The following is a list of the Regional Environmental by vev19514


									In an emergency situation, why do we have to worry                    What would happen if an environmental review were                    The following is a list of the Regional
about the environment? Aren’t people more                             not conducted?                                                       Environmental Officers that should be notified
important?                                                            Non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations can           concerning temporary housing site selection
In a truly critical situation, the lives and safety of people take    result in delay in delivering temporary group housing, the loss
precedent over environmental concerns, and environmental              of funding for the temporary group housing efforts, unfavorable
                                                                                                                                           and the environmental review process.
laws and regulations support this premise. When there is time,        media coverage, or lawsuits.
                                                                                                                                           William Kennedy                   Alessandro Amaglio
however, we are required to assess the situation and make
                                                                      What issues will the environmental review focus on?                  FEMA Region I                     FEMA Region IX
informed decisions that address the immediate need and the
                                                                                                                                           (ME, NH, VT, RI, CT, MA)          (AZ, CA, HI, NV, American
long term health and needs of our environment and communi-            The environmental review examines the existing conditions of
                                                                                                                                           Phone: 617-223-9528               Samoa, Guam, Northern
ties.                                                                 the environment, and addresses potential environmental im-
                                                                                                                                           Mariana Islands, Republic of
                                                                      pacts of the placement of temporary group housing on that
Who coordinates this environmental review?                                                                                                                                   Marshall Islands, Federated
                                                                      particular site and its environs. The review includes looking at     Robert Tranter
                                                                                                                                                                             States of Micronesia)
The Regional Environmental Officer, located in FEMA’s Disaster        impacts to:                                                          FEMA Region II
                                                                                                                                                                             Phone: 415-923-7284
Field Office, coordinates the environmental review and should           Hazardous materials.                                                   ,
                                                                                                                                           (NY NJ, Puerto Rico, Virgin
be consulted any time a disaster results in displaced victims                                                                              Islands)
                                                                        Socioeconomic issues, which address environmental
that will require travel trailers or manufactured homes, and                                                                               Phone: 212-680-3628               Mark Eberlein
                                                                        justice and other potential impacts to social and economic
any time a site is being considered for the placement of tem-                                                                               FEMA Region X
                                                                        resources of the community.
porary group housing. The Regional Environmental Officer will                                                                                                                (AK, ID, OR, WA)
                                                                        Physical resources such as surface and groundwater.                Gene Gruber
help provide input on scope, integration, and timing of the                                                                                                                  Phone: 425-487-4735
                                                                                                                                           FEMA Region III
environmental review process.                                           Historic and cultural resources, which include                                             
                                                                                                                                           (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV)
                                                                        archaeological sites; historic districts, sites, buildings, or
Why is coordination the key to a successful                                                                                                Phone: 215-931-5610
                                                                        structures; traditional cultural properties; or objects in or
temporary housing program?                                                                                                       
                                                                        eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic
Determining a site’s engineering and environmental feasibility          Places.                                                            William Straw
depends on reviews, permits, and clearances from federal,               Natural resources such as flora and fauna (including               FEMA Region IV
state, and local agencies. Close coordination of all parties            threatened or endangered species).                                                ,
                                                                                                                                           (AL, FL, GA, KY MS, NC, SC, TN)
involved in the review process is crucial for expediting the                                                                               Phone: 770-220-5432
environmental review and development of a site. FEMA’s Re-            What are the key steps in the environmental review         
gional Environmental Officer facilitates the coordination for         process?
                                                                                                                                           Jeanne Millin
environmental review. By working together on site visits and          One key step for conducting an environmental review involves         FEMA Region V
data collection, problematic sites can be quickly identified and      obtaining legal rights of entry to the property in order to con-                                       For more information,
                                                                                                                                           (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)
eliminated, and critical assessments can be made in real time         duct a field assessment. Other key steps include reviewing the                                         please visit the FEMA
                                                                                                                                           Phone: 312-408-5540
for those sites that have greater promise.                            site from an engineering standpoint for soil or slope stability,                                       National Environmental
                                                                      infrastructure, accessibility, or past contamination. Observations                                     Website at:
How long does a typical environmental review for                      and research findings are incorporated into the draft environ-       Kyle Mills              
temporary group housing take?                                         mental review document. A public notice informs the commu-           FEMA Region VI                    envhome.htm.
If the site is eligible for a Categorical Exclusion, the review can   nity of the availability of the draft document for their review      (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)
usually be accomplished in a few days. A more detailed envi-          and comment.                                                         Phone: 940-898-5134
ronmental review, such as an Environmental Assessment,                                                                           
typically takes 7-14 days. This time period includes initial site     How is the environmental review process concluded?
                                                                                                                                           Ken Sessa
selection, environmental field and research investigations,           If through the NEPA review process it can be determined that no
                                                                                                                                           FEMA Region VII
creating the environmental review documentation, and a pub-           significant impacts would result from the implementation of
                                                                                                                                           (IA, KS, MO, NE)
lic comment period.                                                   temporary group housing at a given site, a Finding of No Signifi-
                                                                                                                                           Phone: 816-283-7960
                                                                      cant Impact (FONSI) is issued. However, if it is determined
Why is public comment required and important?                                                                                    
                                                                      through the review process that victims would be put at risk or
NEPA and other laws were designed to make public participa-           there would be a significant impact to the environment from the      Bob Cox
tion part of the environmental review process. Once a draft           proposed action that could not be mitigated, then an Environ-        FEMA Region VIII                                                    The purpose of this brochure is to introduce to
