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USDA Seeks Disaster Recovery Needs in Southeastern Pennsylvania

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Storm damage along a creek

USDA's NRCS is conducting a rapid survey to determine if the impacts of flooding from July 2023 storm events have caused a watershed impairment and have left property owners at risk.

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Denise Coleman is conducting a rapid survey to determine if the impacts of flooding from July 2023 storm events have caused a watershed impairment and have left property owners at risk. The survey results will be used to determine which (if any) Counties within Southeastern Pennsylvania will be eligible for the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program. EWP is a recovery program aimed at relieving imminent hazards to life and property as a result of a significant flooding event. 

Eligible sites must have a home (permanent residence) or business located within 50 ft. of a stream, and have experienced severe streambank damage. Public utilities are eligible if the streambank damage is within 10 ft. of the utility. Examples include several feet or more of bank loss, exposed foundations, or the total failure of existing streambank structures. Detached garages and sheds that are not utilized as a permanent residence are not eligible. Damage to homes and businesses caused by high flood water is also not eligible for assistance. Repairing, rebuilding, or maintaining public or private transportation facilities is not eligible. Typical streambank restoration projects funded under EWP include protecting eroded stream banks, reseeding damaged areas on eligible sites as specified above, and in some cases, home buyouts, or purchasing floodplain easements on eligible land. Maintenance and repair of existing structures along a waterway are not eligible for funding.

Property owners who have been impacted by the storm event noted and feel the resulting damages would meet the eligibility requirements listed above, should compete an EWP Rapid Survey. The survey, and additional PA-NRCS EWP information, can be found at the following website. Please contact your local NRCS office, found at, for assistance completing the survey and for additional information about the program. Surveys will be taken until August 12, 2023.

Survey results will be assessed, and eligible property owners will be notified if the EWP Program is made available in their county. Correspondence will include additional program information and next steps. Program availability is not guaranteed. 

The EWP Program allows NRCS to make grant funding available (75 percent of the construction funds) to local units of governments (considered the project Sponsor) to help recovery efforts in their communities. Program policy does not allow NRCS to directly contract with individual landowners. Refer to the PA EWP website for additional information, including a detailed EWP Sponsor Guide.  

NRCS provides products and services that enable people to be good stewards of the nation's soil, water, and related natural resources on non-Federal lands. Additional information about EWP and other USDA conservation programs is available at your local USDA Service Center and online at:


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