Public Notice: DCNR Loyalsock State Forest Environmental Assessment
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment
DCNR Loyalsock State Forest DR-4292
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) has applied through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) grant program for funding assistance, under the Presidentially Declared Disaster FEMA-4292-DR-PA, for the reconstruction of five road sites in Sullivan and Lycoming Counties, Pennsylvania. The project proposes to use the Alternative Procedures program, Section 428, to construct the roads in a new alignment. In accordance with FEMA Directive 108-1 and FEMA Instruction 108-1-1, this Environmental Assessment (EA) is being prepared pursuant to Section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as implemented by the regulations promulgated by the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 1500-1508. The purpose of the EA is to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project, and to determine whether to prepare a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The north-central region of Pennsylvania experienced severe storms and flooding during the period of October 20-21, 2016. The intense rainfall and storms caused flooding throughout a four-county area that caused substantial damages to public infrastructure. The counties of Bradford, Centre, Lycoming, and Sullivan received a federal disaster declaration on December 2, 2016 making Public Assistance funds available within those four counties.
Five sites within close proximity were damaged in the DCNR-owned and maintained Loyalsock State Forest. These sites were previously damaged in 2011 due to flooding from Tropical Storm Lee and rebuilt in-kind. The frequency and severity of flooding in the area demonstrates the need to consider an alternative to rebuilding the sites in the same location. The proposed alternate project would relocate transportation infrastructure to reduce the potential for severe flood damages in the future. One of the sites would rebuild a damaged bridge over the new stream alignment which moved during the storm event. The other four would rebuild roads in a new alignment north of their current locations. These five sites are being evaluated together in one EA, as they are connected actions, within close proximity to one another. DCNR is proposing the alternate projects as a long-term solution to avoid future flood damages in the area.
Alternatives discussed in this EA include no action, the proposed action, and alternatives considered and eliminated from further consideration. Under the Proposed Action Alternative, the five damaged sites, one bridge and four roads, would be rebuilt in a new location to reduce the risk of future flood damages. The Proposed Action Alternative was selected by the applicant, as it reduced the flood risk for the infrastructure and minimized construction costs and impacts, compared to other possible alignments. The central coordinates (latitude/longitude) for the five sites are:
- Site 105 – Big Hollow Rd (SLD022): 41.470088, -76.739879
- Site 109 – Mill Creek Rd (SLD018): 41.484483, -76.761330
- Site 114 – Pleasant Stream Rd (SLD062): 41.494927, -76.917779
- Site 115 – Pleasant Stream Rd (SLD058): 41.494494, -76.852372
- Site 119 – Pleasant Stream Rd (SLD059): 41.494494, -76.85237
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/4292.
The comment period will conclude 30 days after the initial publication of this Public Notice on February 26, 2020. 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.
Link to Draft EA: Draft EA DCNR Loyalsock State Forest Alternate Project DR 4292
Preliminary Damage Assessment Report
PDA Report; FEMA-4292-DR