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Region III Environmental Information

Floodwaters in Franklin,VA, were contaminated by submerged propane and gas tanks. Photo courtesy of FEMA.

Whether you are rebuilding after a disaster or putting in preventive measures, there are almost always environmental or historic issues to deal with. FEMA Region III covers six states: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Each of these states has different features and special concerns. Each disaster has different effects and issues as well, and unfortunately our region is subject to many types: floods, drought, wildfires, snowstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes - even earthquakes! As you recover from any of these, there are environmental and historic issues to be considered.

Any time you change something, such as rebuilding a culvert, you must stop and determine if this will have a new effect. If you build a larger culvert, will more water be carried away that might cause a problem downstream? If you clear a forested area for a new building, will you be disturbing the home of an endangered species? What if you begin digging for a foundation and discover an old well buried beneath? Also, as you clean up debris, how should you dispose of it? What is safe to throw away and what is considered hazardous? Some everyday objects like aerosol cans require special disposal. How can you identify these? This section is designed to help you answer these and many more questions.

Last Updated: 
08/15/2016 - 15:24