Wednesday, April 17, 2024

NRCS-PA Conducting Rapid Survey Of Western PA Counties To Determine Impacts Of Flooding So Far In April

Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA State Conservationist Denise Coleman is conducting a rapid survey in Western Pennsylvania Counties under the Emergency Watershed Protection Program to determine if the impacts of flooding from the April 2024 rainfall events have caused a watershed impairment and has left property owners at risk. 

NRCS-PA will accept survey information until May 17, 2024.

The survey results will be used to determine if properties could be eligible for the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program. 

Program Requirements

EWP is a recovery program aimed at relieving imminent hazards to life and property as a result of a significant flooding event. 

Eligible sites must have a home (permanent residence) or business located within 50 feet of a stream, and have experienced severe streambank damage. 

Public utilities are eligible if the streambank damage is within 10’ of the utility. Examples include several feet or more of bank loss, exposed foundations, or the total failure of existing streambank structures. 

Detached garages and sheds that are not utilized as a permanent residence are not eligible. 

Damage to homes and businesses caused by high flood water is also not eligible for assistance. 

Repairing, rebuilding, or maintaining public or private transportation facilities is not eligible. 

Typical streambank restoration projects funded under EWP include protecting eroded stream banks, reseeding damaged areas on eligible sites as specified above, and in some cases, home buyouts, or purchasing floodplain easements on eligible land. 

Maintenance and repair of existing structures along a waterway are not eligible for funding.

Property owners who have been impacted by the storm event noted and feel the resulting damages would meet the eligibility requirements listed above, should complete an EWP Rapid Damage Response Survey. 

Contact your local NRCS office for assistance completing the survey and for additional information about the program. Surveys will be taken until May 17, 2024.

Survey results will be assessed, and eligible property owners will be notified if the EWP Program is made available in their county. Correspondence will include additional program information and next steps. Program availability is not guaranteed. 

Program policy does not allow NRCS to directly contract with individual landowners. 

The EWP Program allows NRCS to make grant funding available (75 percent of the construction funds) to local units of governments (considered the project Sponsor) to help recovery efforts in their communities. 

Visit the NRCS-PA Emergency Watershed Protection Program webpage for more information, including a detailed EWP Sponsor Guide.

Visit the NRCS-PA webpage for more information on assistance available to landowners.

Related Article:

-- NRCS-PA Is Now Accepting Applications For Regional Conservation Partnership Grants  [PaEN]

[Posted: April 17, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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