notice concerning these actions.

II. Public Notice – Financial Assistance for Activities that Affect Historic Properties or Located in or that Affect Wetlands Areas or Floodplains
Some of the activities for which FEMA provides financial assistance under the Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs may affect historic properties, may be located in or affect wetland areas or the 100-year floodplain, and/or may involve critical actions within the 500-year floodplain.  In those cases, FEMA must comply with Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management; Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands; the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-655 (1966) (codified as amended at 16 U.S.C. § 470 et seq.) (NHPA); and the implementing regulations at 44 C.F.R. pt. 9 and 36 C.F.R. pt. 800.  The executive orders, NHPA, and/or regulations require FEMA to provide public notice for certain activities as part of approving the award of financial assistance for specific projects. 

A. Federal Actions in or Affecting Floodplains and Wetlands

Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 require that all federal actions (including federal awards of financial assistance) in or affecting floodplains or wetlands be reviewed for alternatives to avoid adverse effects and incompatible developments in those areas.  FEMA’s regulations at 44 C.F.R. pt. 9 set forth the policy, procedure, and responsibilities for implementing the Executive Orders.  As detailed in those regulations, FEMA will identify and evaluate practicable alternatives to carrying out a proposed action in the wetlands or floodplain and use social, economic, historical, environmental, legal, and safety factors when analyzing the practicability of the alternatives.  Where there is no practicable alternative, FEMA will undertake a detailed review to determine what measures can be taken to minimize potential harm to lives and risk from flooding, the potential adverse impacts the action may have on others, and the potential adverse impact the action may have on floodplain and wetland values.

FEMA has determined that there are normally no practicable alternatives outside the floodplain or wetlands for emergency protective measures for which FEMA is providing financial assistance under the Public Assistance Program.

B. Federal Actions Affecting Historic Properties

Section 106 of the NHPA requires FEMA to consider the effects of its activities (known as undertakings) on any historic property and to afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) an opportunity to comment on such projects before the expenditure of any federal funds.  An Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, or Hazard Mitigation Grant Program activity is an “undertaking” for the purposes of the NHPA, and a historic property is any property that is included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).  For historic properties that will not be adversely affected by FEMA’s undertaking, this will be the only public notice.  FEMA may provide additional public notices if a proposed FEMA undertaking would adversely affect an historic property.

III. Further Information or Comment

This will be the only public notice regarding the actions described above for which FEMA may provide financial assistance under the Individual Assistance or Public Assistance Programs.  Interested persons may obtain information about these actions or a specific project by writing to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV - 3003 Chamblee Tucker Rd – Office #255, Atlanta, GA 30341-4112 or by email at FEMA-R4EHP@fema.dhs.gov. Please include in the subject line of the email “4503-AL EHAD”. Comments should be sent in writing at the above address within 15 days of the date of this notice.


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