NB_390_19_2 - NB 390-19-2 PDM – Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easements (EWPP-FPE) Information and Request for Continued Submission of State Funding Needs
NB 390-19-2 PDM – Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easements (EWPP-FPE) Information and Request for Continued Submission of State Funding Needs
National Bulletin: 390-19-2 Date: August 1, 2019
Subject: PDM – Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easements (EWPP-FPE) Information and Request for Continued Submission of State Funding Needs   

Purpose.  To distribute information regarding EWPP-FPE and to request States submit weekly estimated EWPP-FPE funding needs to the Easement Programs Division.
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2019
Background.  The Deputy Chief for Programs’ memo of June 7, 2019 requested State Conservationists to provide updated EWPP funding needs for damages that are a result of natural disasters occurring in calendar years 2018 and 2019. Much of the nation has faced record or near record flooding or has been affected by other natural disasters over that time. The recent passage of H.R. 2157 authorizes the use of EWPP, which includes both EWPP-Recovery and EWPP-FPE, to address these impacts. Assessments of damages are expected to continue as staff wait for improved condition to access to many remote sites. The Deputy Chief’s memo (see Attachment D) and a template spreadsheet demonstrating the information being collected for the State needs for EWPP-Recovery and EWPP-FPE (see Attachment E, EWPP Data Call spreadsheet) are attached for your reference.

Wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters have led to exceptional hardships for farmers, landowners and local communities. EWPP provides financial and technical assistance options through EWPP-Recovery and EWPP-FPE to address these impacts. Floodplain Easements may be acquired on eligible lands on which agriculture or open space is the primary use and may contain structures incidental to the primary agricultural or open space use. Floodplain easements may also be acquired on lands used primarily for residential use. Such lands contain residences and related structures. Floodplain easements may only be used on residential lands if such lands are part of a strategy that will result in the restoration of an entire floodplain and a project sponsor is required to purchase the remaining fee title. The land must meet the eligibility requirements related to damage to the land and the landowner must voluntarily agree to place a permanent conservation easement on their property. Existing regulations found at 7 CFR 624 and applicable policy found at Title 390 Emergency Watershed Protection Program Manual (EWPPM), Parts 510-515, in addition to any supplemental guidance provided must be followed.

State Conservationists are requested to email additional EWPP-FPE funding needs to Jeff Williams at Jeff.Williams3@usda.gov and to SM.NRCS.FPE@nrcs.usda.gov.. Funding needs should be submitted by close of business each Friday by updating the attached EWPP Data Call spreadsheet.         
Explanation.  To assist States with outreach efforts, an EWPP-FPE factsheet is enclosed, see Attachment B. The factsheet may be customized to fit the needs of impacted areas. In addition, a checklist of items to provide to potential EWPP-FPE participants as well as other documentation is listed in Attachment C. This information may be used by States to ensure potential applicants are given proper application information to gain an awareness of what future documentation will be required to participate in EWPP-FPE. A brief overview presentation of both EWPP-Recovery and EWPP-FPE is enclosed and should be reviewed (see Attachment A) for additional programmatic information and may also be used for training and outreach.

States should ensure that EWPP-FPE applications are entered into the National Easement Staging Tool (NEST) in a timely manner, no longer than 30 days from receipt. Please be aware that EWPP-FPE falls under the original tracking inbox of NEST as opposed to the 2014 Act portion. National internal controls reviews are also applicable.     
Contact.  For further information regarding EWPP-FPE, please contact Jeff Williams, National FPE Manager, at (202) 720-6268 or email Jeff.Williams3@usda.gov.     


 Deputy Chief for Programs   


 Attachment A – EWPP Training Slides

 Attachment B - EWPP-FPE Factsheet

 Attachment C - EWPP-FPE Application Checklist

Attachment D - EWPP Solicitations Memo

Attachment E - EWPP Data Call     

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