FEMA Provides State of West Virginia with Grants Management Training
Building a culture of preparedness and reducing the complexity of FEMA are two of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) strategic goals. One of the many ways that FEMA is fulfilling these goals is through the delivery of the Emergency Management Institute’s (EMI) certification course of the Fundamentals of Grants Management (L-705). During this course, certified instructors at FEMA are able to provide on-location training at the request of our recipient partners, such as the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM).
On June 25- 27, 2019, WVDHSEM hosted the delivery of the Fundamentals of Grants Management course at the West Virginia Police Academy’s Professional Development Center in Dunbar, West Virginia. The 3-day course provided an overview of grant regulations, FEMA’s grant management systems, and general grant management practices. The instructor team used FEMA’s federal financial assistance programs to provide examples on how to address these critical learning objectives.
The course had five (5) objectives:
- Improve collaboration across disciplines to integrate grants management functions.
- Review, navigate, and apply the applicable Uniform Administrative Requirements and Cost Principles in 2 C.F.R. Part 200, and FEMA Information Bulletins.
- Apply sound practices to increase efficiency and meet grants management priorities.
- Develop or revise policies, procedures, and practices in critical areas of grants management.
- Prepare for Federal monitoring and conduct subrecipient monitoring.
West Virginia has been one of the most heavily impacted states by major disasters receiving federal declarations in Region III. High dollar disasters require a grants management team that is trained to effectively, efficiently and equitably manage the program and the financial aspects of the award. To assist in the compliance of federal financial assistance, WVDHSEM requested this course to better improve the knowledge, skills and abilities of staff at DHSEM, their subrecipients and the West Virginia Legislative Audit team.
Since May 2019, the FEMA Integration Team (FIT) has taken residence at WVDHSEM after a formal agreement was entered by DHSEM and FEMA to provide assistance in supporting the agency and local communities. This partnership provided a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in disaster program management to support the course delivery. This inclusive engagement of the FIT member provided instant and specific responses to questions as they were asked during the course. This extra level of support aligns with one of the most important functions of the FIT - to offer training for the West Virginia state stakeholders.
Course participants provided feedback that included this statement by Susan Kuhn, Public Assistance Grants Manager for the State of West Virginia: “I thought this course was very valuable and useful and included a lot of information which allows me to better do my job.”
The training team makes the material clear, understandable, and the instruction highly interactive, with plenty of role-playing and exercise examples. James Scott Mans, Grants Specialist for the State of West Virginia, stated “The course is relevant to what I do every day and because of the knowledgeable instructors I am much more confident with the grants process.”
FEMA is committed to strengthening grants management, increasing transparency and improving data analytics. For more information about the GMTA program, please visit www.fema.gov/technical-assistance
Draft Environmental Assessments
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment
Herbert Hoover High School
The School Building Authority (SBA), in conjunction with the Kanawha County Board of Education (KCBOE), has applied through the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) to the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) grant program for funding assistance, under the Presidentially Declared Disaster FEMA-DR-4273-WV, for the reconstruction of Herbert Hoover High School. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed construction of a new high school to replace the damaged Herbert Hoover High School, outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), central West Virginia experienced intense convection storms along a stationary front on June 23, 2016. The stalled movement of the storms led many areas to receive up to 10 inches of rainfall within 24 hours, producing a 1,000-year storm event. The intense rainfall resulted in widespread flash flooding, claiming 23 lives and crippling the state with substantial damage to residences, commercial structures, and public infrastructure. Statewide, the flood event damaged more than two dozen schools in 10 counties, including four schools in the Elk River Valley of Kanawha County: Clendenin Elementary School, Elkview Middle School, Bridge Elementary School, and Herbert Hoover High School. Herbert Hoover High School was determined to be substantially damaged and, as such, was deemed eligible for replacement under the FEMA PA grant program.
Due to Herbert Hoover High School’s location within the 100-year floodplain, reconstruction of the school on the original site would not alleviate the risk of future flooding. Therefore, FEMA is funding the replacement of Herbert Hoover High School with the construction of a new school outside of the SFHA. A new school is needed to provide high school classroom education for Kanawha County in a permanent facility that is safe, accessible, and meets all applicable codes and standards. The location of the substantially damaged Herbert Hoover High School was 5856 Elk River Road, Clendenin, West Virginia. The town of Clendenin is in Kanawha County, approximately 20 miles northeast of the City of Charleston, and approximately 12 miles northeast of Elkview.
Alternatives discussed in this EA include properties both within and adjacent to the city limits of Clendenin. Under the Proposed Action Alternative, Herbert Hoover High School would be replaced with a comparable facility at a new location, with adequate educational, athletic, and extracurricular facilities. The proposed action would acquire 293.34 acres located on Frame Road/Route 43 in Elkview, of which 93 acres would be developed. Coordinates for the center of the subject property are 38.454667 latitude, -81.478564 longitude. The proposed site meets all the requirements listed under WVDE Policy 6200.
