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Emergency Watershed Protection

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Introduction

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program which provides technical assistance and funding to protect life and property from damage created by natural disasters (floods, fires, windstorms, and other natural occurrences).

All projects eligible for the EWP Program, with the exception of the purchase of floodplain easements, must have a project Sponsor (Subdivision of a state, county, city, conservancy district, or any American Indian tribe).  Non-Federal public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project Sponsor.  NRCS cost-share up to 75 percent of the construction cost of emergency measures and the remaining 25 percent must come from the project sponsor and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services/materials.  NRCS cost-share up to 100 percent of the technical assistance cost to design the recovery measures but the Sponsor is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits to complete the project.  Funding for the EWP Program is obtained through supplemental appropriations approved by Congress.

EWP Questions and Answers
EWP Program Fact Sheet (PDF, 41 KB)

EWP Authorized Work

The following work activities are authorized for construction to restore damaged areas in order to protect life, properties, and/or structure:

  • Debris Removal
  • Bank Stabilization
  • Restore Hydraulic Capacity
  • Wildfire Rehabilitation
  • Levee Repair
  • Watershed Structure Repair
  • Purchase Floodplain Easements

Restoration work funded through the EWP Program is not limited to the above measures.  NRCS conducts an investigation at each damaged site and completes a Damage Survey Report (DSR).  The DSR provides a case-by-case recommendation of the work necessary to protect a site, preliminary cost estimate, and an environmental analysis of the impacts to the natural and man-made environment.

NEPA EWP Projects in Utah

A National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (PDF, 21 MB) was prepared in 2004 by NRCS for the EWP program; however, not all restoration measures eligible for EWP Program funding are covered in the EIS.  The projects listed below are located in Utah and do not fit within the analysis parameters of the Programmatic EIS and require additional NEPA analysis in the form of a project specific EIS or Environmental Assessment (EA).ewp-small-pic

Completed NEPA EWP Projects in Utah

NEPA analysis for the following EWP Program projects has been completed:

Sponsor Information

Sponsors should identify damaged areas after a natural disaster event and contact the NRCS to request assistance under the EWP Program using the following template.

The following information provides guidance for the Sponsor about the EWP Program:

EWP Project Utah Contact

Please contact the NRCS Utah State Office for more information:

Bronson Smart
State Conservation Engineer
bronson.smart@ut.usda.gov
(801) 524-4559

 

Updated: July 15, 2014