(a) Applicability.(1) These regulations apply to all Agency actions which have the potential to affect floodplains or wetlands or their occupants, or which are subject to potential harm by location in floodplains or wetlands.
(2) The basic test of the potential of an action to affect floodplains or wetlands is the action's potential (both by itself and when viewed cumulatively with other proposed actions) to result in the long- or short-term adverse impacts associated with:
(i) The occupancy or modification of floodplains, and the direct and indirect support of floodplain development; or
(ii) The destruction or modification of wetlands and the direct or indirect support of new construction in wetlands.
(3) This regulation applies to actions that were, on the effective date of the Orders (May 24, 1977), ongoing, in the planning and/or development stages, or undergoing implementation, and are incomplete as of the effective date of these regulations. The regulation also applies to proposed (new) actions. The Agency shall:
(i) Determine the applicable provisions of the Orders by analyzing whether the action in question has progressed beyond critical stages in the floodplain management and wetlands protection decision-making process, as set out below in § 9.6. This determination need only be made at the time that followup actions are being taken to complete or implement the action in question; and
(ii) Apply the provisions of the Orders and of this regulation to all such actions to the fullest extent practicable.
(b) Limited exemption of ongoing actions involving wetlands located outside the floodplains.(1) Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands, contains a limited exemption not found in Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management. Therefore, this exemption applies only to actions affecting wetlands which are located outside the floodplains, and which have no potential to result in harm to or within floodplains or to support floodplain development.
(2) The following proposed actions that impact wetlands located outside of floodplains are exempt from this regulation:
(i) Agency-assisted or permitted projects which were under construction before May 24, 1977; and
(ii) Projects for which the Agency has proposed a draft of a final environmental impact statement (EIS) which adequately analyzes the action and which was filed before October 1, 1977. Proposed actions that impact wetlands outside of floodplains are not exempt if the EIS:
(A) Only generally covers the proposed action;
(B) Is devoted largely to related activities; or
(C) Treats the project area or program without an adequate and specific analysis of the floodplain and wetland implications of the proposed action.
(c) Decision-making involving certain categories of actions. The provisions set forth in this regulation are not applicable to the actions enumerated below except that the Regional Administrators shall comply with the spirit of the Order to the extent practicable. For any action which is excluded from the actions enumerated below, the full 8-step process applies (see § 9.6) (except as indicated at paragraphs (d), (f) and (g) of this section regarding other categories of partial or total exclusions). The provisions of these regulations do not apply to the following (all references are to the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Pub. L. 93-288, as amended, except as noted):
(1) Assistance provided for emergency work essential to save lives and protect property and public health and safety performed pursuant to sections 305 and 306 ;
(2) Emergency Support Teams ( section 304 );
(3) Unemployment Assistance ( section 407 );
(4) Emergency Communications ( section 415 );
(5) Emergency Public Transportation ( section 416 );
(6) Fire Management Assistance ( Section 420 );
(7) Community Disaster Loans ( section 414 ), except to the extent that the proceeds of the loan will be used for repair of facilities or structures or for construction of additional facilities or structures;
(8) The following Individual and Family Grant Program ( section 408) actions:
(i) Housing needs or expenses, except for restoring, repairing or building private bridges, purchase of mobile homes and provision of structures as minimum protective measures;
(ii) Personal property needs or expenses;
(iii) Transportation expenses;
(iv) Medical/dental expenses;
(v) Funeral expenses;
(vi) Limited home repairs;
(vii) Flood insurance premium;
(viii) Cost estimates;
(ix) Food expenses; and
(x) Temporary rental accommodations.
(9) Mortgage and rental assistance under section 404(b) ;
(10) Use of existing resources in the temporary housing assistance program [ section 404(a) ], except that Step 1 ( § 9.7) shall be carried out;
(11) Minimal home repairs [ section 404(c) ];
(12) Debris removal ( section 403 ), except those grants involving non-emergency disposal of debris within a floodplain or wetland;
(13) Repairs or replacements under section 402, of less than $5,000 to damaged structures or facilities.
(14) Placement of families in existing resources and Temporary Relocation Assistance provided to those families so placed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, Public Law 96-510.