The Draft EA has been prepared in accordance with all requirements of NEPA, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Executive Order 11988 (“Floodplain Management”), Executive Order 11990 (“Protection of Wetlands”), and the implementing regulations of FEMA, for the purpose of assessing the potential impacts of the Proposed Action on the human and natural environment. The Draft EA summarizes the purpose of and need for the project, alternatives considered, the affected environment, and potential environmental consequences of the project. It is available for review and comment and can be viewed on and/or downloaded from FEMA’s website at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4273. Printed copies are also available for viewing or photocopying at the following locations:
- Kanawha County Main Library
123 Capitol St
Charleston, WV 25301
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
- Clendenin Branch Library
107 Koontz Ave
Clendenin, WV 25045
Tuesday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Wednesday 12 p.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Elk Valley Branch Library
313 The Crossings Mall
Elkview, WV 25071
Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
A public meeting on the Draft Environmental Assessment will be held September 18, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Elkview Middle School, located at 5090 Elk River Rd, Elkview, WV 25071. The meeting will provide an overview of the Draft Environmental Assessment and allow an in-person opportunity to submit public comments and ask questions.
The comment period will conclude 30 days after the initial publication of this Public Notice on August 27, 2019. Written comments on the Draft EA can be mailed or emailed to the contact listed below. If no substantive comments are received, the Draft EA and associated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will become final. Substantive comments received will be addressed as appropriate in the Final EA/FONSI.
FEMA Regional Environmental Office, Region III
615 Chestnut St, 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
FEMA works to ensure that information is accessible for all of our customers. If you are having issues obtaining any of the graphical information presented in the appendices, please contact us by email at FEMA-R3-EHP-PublicComment@fema.dhs.gov, so we may provide it in an accessible format.
Herbert Hoover Draft Environmental Assessment
FEMA's Support to Kanawha and Nicholas Counties, WV (as of April 3, 2019)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in coordination with West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM), the West Virginia School Building Authority, the Kanawha County Board of Education, the Nicholas County Board of Education, are working in partnership to complete environmental assessments for the replacement of four flood damaged schools in Kanawha County and Nicholas County, West Virginia. This statement serves to update the public on the progress that has been made since FEMA’s March 14, 2019 statement.
FEMA continues to track 30 separate and substantive actions and sub-actions across both counties’ times four different school locations for a total of 120 major efforts that change daily and incorporate responsibilities from numerous agencies at the local, state and federal level. Areas of consideration include, but are not limited to, water quality, air quality, hazardous materials, zoning, noise, wetlands, endangered species, and historic resources.
At any given moment, responsibilities and task ownership change between parties as progress is updated. Because of this dynamic process, any update is a snapshot in time as of that date. FEMA will continue to be as transparent as possible and will publish periodic updates as meaningful changes occur.
Presently, in Kanawha County, two environmental assessments are required for the replacement of Clendenin Elementary School and Herbert Hoover High School. FEMA received comments from the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) earlier in the week for both sites. FEMA is now reviewing the information provided by these agencies against project documentation, such as engineering plans, to continue analysis of impacts on both historic resources and endangered species. FEMA is in coordination with USFWS to develop minimization measures appropriate to the proposed action and anticipated impacts to endangered species. A full consultation package incorporating these measures is currently being developed by FEMA and is expected to be submitted to USFWS by April 4, 2019. In addition, SHPO has requested a cemetery inventory be complete, which was submitted on April 2. Once these steps have been completed, FEMA will work with all partners to ensure that any conditions based on the results of these surveys can be met.
In Nicholas County, two environmental assessments are required for the replacement of Summersville Middle School and Richwood Middle School and High School. FEMA received comments from USFWS earlier this week, which are being incorporated into both assessments. FEMA is in consultation with the SHPO for impacts to historic resources. Furthermore, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of Federally funded projects on historic properties prior to the expenditure of any Federal funds. The Section 106 process includes consultation with the SHPO. The Nicholas County Board of Education, through their contractor, has been consulting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to determine what, if any, impacts there are to wetlands or jurisdictional waters and what type of permits will be required to complete the construction. Once this information is received, it will be incorporated into the draft environmental assessment. In addition to these two remaining requirements, FEMA received the traffic study for the Richwood school on April 1, 2019, from the subcontractor. FEMA is awaiting the results of the traffic study for the Summersville school from Nicholas County Board of Education.
As the above required information is received, FEMA is incorporating the information into the draft environmental assessments and analyzing the cumulative impacts at each location. FEMA’s partners are aware of the current statuses for each of the schools and are continuing to support the process by reviewing and processing documents as quickly as practicable and well within the timeframes allotted in the various regulations. While the environmental assessment process is ongoing, FEMA is holding regular meetings and providing weekly updates on the status and next steps for all four environmental assessments.
Draft documents will be available to the public to provide an opportunity for involvement and input in the decision process in accordance with the law. The environmental assessment process concludes with one of two decision documents, either a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
March 14, 2019 Statement
Assistance with Cases
Please contact 304-220-2570 for assistance with RISE WV Cases.
Preliminary Damage Assessment Report
PDA report; FEMA-4273-DR