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2010 Kentucky EWP Informational Brochure

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Download a printable version of the EWP Informational Brochure  KY-EWP-01    (PDF;  222 KB)

How do I get assistance?

If your county or city has suffered severe damage and may qualify under the EWP program, you are encouraged to contact your local soil and water conservation district or local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to request assistance. 


City and county governments and conservation/conservancy districts are the most common sponsors of EWP projects.


The sponsor’s application should be in the form of a letter signed by a qualified representative of the sponsoring organization.  

The letter should include information on the nature, location and scope of the problem for which assistance is requested.  

Send applications for assistance to the local NRCS field office or the NRCS State Office.


Office locator:


Kentucky NRCS State Office

859-224-7350 phone

859-224-7399 fax


What is the Emergency Watershed Protection program?

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program was authorized by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, ice events and wildfires.   The program is administered by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which provides technical and financial assistance to protect life and property threatened by excessive erosion and flooding.



Who is eligible to apply?

Public and private lands are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor.  The project sponsor must be a public agency of a state, county, or city government, or a special district.

Sponsors are needed to provide legal authority to perform repair work, obtain necessary permits, contribute funds or in-kind services, and maintain the completed emergency measures.



What kind of assistance is available?

          There are two types of assistance  available:

Exigency—An imminent threat to life and property exists and requires immediate federal action.  Work must generally be completed within ten days from the last day of the storm event in order to protect life and property.


Non-Exigency—A situation where the threat to life and property is high enough to constitute an emergency, but the situation is not considered urgent.  Work in this category does not require immediate action, but should be completed as soon as possible.



What financial assistance is available?

  • NRCS may bear up to 75% of the construction costs of authorized emergency measures installed.

  • The remaining 25% of costs come from the sponsors.  The 25% can either be in cash or in-kind contributions. 



What kind of work can be done?

EWP work is not limited exclusively to any one set of prescribed measures.  A case-by-case investigation of the needed work is made by NRCS.  EWP work can generally included:

  • Debris removal from stream channels, road culverts and bridge abutments

  • Reshaping and protection of eroding banks

  • Correction of damaged drainage facilities

  • Repair of levees and structures

  • Reseeding of damaged areas



What EWP cannot do.

  • EWP funds cannot be used to solve problems that existed before the disaster.  Nor can they be used to improve the level of protection above that which existed prior to the disaster.

  • EWP cannot fund operation and maintenance work or repair private or public transportation facilities or utilities.

  • EWP work cannot adversely affect downstream water rights.

  • EWP funds cannot be used to install measures not essential to the reduction of hazards. 

  • EWP funds cannot be used to perform work on measures installed by another federal agency or completed before a project agreement is executed.