GOV. MALLOY SAYS FEDERAL FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE OF PROPERTY RIGHTS IN FLOODPLAINS IMPACTED BY SANDY
Program Aims to Assist Landowners and Mitigate the Future Effects of Flooding
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today advised landowners who own property in floodplains impacted by Storm Sandy to consider taking advantage of a program that will pay them for allowing the federal government to take steps to permanently protect their land.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just announced a second round of funding for a program that allows eligible property owners to sell the rights to floodplain easements on their lands," Governor Malloy said. "This is a solution that provides relief for landowners while protecting natural resources in environmentally sensitive areas and prevents future damage from flooding. The program is another way that we can both protect our shoreline and inland flood plain areas while bringing relief to people who sustained damage in Storm Sandy and are suffering from the financial consequences."
The funds for the purchases of easement are available for eligible landowners through USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection Program - Floodplain Easements. Applications will be accepted directly by NRCS from now through April 18, 2014. Those interested in information about the program should contact the NRCS State Conservation Engineer Arthur Ramthun at (860) 871-4030 or NRCS Community Planner Carol Donzella at (203) 287-8038, ext. 100. Information is also available on
the NRCS floodplain easement website
Lisa Coverdale, Connecticut State Conservationist for the NRCS said, "We are and will continue to use Hurricane Sandy funds to help those who were affected by this tragedy. The easement program will help reduce future flood damage and relieve stress these landowners have been enduring since that storm."
In December 2013, NRCS announced the first round of applicants selected for enrollment. In Connecticut, $7.5 million was awarded for the purchase of permanent floodplain easements on 347 acres. This covered 24 properties in five communities.
In addition to new applications, all eligible applications not selected during the first sign-up will be automatically submitted for review in the second round of funding.
"Several applications could not be funded because of their isolated nature. We are hoping that areas surrounding these current applications will apply and fill in these gaps," said Coverdale.
Under the program, NRCS purchases the permanent easements on eligible lands and restores the area to natural conditions. A healthy floodplain enhances fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention and ground water recharge while making it more resilient to flooding.
Funds are only available in counties affected by Hurricane Sandy and where a major disaster was declared pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Private lands and those owned by local and state governments damaged by Hurricane Sandy are eligible if they are in certain designated flood plains. The land must also meet one of the following requirements:
Damaged by Hurricane Sandy flooding
Would contribute to the restoration of flood storage and flow, provide for control of erosion, or improve the practical management of the floodplain easement
Could be inundated or adversely impacted as a result of a dam breach.
Easement compensation rates and ranking priorities vary by location and depend on where the land is in the floodplain and how it is used. The program easements are permanent in term. Lands with structures, such as homes, are eligible for enrollment as well as lands that are open or used for agriculture. 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.
For Immediate Release: February 20, 2014
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