NB_390_21_4 - NB 390-21-4 PDM - Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program Funding Guidance - Preliminary Investigation Feasibility Reports and Remedial Projects
NB 390-21-4 PDM - Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program Funding Guidance - Preliminary Investigation Feasibility Reports and Remedial Projects
National Bulletin: NB 390-21-4    Date: July 8, 2021  
Subject: PDM - Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program Funding Guidance – Preliminary Investigation Feasibility Reports and Remedial Projects  


 
Purpose.  To announce the procedures for providing technical and financial assistance to new and remedial projects in the NRCS PL-566 Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) program.     
 
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2022   
 

Background. This guidance should be used by State Conservationist and state Watershed Operations Program Managers to navigate the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) funding process and policy outlined in the National Watershed Program Manual (NWPM). States are encouraged to only submit funding requests for projects that they have the capacity to work on immediately. Projects selected for funding will be based on balancing the needs of the existing project backlog, remediation of existing structures, and new projects.

How to Request Assistance

Watershed Program Funding may be requested for New Projects – Preliminary Investigation Feasibility Report (PIFR) and Remedial projects using the following links:

New Projects – Preliminary Investigation Feasibility Report (PIFR)
New Projects Involving Limited Resource or Socially Disadvantaged Communities
Remedial

 

Explanation.   

New Projects (Projects that do not have an Authorized Watershed Project Plan)

Prior to requesting planning, design or construction funding for new (unauthorized) projects a PIFR must be completed in accordance with Attachment A.

New projects may also be categorized as projects that involve Limited Resource or Socially Disadvantaged Communities. A list of eligible limited resource communities is provided in Attachment B. A socially disadvantaged community is one where at least 51% of the community belongs to a socially disadvantaged group. A socially disadvantaged group is a group whose members have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Socially disadvantaged groups consist of the following: American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, or Hispanics. States are required to submit a proposal for the project area(s) to be considered for funding.  

     Procedure for New Projects:

  • The Sponsor submits an assistance request letter to the State Conservationist, asking that a preliminary investigation feasibility report be developed to determine the feasibility of a proposed action and its potential eligibility for the program.

  • The State Conservationist submits a request for funds to prepare a preliminary investigation feasibility report using the New Requests – PIFR link.

  • For projects that involve limited resource or socially disadvantaged communities, the State Conservationist will submit a request using the New Projects Involving Limited Resource or Socially Disadvantaged Communities link.

  • NRCS State staff, in coordination with the Sponsor, develop the preliminary investigation feasibility report.

  • If the project is determined to be feasible, the Sponsor will apply for assistance using the SF-424 form.

  • It is the State Conservationists responsibility to ensure that all requirements outlined in NWPM, 500.20 (C) Application Requirements are met.

        Funding:

        

Funding for preliminary investigation feasibility reports will be limited to $50,000 per report.

For projects that involve limited resource or socially disadvantaged communities – estimated funding for the planning, design and construction phases will be determined when the request form is submitted.

         Other:

States should develop procedures for collecting and coordinating requests from sponsors to prepare PIFRs.

PIFRs should be completed with-in 12 months of receiving funds. Funds for PIFRs not utilized within-in 12 months may be swept.

 

Remedial

Remedial assistance is defined as assistance needed to correct problems caused as a result of a mistake or misjudgment by NRCS during the installation of a measure or as a result of latent site conditions unknown to NRCS or the Sponsor or land user at the time of design or construction.

     Procedure for Remedial Projects:

  • The job class of the remedial work will be determined by the NRCS State staff.

  • The State Conservationist will prepare an engineering report that includes the findings, recommendations for repair, and a cost estimate of the repair. Reports for Class V to VIII structures must be concurred by the Director of the Conservation Engineering Division (CED).

  • The State Conservationist will prepare a CPA-52 for the remedial request to determine the appropriate environmental compliance document to prepare for the remedial request.

  • The State Conservationist will prepare and submit a request for remedial assistance funds, detailing the amount of technical and financial assistance needed, using the Remedial link.

      Funding:

        Remedial work is 100 percent NRCS funded.

General WFPO Information

  • Requests for funds to prepare a PIFR or address a remedial issue can be submitted at any time.

  • The NHQ Watershed Operations program manager will coordinate the approval of requests (New Projects, Remedial) through the Deputy Chief of Programs and NRCS Senior Leadership. An allocation letter, listing any project phases approved for funding, will be prepared and distributed to those states requesting funds.

  • All projects and phases of work that receive funds should demonstrate activity and progress. All funds that have not shown activity will be identified for sweeping in March of each year.

      

 
Contact.   If you have any questions, please contact Ralph Smith, Watershed Operations Program Manager, Conservation Planning and Technical Assistance Division at ralph.smith@usda.gov or at 202-260-8036.     
 
 

 /s/

  JIMMY BRAMBLETT   
  Deputy Chief for Programs   

 
 

Attachment A - PIFR Template and Guidance

Attachment B - Watersheds LRA 2021     

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