NEPA document is published, the public is given an expedited          mental Impact Statement (EIS) must be conducted. Due to the          (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
period (as short as 72 hours) to provide comments on the              emergency nature of disaster recovery operations, lengthy EISs       Phone: 303-235-4714
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 federal, state and local officials the scope,
document. Substantive comments received from the public               are not feasible, and another site should be selected as a re-                                                  concepts, issues, timing, and key FEMA staff to be
must be addressed in a final NEPA document.                           placement.                                                                                                                            contacted for integrating environmental review into
                                                                                                                                                                                                            the temporary group housing site selection process.
                                                                Understanding the level of need.                                    Identify multiple sites.                                           The purpose of
                                                                Because disaster victims often seek immediate shelter with          This is a critical first step, because disaster victims cannot     environmental review
                                                                friends or relatives instead of at emergency shelters, a prelimi-   afford the time delay if the primary site selected is determined   of temporary group housing
                                                                nary count of displaced people can be deceptively low. Also,        not to be feasible for locating temporary housing. Evaluating      sites is to ensure that FEMA
                                                                typical public communication channels may be disrupted or           multiple sites simultaneously provides timely options.             is in compliance with its re-
                                                                nonexistent during disaster recovery efforts, slowing or stop-                                                                         sponsibilities under the Na-
                                                                ping the flow of valid information about temporary group hous-      Start early and inform others of environmental                     tional Environmental Policy
                                                                ing opportunities.                                                  requirements.                                                      Act (NEPA) of 1969, and all
                                                                                                                                    To reduce both perceived and real timing issues, it is important   applicable environmental
                                                                Dealing with a lack of                                              to integrate environmental review with other site feasibility      regulations and executive
                                                                housing resources.                      Key Environmental           evaluations early in the temporary group housing site selec-       orders. NEPA serves as the
                                                                For some communities, housing           Issues to Examine:          tion process.                                                      primary charter for protect-
Temporary group housing sites are sometimes necessary           and rental shortages are a fact                                                                                                        ing the nation’s human envi-
                                                                of life even during normal times.          Hazardous                Address expectations.                                              ronment and resources by
when disaster events render homes uninhabitable for long
                                                                After a disaster, any vacancies                                     The expectations of agencies and officials can be better ad-       establishing policies and sets
periods, and when the preferred response of placing travel      come at a premium. A lack of                                        dressed by providing all involved with a clear understanding of    goals concerning the environ-
trailers or manufactured homes on the victim’s individual       rental resources during disaster           Floodplains and          the purpose and need for environmental review, along with a        ment. NEPA charges each
                                                                recovery efforts may require the                                    plan that highlights implementation strategies and timelines.      federal agency with the re-
property is infeasible. Environmental review, in                                                           Wetlands
                                                                implementation of a Manufac-                                        This approach should also identify roles and responsibilities,     sponsibility of not only com-
combination with other feasibility studies, permits FEMA to     tured Housing Program, with                                         and ways regulatory and review agencies can assist with the        plying with the Act, but also
                                                                temporary group housing sites                                       efforts.                                                           to take initiatives through
                            expeditiously select and build                                                 Issues and
                                                                selected to locate travel trailers                                                                                                     their regulations, strategies, and actions to protect, restore,
                            temporary group housing sites                                                  Environmental            Coordination is critical.                                          and enhance the human environment. These legal require-
                                                                or mobile homes.
                            for disaster victims in                                                        Justice                  There will be federal, state, and local agencies and officials     ments are set forth in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regula-
                                                                Seemingly Ideal sites may                                           involved in the temporary group housing site selection process.    tions (44 CFR) Part 10, and available on the Internet at
                            physically and environmentally                                                 Air, Water, and Soil
                                                                have hidden problems.                                               As a rule, temporary housing initiatives are high stress situa-
                            safe conditions, while              Sites that appear suitable at first        Resources                tions. The potential sites must be identified, and the owners
                            complying with applicable           glance may prove problematic                                        contacted to determine site availability and to obtain access to        The environmental review is most typically evaluated
                                                                from a design, engineering, or             Noise and Visual         the site for evaluation. Each site must be proven to be techni-    through the NEPA documentation process known as an Envi-
                            federal laws. It is imperative to
                                                                environmental standpoint after             Resources                cally and environmentally feasible, and available for develop-     ronmental Assessment (EA). The EA examines the proposed
                            recognize that environmental        an environmental review has                                         ment within a very short time frame. The public must receive       action of placing temporary group housing at a given site
                                                                been completed. For example, a             Historic and             notification of FEMA’s plans to develop a site, and have the       and alternative sites, the natural resources present in the
                            considerations are in place to
                                                                seemingly ideal temporary group            Cultural Resources       opportunity to comment on the proposal. Additionally, no site      surrounding environment, and potential impacts that could
                            protect the public from unsafe                                                                                                                                             result from the implementation of temporary group housing.
                                                                housing site may be located in                                      development or construction can occur until the environmental
                            conditions as well as protect       the floodplain, contain wetlands,          Threatened and           review has been completed, and the process has determined          There may be other levels of NEPA documentation and re-
                                                                impact historic properties, or             Endangered               that the implementation of temporary group housing would not       lated studies based on the scope and location of the project,
                            sensitive resources in the
                                                                have hazardous materials con-                                       result in harm to disaster victims or significant environmental    including Categorical Exclusion or an Environmental Impact
                            community. FEMA wants to            tamination.                                                         impacts.                                                           Statement.
                            ensure that disaster victims
                            using temporary housing are
                            kept out of harms way (i.e.,
                            out of floodplains and away
                            from hazardous materials).

                                                                Environmental Review Process

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