DR-4643-KY Final Public Notice

Notice Date

Project Title(s): FEMA- DR-4643-KY, involving utilities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives final notice to the public of its intent to reimburse various county, and local utility companies and sanitary sewer and water districts with Public Assistance (PA) federal grant funds for the proposed repair or replacement of disaster damaged linear facilities throughout the area serviced under their authority and jurisdiction. These facilities were damaged by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, and landslides that occurred during the incident period of December 31, 2021, through January 02, 2022, and subsequently declared major disaster FEMA-DR-4643-KY as signed by the President on February 27, 2022.

An amended cumulative Initial Public Notice was published and posted March 15, 2022, for DR-4643-KY. Comments and other information received were fully evaluated by FEMA along with evaluation of social, economic, environmental, and safety considerations. This serves as a cumulative Final Public Notice for FEMA’s funding action for certain utilities repairs located within the floodplain. This Final Public Notice concerns utility repair activities that substantially conform to their pre-disaster design and dimensions, allowing minor upgrades for mitigation and standard methods of repair as defined in this section. These sites and activities may be in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) or may affect floodplains or wetlands.

The proposed action scopes of work (SOWs) include: the repair or replacement of underground utilities including waterlines, wastewater lines, gas pipelines, and conduits for cable, fiber optic or other transmission lines located within or under floodways, the floodplain, designated Waters of the US (WOTUS), or designated wetlands; aboveground appurtenances of said underground utilities including, but not limited to: pump stations, lift stations, and access vaults; the post-construction removal of debris from, regrading, and reestablishment in-kind of pre-construction conditions including topographical contours, vegetation, and structures where—for the purpose of repair or replacement of underground utilities— excavated pits, staging sites, and access roadways have been employed.

Minor mitigation or standard methods of repair[1] allowable under this programmatic final public notice include: the replacement of underground utilities with lines or conduits installed using Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) also known as directional boring or trenchless boring; the mobilization, staging, and utilization of HDD installation equipment and procedures;  use of HDD where no alternative is practicable to address utility lines and conduits at water crossings, of all kinds, including designated Waters of the US (WOTUS). All other mitigation methods or standard methods of repair must be reviewed individually. This notice does not apply to projects involving polybags or other methods of repair that include the addition of uncured concrete. 

FEMA has determined that the only practicable alternative is to fund the repair of utilities already located within utilities corridors of the floodplain prior to the event. Other alternatives considered included their relocation and abandonment. These alternatives were ultimately dismissed due to the resulting adverse social and economic impacts to the local community.

Funding for the proposed projects will be conditional upon compliance with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws, regulations, floodplain standards, permit requirements, and conditions. This action complies with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements.

For the above stated actions, this will be the final public notice provided. Other activities and those involving facilities that do not meet the criteria described above are required to undergo more detailed review including study of alternative locations. Subsequent project-specific final public notice(s) regarding such projects will be published, if necessary, as more specific information becomes available.

The National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to consider the effect of their undertakings on historic properties. Actions affecting buildings, structures, districts, or objects that are greater than or equal to 45 years of age or that affect known archeological sites or undisturbed ground will require further review.

The projects occupancy within the floodplain was determined by referencing the relevant Community Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), on 08/25/2022. Projects will be in the designated counties of Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Christian, Clay, Floyd, Green, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Owsley, Pike, and Taylor. Site specific flood map information is available on request and will be included in the Record of Environmental Consideration (REC).



This will serve as the final public notice regarding the above‐described action(s) funded by the FEMA PA program. Interested persons may submit comments, questions, or requests for project-specific maps by writing to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region 4, 3003 Chamblee‐Tucker Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, or by emailing FEMA‐R4EHP@fema.dhs.gov. Comments should be sent in writing with the subject line, “FINAL PUBLIC NOTICE FEMA-4643-DR-KY, involving utilities repairs” at the above addresses within 15 days of the date of this notice.


[1] “Standard Methods of Repair” are covered in Recovery Interim Policy FP-104-009-11, Consensus-Based Codes, Specifications, and Standards for Public Assistance (Policy).  The purpose of the Policy is to define the framework and requirements for consistent and appropriate implementation of the consensus-based design, construction, and maintenance codes, specifications, and standards for Public Assistance (PA) to promote resiliency and achieve risk reduction under the authority of the Stafford Act sections 323 and 406(e) (42 U.S.C. sections 5165a and 5172) and 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 206, subpart M.  The interim policy is available at https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/DRRA1235b_Consensus_Ba…;

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