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News Release

USDA Accepting Applications for Disaster Assistance in Pennsylvania

Contact:
Molly Rose


USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Denise Coleman today announced that Pennsylvania is currently taking applications for natural disaster recovery efforts in Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Chester, Huntingdon. Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and York Counties. Applications will be taken until December 8, 2021. The funding will enable NRCS to assist local government entities in stabilizing severely eroding stream banks that threaten homes, business, and utilities. This funding will be used to help restore streams whose natural flows were disrupted by the flooding from Tropical Storm Ida which hit Pennsylvania on September 1-2, 2021.

"These funds will provide critical assistance to Pennsylvania residents and businesses and continue the federal partnership for environmental restoration projects on private lands damaged by natural disaster," Coleman said.

The funding is being made available through the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program. EWP assists with the implementation of critical emergency measures needed to address public safety and restoration efforts.

Eligible sites must have a home (permanent residence) or business located within 50’ of a stream and have experienced severe streambank damage. 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. 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, purchasing floodplain easements on eligible land. Maintenance and repair of existing structures along a waterway are not eligible for funding.

Through EWP, NRCS provides up to 75 percent of the construction funds needed to restore areas damaged by flooding. The community, local, or state sponsor for the work must pay the remaining costs, which can be provided by cash and/or in-kind services. Program policy does not allow NRCS to directly contract with individual landowners. NRCS will rank each eligible site based on damage severity and risk of life to utilize what 25% funding is available on the higher-ranking sites.

Please contact your local NRCS office, found at https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov, for more information.

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: www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov.