The Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) program integrates the protection and enhancement of environmental, historic, and cultural resources into FEMA's mission, programs and activities; ensures that FEMA's activities and programs related to disaster response and recovery, hazard mitigation, and emergency preparedness comply with federal environmental and historic preservation laws and executive orders; and provides environmental and historic preservation technical assistance to FEMA staff, local, State and Federal partners, and grantees and subgrantees.
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Environmental planning and historic preservation (EHP) helps communities better prepare for and reduce the impact of disasters on valuable natural and cultural resources.
The integrity of our natural and historic landscape is important to us all, and steps taken to strengthen or rebuild communities can have long-term environmental and cultural impacts. To ensure proper stewardship of historic properties and the environment, there are more than 30 Federal regulations, directives, and legal mandates-in addition to a number of State laws and codes-in place to protect these resources. FEMA’s EHP experts provide specialized guidance and practical long-term planning assistance to communities across the county to ensure that proposed projects align with environmental planning and preservation requirements.
It is FEMA's policy to act with care to ensure that its disaster response and recovery, mitigation and preparedness responsibilities are carried out in a manner that is consistent with all Federal environmental and historic preservation policies and laws. FEMA uses all practical means and measures to protect, restore and enhance the quality of the environment, to avoid or minimize adverse impacts to the environment, and to attain the objectives of:
- Achieving use of the environment without degradation or undesirable and unintended consequences;
- Preserving historic, cultural and natural aspects of national heritage and maintaining, wherever possible, an environment that supports diversity and variety of individual choice;
- Achieving a balance between resource use and development within the sustained carrying capacity of the ecosystem involved; and
- Enhancing the quality of renewable resources and working toward the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.