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Environmental and Historic Preservation

Why is my project subject to NEPA review?

NEPA requires that federal agencies consider the effects of their proposed actions on the environment before deciding to fund and implement the action. Nearly all actions proposed by a federal agency are subject to the process required by NEPA, and this includes any action carried out using FEMA funds.

What is an environmental concurrence?

Not all actions will require the applicant to obtain an environmental permit from the appropriate agency. However, consultations may be required between environmental agencies for concurrence or non-concurrence with the project’s scope of work.

If all environmental concurrences are received, will funding be guaranteed?

Not necessarily. Failure to obtain all necessary environmental permits and concurrences could jeopardize funding; however this is only one part of the review process. FEMA ultimately determines eligibility and funding based on a number of factors. See Public Assistance.

What are the differences between the levels of NEPA review?

Statutory Exclusion (STATEX)  – Certain program activities that restore a facility substantially to its condition prior to the disaster or emergency.

Categorical Exclusion (CATEX) – Types of actions that, through experience, FEMA has found typically will have little or no environmental impact.

Environmental Assessment – Concise public document that provides the decision maker with sufficient evidence and analysis regarding the significance of the environmental impacts of the proposed action.

Environmental Impact Statement – Detailed analysis and evaluation of all the impacts of the proposed action and all reasonable alternatives that is required when significant environmental impacts are anticipated.

What is the floodplain management compliance process?

For compliance with EO 11988: Floodplain Management, there is an eight-step process that FEMA carries out to determine potential impacts.

  1. Determine if a proposed action is in the base floodplain (that area which has a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year).
  2. Conduct early public review, including public notice.
  3. Identify and evaluate practicable alternatives to locating in the base floodplain, including alterative sites outside of the floodplain.
  4. Identify impacts of the proposed action.
  5. If impacts cannot be avoided, develop measures to minimize the impacts and restore and preserve the floodplain, as appropriate.
  6. Reevaluate alternatives.
  7. Present the findings and a public explanation.
  8. Implement the action.

Are there any training opportunities available to learn more about environmental and historic preservation compliance?

Yes, FDEM can provide training. Please contact the Environmental and Debris Section. Additionally, FEMA provides an Individual Study Course online: IS-253 Overview of FEMA's Environmental and Historic Preservation Review.


Does FEMA currently have a Pilot Program active?

Yes, FEMA has instituted the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for use by Cities, Counties, Eligible Non-Profit Agencies, and Tribal Entities.  The Pilot Program was included as part of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act legislation passed in 2013 and will remain active until FEMA determines an end date.

Do we need to make a Debris Management Plan?

Yes. Although there are no statutory requirements mandating that an entity create a Debris Management Plan, there is an incentive offered through the Pilot Program at this time which may provide an additional 2% federal cost share for the Applicant if the plan is reviewed by FEMA and found to meet the minimum guidance. Please see the Debris Management Plan section for more information.

Who do I contact to have a Debris Management Site approved?

The applicant requesting a debris staging area will need to contact their DEP regional solid waste department. (District Map) Please review the Department of Environmental Protections guidelines for operation and closure of staging areas.

Is debris removal from private property eligible for the Public Assistance program?

In circumstances where debris removal on private property is necessary to mitigate a health and safety hazard and in the public interest, it may become eligible. However, the applicant must first seek approval from FEMA. More information on the specific process and documentation required can be found in FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Policy 9523.13.

I am a private citizen that needs debris removal assistance from my property, who should I contact?

Please contact your local municipal or county officials. For a list of county emergency management directors, please see DEM’s listing.

I am a contractor specializing in debris removal. Where can I register my company for future work?

The State of Florida maintains the Florida Emergency Supplier Network. Contractors may register their company, but must re-register each hurricane season. FEMA maintains a debris contractor registry that does not require renewal.


Contact the Environmental and Debris section for information and technical assistance on debris related topics.


June 24, 2015 11:20



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