The Unified Federal Review (UFR) Process establishes a consistent process and best practices for you, as an Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) Practitioner to conduct reviews of proposed disaster recovery projects whenever multiple federal agencies are engaged in the same disaster recovery effort. The resources available on this page will assist you in building relationships with applicants, federal agencies, tribes, and state and local agencies to unify and expedite EHP review of proposed disaster recovery projects. This page will help you to understand the UFR process and how to implement it during disaster recovery planning and disaster recovery as well as resources available to support you.
How does the UFR Process impact me?
The UFR Process coordinates federal agency EHP reviews for proposed disaster recovery projects associated with Presidentially-declared disasters under the Stafford Act. As an EHP Practitioner during disaster recovery, you must consider whether there are other funding and/or resource/regulatory agencies involved, whether the proposed project is covered by existing analyses or agreements, and how you can use the Tools and Mechanisms to expedite your EHP reviews. The Practitioner Guidance, available in the UFR Library, more fully explains the UFR Process and the role of EHP Practitioners in supporting it.
How can I implement the UFR Process during disaster recovery planning?
Actively work with applicants to identify potential consulting parties, cooperating agencies, and interested stakeholders; identify natural and cultural resources potentially affected or impacted by the proposed recovery project and work to integrate EHP considerations into the project; and design projects before applications are received. Use Kickoff Meetings to communicate relevant EHP information to applicants. See Chapter III of the Practitioner Guidance for more information.
How can I implement the UFR Process during disaster recovery?
Engage early and frequently with federal, tribal, state, and local organizations including HUD responsible entities, State Historic Preservations Officers, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and other stakeholders, such as the public and vulnerable, overburdened populations to integrate their considerations into project planning. Address resource needs for EHP reviews by identifying existing and needed staff, funds, and technical assistance; considering how to share resources among agencies; and considering how to avoid duplication of reviews.
Use the IT Resources List, Agency POC List, Data Sharing Agreement Content, and Data Standards List to gather and review EHP information. Use the UFR MOU to quickly resolve disputes with other agencies and determine agency responsibilities. Use a Disaster-Specific MOU to solidify commitments between funding and resource/regulatory agencies; coordinate with other agencies for disaster-specific purposes; and prioritize the use of federal funding for disaster recovery. See Chapters IV-VI of the Practitioner Guidance for more information.
What tools are available to support Environmental and Historic Preservation reviews for disaster recovery projects?
Use the following tool index, available at the UFR Library, to support Environmental and Historic Preservation reviews for disaster recovery projects.
Unified Federal Review Guidance for EHP Practitioners (Practitioner Guidance)
A guidance document that describes, defines and establishes a consistent UFR Process, information requirements and best practices for EHP reviews of disaster recovery projects. The guidance walks EHP practitioners through the UFR Process during a typical disaster recovery timeline and explains how to utilize and incorporate UFR mechanisms and tools during EHP reviews.
Data Sharing Agreement Content
A compilation of content areas for parties to consider when developing data sharing agreements, including, sample language from previous agreements and examples of EHP-related data sharing agreements. This should be used in coordination with the Data Standards List.
The Data Standards List is a compilation of common standards among federal agencies and is provided as an attachment to the Data Sharing Agreement Content. The Data Standards List covers natural and cultural resources, general standards for GIS data, as well as federal and state agency-specific and resource-specific standards. Data standards facilitate the development, sharing and use of data so that information can be exchanged and/or used consistently among all participants. Instructions for using the Data Standards List are found in the UFR Library.
Disaster-Specific Memorandum of Understanding
The Disaster-Specific MOU and its accompanying guidance provides a ready framework for developing disaster-specific interagency coordination during disaster recovery. This mechanism provides the parties with the flexibility needed to tailor and specify their coordination efforts to the needs of particular recovery projects.
EHP Agency Point of Contact List
A reference tool that provides EHP practitioners, as well as applicants for federal assistance, with access to federal agency and state agency contact information to support the EHP reviews for proposed disaster recovery projects. Instructions for using the Point of Contact List are found in the UFR Library.
EHP Disaster Recovery Skills Checklist
A checklist to assist the coordinating agency of the NCR RSF in identifying appropriate staff to deploy in support of the NCR RSF under the NDRF.
