The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it is investing in recovery projects in 19 states. These projects relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural occurrences.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program, which responds to emergencies created by natural disasters. It is not necessary for a national emergency to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance.
The program is designed to help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind-storms, and other natural occurrences. EWP is an emergency recovery program. All projects undertaken, with the exception of the pur¬chase of floodplain easements, must have a project sponsor.
NRCS may bear up to 75 percent of the construction cost of emergency measures. The remaining 25 per¬cent must come from local sources and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services. Funding is subject to Congressional approval.
Type of Work Authorized
EWP is designed for installation of recovery measures. Activities include providing financial and technical assistance to:
• remove debris from stream channels, road culverts, and bridges,
• reshape and protect eroded banks,
• correct damaged drainage facilities,
• establish cover on critically eroding lands,
• repair levees and structures, and
• repair conservation practices
Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor. Sponsors include legal subdivisions of the State, such as a city, county, general improvement district, conservation district, or any Native American tribe or tribal organization as defined in section 4 of the Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.
Sponsors are responsible for:
• providing land rights to do repair work
• securing the neces¬sary permits
• furnishing the local cost share
• accomplishing the installation of work
• work can be done either through Federal or local contracts.