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Public Notice: Major Disaster Declaration FEMA-4367-DR-ME

Release date: 
June 12, 2018
Release Number: 
MA-001

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is giving public notice of its intent to provide financial assistance to the State of Maine, local and tribal governments, and private nonprofit organizations under major disaster declaration FEMA-4367-DR-ME. FEMA is also giving public notice that, in some cases, it may provide financial assistance for activities that may affect historic properties, may be located in or affect wetland areas or the 100-year floodplain, and/or may involve critical actions within the 500-year floodplain.

I. Public Notice – Major Disaster Declaration FEMA-4367-DR-ME and Overview of Authorized Assistance

The President declared a major disaster for the State of Maine on May 30, 2018, as a result of a severe storm and flooding ("incident") that occurred from March 2-8, 2018, pursuant to his authority under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Pub. L. No. 93-288 (1974) (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq.) ("Stafford Act"). This declaration, numbered FEMA-4367-DR-ME, authorized the Public Assistance Grant Program for York County and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program statewide. Public Assistance may also be authorized for additional counties at a later date.

The Public Assistance Grant Program is authorized by Sections 403, 406, and 407 of the Stafford Act. FEMA may provide financial assistance under the Public Assistance Program for the State of Maine, local governments, and private nonprofit organizations to perform debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of facilities damaged or destroyed by the incident. In the case of permanent restoration of damaged or destroyed facilities, FEMA may provide financial assistance for the restoration for facilities to their pre-disaster condition, in conformity with applicable codes and standards, and including hazard mitigation measures to reduce the effects of future flooding or other hazards. A "facility" is any publicly or privately owned building, works, system, or equipment, built or manufactured, or an improved and maintained natural feature. Land used for agricultural purposes is not a facility.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is authorized by Section 404 of the Stafford Act. Under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, FEMA may provide financial assistance for the State of Maine, local governments, and private nonprofit organizations to take mitigation measures to reduce the risk of life and property from future disasters during the recovery from the major disaster.

II. Public Notice – Financial Assistance for Activities Located in or that Affect Wetlands Areas or Floodplains or that Affect Historic Properties

Some of the activities for which FEMA provides financial assistance under the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs may affect historic properties, may be located in or affect wetland areas or the 100-year floodplain, and/or may involve critical actions within the 500-year floodplain. In those cases, FEMA must comply with Executive Order 11988, Floodplain and the implementing regulations at 44 C.F.R. pt. 9 (Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands) and 36 C.F.R. pt. 800 (Protection of Historic Properties). The executive orders, NHPA, and/or regulations require FEMA to provide public notice for certain activities as part of approving the award of financial assistance for specific Public Assistance and/or Hazard Mitigation Grant Program projects.

Management; Executive Order 11990, Protection ofWetlands; the National Historic PreservationActof1966, Pub. L. No. 89-655 (1966) (codified as amended at 54 U.S.C. § 300101et seq.) ("NHPA"); and the implementing regulationsat 44 C.F.R. pt. 9 (Floodplain Management and Protection ofWetlands) and 36 C.F.R. pt. 800(Protection of Historic Properties). Theexecutive orders, NHPA, and/or regulations requireFEMAto provide public notice for certain activities aspart of approving theaward of financial assistancefor specific Public Assistance and/orHazardMitigation Grant Program projects.

A. Federal Actions in or Affecting Floodplains and Wetlands

Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 require that all federal actions (including federal awards offinancial assistance) in or affecting the floodplain or wetlandsbe reviewedfor alternatives toavoid adverse effects and incompatible developments in those areas. Theregulations at 44

C.F.R. pt. 9 set forth theFEMApolicy, procedure, and responsibilities for implementing theExecutive Orders.Certain actions are totally excluded from being covered by 44 C.F.R. pt. 9, such as emergency protective measures necessary to save lives and protect property and publichealth.

For those actions not excluded from 44 C.F.R. pt. 9, FEMA will identify and evaluate practicablealternatives to carrying out a proposed action in the wetlands orfloodplain and usesocial,economic, historical, environmental, legal, and safetyfactors when analyzing the practicabilityof the alternatives.Where there is no practicable alternative, FEMAwill undertake a detailedreviewto determine what measures can be taken to minimize potential harm to lives and risk from flooding, the potential adverse impacts the action may have on others, and the potentialadverse impact the action may have on floodplain and wetland values. Thepublic is invited to participate in the processof identifyingalternatives and analyzing their impacts.

FEMA has determinedthat there are normallyno practicable alternatives outside the floodplain or wetlands forrepairs to certain damaged facilities and structures for which FEMA is providingfinancial assistance under the Public Assistance Grant Program. These includePublic Assistance projects for therestoration of building contents, materials, and equipmentandalso projects for the restoration offacilitiesor structuresthat meet all of the following:

1.The FEMAestimated cost of repairs is less than 50% of the estimatedreplacementcostof the entire facilityor structureandis less than $100,000.

2.The facilityorstructureis notlocated in a floodway or coastal high hazard area.

3.The facilityor structurehas notsustained structural damagefrom floodingin a previousStafford Actmajor disaster or emergency.

4.The facilityor structurehas not sustained structural damageon which a flood insuranceclaim has been paid.

5.The restoration of thefacilityor structureis not acritical action. Acritical action meansan action forwhich even a slight chance of flooding is too great.

For these types of Public Assistance projects, FEMA may provide financial assistance under the Public Assistance Grant Program to restore the facility to its pre-disaster condition, in conformity with applicable codes and standards, and including hazard mitigation measures to reduce the effects of future flooding or other hazards. Code or standard-triggered upgrades and/or hazard mitigation measures could include, for example, increasing the size of a culvert. This is the only public notice that FEMA will provide before providing financial assistance for such restoration activities. Other Public Assistance projects will undergo more detailed review, including an evaluation of practicable alternatives, and FEMA may publish subsequent public notices regarding such projects as necessary as more information becomes available.

FEMA also intends to provide Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding to the State of Maine for the State, local, and tribal governments and private nonprofit organizations to perform various mitigation projects. These projects 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 damage. FEMA will publish subsequent public notices regarding such projects as necessary as more information becomes available.

B. Federal Actions Affecting Historic Properties

Section 106 of the NHPA requires FEMA to consider the effects of its activities (known as "undertakings") on any historic property and to afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on such projects before the expenditure of any federal funds. A Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program project is an "undertaking" for the purposes of the NHPA, and a historic property is any property that is included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places. For historic properties that will not be adversely affected by FEMA’s undertaking, this will be the only public notice. FEMA may, on the other hand, provide additional public notices if a proposed FEMA undertaking would adversely affect a historic property.

III. Further Information or Comment

This will be the only public notice regarding the actions described above for which FEMA may provide financial assistance under the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs. Interested persons may obtain information about these actions or a specific project by writing to the following:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Attn: Federal Coordinating Officer, FEMA-4367-DR-ME

1750 Elm Street, 10th Floor – Suite 1001

Manchester, NH 03104

All comments concerning this public notice must be submitted in writing to FEMA within 15 days of its publication.

Last Updated: 
June 14, 2018 - 12:28