Public Notice: Executive Orders 11988: Floodplain Management and 11990: Protection of Wetlands

Notice Date

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 Hurricane Harvey beginning August 23, 2017, and ending September 15, 2017. FEMA also intends to provide funds to eligible applicants to implement mitigation measures to reduce future risk to life and property as a result of natural disasters.  This notice applies to the Public Assistance (PA) program and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) implemented under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (Stafford Act).

On August 25, 2017, President Trump declared a major disaster in Texas (FEMA-DR-4332-TX) due to damages and severe flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Strong winds, extensive flooding and debris damaged thousands of structures and buildings. This authorizes FEMA to provide federal assistance through its PA Program in the declared Texas counties impacted by the hurricane and through HMGP statewide. 

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. 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. All practicable alternative actions including elevating structures, flood proofing, demolition, relocations, and buyouts etc., were considered for this specific disaster.  The State of Texas and local officials will confirm to FEMA that proposed actions comply with all applicable state and local floodplain management and wetland protection requirements. These actions 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.

 Under the PA Program, this final notice only concerns repairing and/or replacing public buildings (schools, hospitals, fire stations, law enforcement offices, utility offices or structures, libraries, community centers, public and private non-profits, etc.), roads, utilities, drainage canals, and parks projects that would be located in the wetland, the 100-year floodplain (areas that have been determined to have a one percent probability of flooding in any given year), and critical actions within the 500-year floodplain (areas subject to inundation from a flood having a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any given year)in the counties of Aransas, Austin, Bexar, Brazoria, Burleson,  Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, Dallas, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson,  Jim Wells, Lavaca, Liberty,  Madison, Matagorda, Milam,  Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, an Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio,  Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller,  Washington, and Wharton. For HMGP, this final notice covers statewide initiative projects (such as warning sirens); generators; elevation and reconstruction of existing buildings; flood proofing and retrofits of existing facilities; and certain localized flood risk reduction projects including installation or modification of culverts and other storm water management facilities in developed areas; and modification of existing floodwalls, dams, and weirs that would be located within the floodplain and/or wetland. Because portions of the above mentioned counties are in the floodplain, relocation or replacement of buildings will be performed in compliance with Base Flood Elevations, and/or other local codes and standards. Repairs may also utilize mitigation measures, where feasible, to reduce impacts to the floodplain and wetland.

In accordance with 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 9.6 and 9.8, the Early Public Notice was published on September 27, 2017. Interested persons may obtain information about these actions or a specific project by writing to Adam Borden, Environmental Liaison Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Texas Recovery Office, 11000 N. IH 35 Austin, TX 78753 or by emailing Comments should be sent in writing within 15 days of the date of this notice. Below is a map of the Declared Counties.

A black and white map of the Texas Gulf Coast with black outlines of the counties - some are shaded in purple, gold, and yellow. Above the map reads: FEMA-4332-DR-TX-Hurricane Harvey Incident Map (amendment 10) On the right side of the map is a legend: blue outlines indicate branch binaries, purple with black slashes indicates IA & PA Cat: A-G, solid pPA Cat: A-Gurple indicates IA & PA Cat:A-B, Gold indicates PA Cat:B, yellow indicates PA Cat:A-G

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