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News Release

Contact:

Blaine Delaney

804-287-1663


Easement Program to Aid Virginia Hurricane Sandy Recovery, Prevent Future Flood Damage

Richmond, July 10, 2013– USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing up to $124.8 million in Emergency Watershed Protection Program-Floodplain Easement (EWP-FPE) funding to help prevent future damage from significant storm events in Virginia and 11 other states affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The program complements traditional disaster recovery funding and allows NRCS to purchase a permanent easement on lands within floodplains that sustained damage from Sandy and restore the area to a natural condition.

Private lands and those owned by local and state governments are eligible if they are located in a floodplain, not subject to tidal influence or action from storm waves, and meet the following requirement: The land must have been damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy, which impacted Virginia on October 28-29, 2012. Other lands within the floodplain are eligible, provided the lands would contribute to the restoration of flood storage and flow, provide for control of erosion, or improve the practical management of the floodplain easement.

NRCS will accept applications through September 2, 2013 from residents of these 25 counties affected by this storm and where a major disaster was declared under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act:

Accomack

Fauquier

Lancaster

Nelson

Rappahannock

Clarke

Frederick

Loudoun

New Kent

Shenandoah

Craig

Greene

Madison

Northampton

Surry

Culpeper

Highland

Mathews

Northumberland

Warren

Essex

King & Queen

Middlesex

Prince William

Westmoreland

“Floodplains store water, helping to protect lands downstream from future flood damage,” NRCS State Conservationist Jack Bricker said.“Restoring these ecosystems ensures that the land will continue to provide environmental, economic and social benefits in the face of future threats.”

Compensation rates and ranking priorities will vary by location and whether the land is agricultural or vacant or has homes or other structures on it. If a structure is present, NRCS will cost-share the removal or demolition of that structure and enroll the remaining lot in a permanent easement.

Interested landowners should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more about the program and submit an application prior to the September 2 deadline. Other states included in this EWP-FPE offering are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. More information is also available on the NRCS floodplain easement website.