DR4581: FEMA Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) and Disaster Recovery Information

As you repair and rebuild your communities, environmental and historic preservation concerns may seem unimportant. However, as with all federal funding, certain requirements related to the environment must be fulfilled. This information is provided to help you better understand environmental factors that you must consider as you apply for FEMA funding. The information and assistance described here will help avoid any environmental roadblocks or time delays. The most important message is that EHP staff are available to help you with all environmental requirements. Contained here are facts, procedures, and contacts to help you through the process.

Please identify any potential environmental and historic preservation (EHP) concerns or issues and discuss these with our EHP staff as soon as possible. This will help FEMA address issues and expedite funding. Our work on this disaster is under the direction of FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, Jon K. Huss. We are also coordinating closely with the Colorado Office of Emergency Management. 

Environmental Laws and Project Requirements

In addition to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), listed below are the other primary environmental laws and executive orders that come into play when rebuilding or replacing a “public assistance” facility. Some activities can proceed without environmental or historic review, others may require environmental consideration, and, in some of the major projects, consultation with the state, tribes and FEMA is necessary before construction begins. Failure to comply with applicable environmental and historic preservation laws could jeopardize or delay potential funding.  

  • Endangered Species Act
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Clean Water Act (especially Section 404)
  • Farmland Protection Policy Act
  • Executive Order for Wetlands Protection
  • Executive Order for Floodplain Protection
  • Executive Order for Environmental Justice

Some projects proceed without detailed review. Those include: 

  • Emergency Protective Actions and Debris Removal (not staging)
  • Repairs to pre-disaster condition or temporary repairs (unless 50+ years old)

Some projects require an environmental review. Those include:

  • Debris disposal
  • Where the footprint is different than pre-disaster conditions
  • Involving hazard mitigation
  • Involving threatened or endangered species, wetlands or floodplains

Some projects require review and consultation. Those include:

  • Improved or alternate project
  • Other projects where the scope of work has changed

View the Colorado Disaster DR4581 Green Sheet with information on the following topics:

  • Waterways, Culverts, Bridges
  • USFWS Management Areas
  • Floodplains
  • Wetlands
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • Threatened and Endangered Species
  • Historic Preservation and Tribal Relations
  • Debris Disposal and Hazardous Materials
  • Other Considerations
  • Contacts

Information is also posted on the DR4581 Wildfire Recovery tab inside the FEMA Public Assistance Program Facts folder.  Click the + sign to expand for information.