The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of floodplain easements, for runoff retardation and soil-erosion prevention, in cooperation with landowners and land users, as the Secretary deems necessary to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood, or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of that watershed.
16 U.S. Code § 2203. Emergency measures
(a) In general
(b) Floodplain easements
(1) Modification and terminationThe Secretary may modify or terminate a floodplain easement administered by the Secretary under this section if—
the current owner agrees to the modification or termination; and
(B) the Secretary determines that the modification or termination—
(B) ModificationIn the case of a modification under paragraph (1)—
(ii) the Secretary shall ensure that—
the modification will not adversely affect the floodplain functions and values for which the easement was acquired;
any adverse impacts will be mitigated by enrollment and restoration of other land that provides greater floodplain functions and values at no additional cost to the Federal Government; and
the modification will result in equal or greater environmental and economic values to the United States.
2014—Pub. L. 113–79 inserted section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).
1996—Pub. L. 104–127 inserted “, including the purchase of floodplain easements,” after “emergency measures”.
Disaster Assistance for Watershed Protection Activities
“(b)Form of Assistance.—The assistance authorized by this section—
includes both financial and technical assistance; and
“(c)Authorization of Appropriations.—
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for fiscal year 1990.”