Duplication of Programs (DOP): Title 44 CFR Part 206.434(£) directs that Section 404 funds cannot be used as a substitute or replacement to fund projects or programs that are available under other Federal authorities, except under limited circumstances in which there are extraordinary threats to lives, public health or safety or improved property. The Lake Wanahoo Dam is the keystone of the Sand Creek Watershed Environmental Restoration Project, a project authorized under the Water Resources Development Act of2000 (WRDA 2000, Public Law No. 106-541) as administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Sand creek Watershed Environmental Restoration Project is a multi-faceted project that will provide environmental restoration, flood control, and recreational benefits for the Sand Creek Watershed area in Saunders County, Nebraska. The estimated cost of the overall Federal project is $30M, and the USACE received annual appropriations to support construction. The project sponsor (Lower Platte North Natural Resources District) elected to remove the Lake Wanahoo Dam from the USACE project. As there were no extraordinary threats to lives, public health or safety or improved property, this project did not meet the basic HMGP DOP eligibility criteria.
NEPA requirements: Although USACE implemented NEPA in their decision-making process, FEMA as a Federal funding agency is wholly responsible for the content in connection with FEMA funded projects. Under NEPA, FEMA is required to perform its own analysis, issue its own independent findings, and involve the public and cannot rely on another Federal agency for NEPA analysis and finding that was completed prior. Consistent with FEMA Environmental Policy Memorandum #3 issued March 1995, as construction was initiated without fulfilling specific documentation and procedural requirements of FEMA and NEPA, the project could not be considered for FEMA funding.
Projects in Progress: FEMA-DR-1674-NE guidance requirements are outlined in the HMGP Desk Reference directing that projects in progress are not eligible for consideration under the HMGP. The project as a whole was determined in progress and therefore ineligible for funding.