(d) For each action enumerated below, the Regional Administrator shall apply steps 1, 2, 4, 5 and 8 of the decision-making process ( §§ 9.7, 9.8, 9.10 and 9.11, see § 9.6 ). Steps 3 and 6 ( § 9.9) shall be carried out except that alternative sites outside the floodplain or wetland need not be considered. After assessing impacts of the proposed action on the floodplain or wetlands and of the site on the proposed action, alternative actions to the proposed action, if any, and the “no action” alternative shall be considered. The Regional Administrator may also require certain other portions of the decision-making process to be carried out for individual actions as is deemed necessary. For any action which is excluded from the actions listed below. (except as indicated in paragraphs (c), (f) and (g) of this section regarding other categories of partial or total exclusion), the full 8-step process applies (see § 9.6 ). The references are to the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Public Law 93-288, as amended.
(1) Actions performed under the Individual and Family Grant Program ( section 408) for restoring or repairing a private bridge, except where two or more individuals or families are authorized to pool their grants for this purpose.
(2) Small project grants ( section 419 ), except to the extent that Federal funding involved is used for construction of new facilities or structures.
(3) Replacement of building contents, materials and equipment. ( sections 402 and 419 ).
(4) Repairs under section 402 to damaged facilities or structures, except any such action for which one or more of the following is applicable:
(i) FEMA estimated cost of repairs is more than 50% of the estimated reconstruction cost of the entire facility or structure, or is more than $100,000, or
(ii) The action is located in a floodway or coastal high hazard area, or
(iii) The facility or structure is one which has previously sustained structural damage from flooding due to a major disaster or emergency or on which a flood insurance claim has been paid, or
(iv) The action is a critical action.
(e) Other categories of actions. Based upon the completion of the 8-step decision-making process ( § 9.6 ), the Director may find that a specific category of actions either offers no potential for carrying out the purposes of the Orders and shall be treated as those actions listed in § 9.5(c), or has no practicable alternative sites and shall be treated as those actions listed in § 9.5(d), or has no practicable alternative actions or sites and shall be treated as those actions listed in § 9.5(g). This finding will be made in consultation with the Federal Insurance Administration and the Council on Environmental Quality as provided in section 2(d) of E.O. 11988. Public notice of each of these determinations shall include publication in the Federal Register and a 30-day comment period.
(f) The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).(1) Most of what is done by FIA or the Mitigation Directorate, in administering the National Flood Insurance Program is performed on a program-wide basis. For all regulations, procedures or other issuances making or amending program policy, FIA or the Mitigation Directorate, shall apply the 8-step decision-making process to that program-wide action. The action to which the 8-step process must be applied is the establishment of programmatic standards or criteria, not the application of programmatic standards or criteria to specific situations. Thus, for example, FIA or the Mitigation Directorate, would apply the 8-step process to a programmatic determination of categories of structures to be insured, but not to whether to insure each individual structure. The two prime examples of where FIA or the Mitigation Directorate, does take site specific actions which would require individual application of the 8-step process are property acquisition under section 1362 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, and the issuance of an exception to a community under 44 CFR 60.6(b). (See also § 9.9(e)(6) and § 9.11(e).)
(2) The provisions set forth in this regulation are not applicable to the actions enumerated below except that the Federal Insurance Administrator or the Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, as appropriate shall comply with the spirit of the Orders to the extent practicable:
(i) The issuance of individual flood insurance policies and policy interpretations;
(ii) The adjustment of claims made under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy;
(iii) The hiring of independent contractors to assist in the implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program;
(iv) The issuance of individual flood insurance maps, Map Information Facility map determinations, and map amendments; and
(v) The conferring of eligibility for emergency or regular program (NFIP) benefits upon communities.
(g) For the action listed below, the Regional Administrator shall apply steps 1, 4, 5 and 8 of the decision-making process ( §§ 9.7, 9.10 and 9.11 ). For any action which is excluded from the actions listed below, (except as indicated in paragraphs (c), (d) and (f) of this section regarding other categories of partial or total exclusion), the full 8-step process applies (See § 9.6 ). The Regional Administrator may also require certain other portions of the decision-making process to be carried out for individual actions as is deemed necessary. The references are to the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Public Law 93-288. The above requirements apply to repairs, under section 402, between $5,000 and $25,000 to damaged structures of facilities except for:
(1) Actions in a floodway or coastal high hazard area; or
(2) New or substantially improved structures or facilities; or
(3) Facilities or structures which have previously sustained structural damage from flooding due to a major disaster or emergency.