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Environmental & Historic Preservation Guidance for FEMA Grant Applications

As a federal agency, DHS/FEMA is required to consider the effects of its actions on the environment and historic properties to ensure that all activities and programs funded by DHS/FEMA, including grant-funded projects, comply with Federal EHP regulations, laws, and Executive Orders, as applicable. The EHP review process must be completed before funds are released to carry out the proposed project; otherwise, DHS/FEMA may not be able to fund the project.

Recipients and subrecipients proposing projects that could impact the environment, including, but not limited to, the construction of communication towers, modification or renovation of existing buildings, structures, and facilities, or new construction including replacement of facilities, must participate in the DHS/FEMA EHP review process.

This broad EHP review considers a wide variety of natural and cultural resources including floodplains, wetlands, archeological sites, historic structures, protected coastal areas, endangered and threatened species, critical wildlife habitats, soils, clean air and water and children, minority and low-income populations.

Planning Ahead for Compliance

Compliance with EHP-related laws can have time and cost implications to projects. During the project scoping process, environmental and cultural resource considerations are identified and evaluated.  Additionally, based on potential impacts to identified environmental and cultural resources, there may be a legal requirement to alter the project. Applicants should consider the whole range of program requirements, including EHP requirements, in the beginning stages of project development. This will help increase the efficiency of the review by ensuring that EHP requirements are addressed at the earliest stage possible and consequently reduce the need for additional requests for information, potentially preventing future delays.

Grant Preparation Resources

Checklists and other guidance to assist with EHP frontloading during application development, plus funding guidance, cultural and structural mitigation considerations, and more.

View the Grant Preparation Library

e-Grant Application Guidebook

This guidebook clarifies common misunderstandings about what is sufficient and helpful EHP documentation to provide as part of an application.

Access the e-Grant Guidebook


Take a course on Coordinating Environmental and Historic Preservation Compliance for FEMA disaster assistance.

Take the Training Course

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Learn about the Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation process, including:

  • Conducting an Environmental & Historic Preservation review
  • Completing an environmental assessment
  • Understanding regulations and directives
  • Search existing environmental assessments and public notices