EHP UFR Disaster Recovery Training (coming soon)
Training for agency staff deploying under the NCR RSF that will provide information on the UFR Process and associated EHP requirements encountered during disaster recovery.
EHP Guidance for Federal Disaster Recovery Assistance Applicants (Applicant Guidance)
An information tool available to applicants for federal disaster relief providing an overview of the UFR Process and information on EHP review requirements.
Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) (coming soon)
The FFRMS provides a minimum level of risk reduction against flood hazards, relying upon the best available, actionable science and is consistent across federal agencies for their compliance with Executive Order 11988.
Frequently Asked Questions
A compilation of Frequently Asked Questions regarding implementation of the Unified Federal Review, as well as background information regarding development of the process
Interagency Meeting Checklist
The Interagency Meeting Checklist identifies information that agencies must consider and share to promote understanding of agency resources (funding, staff and data) already being allocated, promote interagency communication and assist in developing a Disaster-Specific MOU. The Interagency Meeting Checklist contains questions for you to consider before and during an interagency meeting. You should print out the Interagency Meeting Checklist and use it to foster discussion of the utility of a Disaster-Specific MOU for your disaster recovery efforts.
IT Resources List
A matrix of existing IT resources (e.g., databases, decision support systems, websites, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping tools and authoritative data set sources) that are useful in obtaining the various kinds of information needed to perform an EHP review of proposed disaster recovery projects. Instructions for using the IT Resources List are found in the UFR Library.
MOU Establishing the Unified Federal EHP Review Process
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS); the Department of Transportation (DOT); the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Department of the Army (Civil Works); the Department of the Interior (DOI); the Department of Commerce (DOC); the Department of Agriculture (USDA); the Department of Energy (DOE); the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (collectively, the “Parties,”) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the Unified Federal Review (UFR) process for environmental and historic preservation reviews associated with Disaster Recovery Projects. The establishment of the UFR process was called for by the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113–2, div. B, §1106, Jan. 29, 2013, 127 Stat. 45).
Practitioner Briefing Package
A document providing a brief overview of the UFR Process; its origins, implementation, and benefits; and practitioner responsibilities throughout the disaster recovery process. A similar package is also available for leadership roles.
Prototype Programmatic Agreement for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
The FEMA PPA establishes a national model for FEMA to negotiate Section 106 state-specific programmatic agreements with State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and/or tribe(s), as appropriate, without further involvement from the ACHP. Other federal agencies and HUD responsible entities may adopt and use the expedited process in the FEMA PA without having to negotiate a separate PA.
Roles and Responsibilities Fact Sheets
Fact sheets have been developed for various stakeholder groups describing their unique roles and responsibilities with respect to Unified Federal Review.
Applicants: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to applicants for federal disaster recovery assistance projects.
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance: A fact sheet describing the roles and responsibilities of FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance with the Unified Federal Review.
Local Jurisdictions: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to local jurisdictions.
Practitioners: A fact sheet describing the roles and responsibilities of Environmental and Historic Preservation Practitioners with the Unified Federal Review.
Public Assistance: A fact sheet describing the roles and responsibilities of FEMA’s Public Assistance program with the Unified Federal Review.
State Historic Preservation Officers: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to State Historic Preservation Officers.
State Emergency Managers: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to State Emergency Managers.
State Governors: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to State Governors.
Tribal Emergency Mangers: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to Tribal Emergency Managers.
Tribal Historic Preservation Officers: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.
Native Hawaiian Organizations: A fact sheet describing the Unified Federal Review process to Native Hawaiian Organizations.
Template Environmental Checklist for FEMA and HUD
This template and its accompanying instructions is designed for use by FEMA and HUD responsible entities when jointly funding multiple similar projects (e.g. the large scale rebuilding or elevation of single family following a major hurricane). This guidance provides a blueprint for the agencies to conduct and adopt a large number of EHP reviews for similar types of projects
Training for Recovery Leadership (coming soon)
An executive level training that provides the Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator (FDRC), Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO), Recovery Office Directors and other Recovery Leadership with information on the UFR Process. The training will cover the UFR Process and its relationship to the NDRF, roles and responsibilities, UFR Tools and Mechanisms that can support the EHP review and management of staff to successfullyimplement the UFR Process.