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Sandy victims should apply by April 18 for USDA-NRCS easement program

Natural Resources Conservation Service
220 Davidson Avenue 4th Floor, Somerset, NJ 08873
Voice 732-537-6044
Email: Barbara.phillips@nj.usda.gov
Web: http://www.nj.nrcs.usda.gov
Release No.: FY14-05
Contact: Barbara Phillips, Public Affairs Specialist (732) 537-6044 or barbara.phillips@nj.usda.gov

SOMERSET January 29, 2014 - Eligible New Jersey landowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy can apply now through April 18 for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) second round of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easements (EWP-FPE). Through this emergency floodplain easement program, NRCS is able to purchase permanent easements on eligible lands and restore the area to natural conditions. “Floodplain easements are a long-term solution to provide relief for landowners while preventing future damage from flooding,” NRCS State Conservationist Carrie Mosley said. A healthy floodplain enhances fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention and ground water recharge while making it more resilient to flooding.
The program easements are permanent in term. Public and private lands with structures, such as homes, are eligible for enrollment as well as open or agricultural lands. Commercial properties are not eligible for EWP-FPE. If a structure is present, NRCS will commission and fund the removal or demolition of that structure and enroll the remaining lot in a permanent easement. Properties with structures will need to secure a public sponsor who will assume ownership of the property once the warranty easement deed has been executed.
“During the first sign-up, several landowners and potential project sponsors didn’t have enough time to apply, didn’t know they were eligible, or weren’t aware of the program,” Mosley said. “This second sign up period is another opportunity to reach those landowners who need relief and assistance.”
Priority will be given to applications from property owners that are located next to or near other eligible applicants to encompass an entire floodplain. Applicants not selected during the first sign-up have been invited to participate in the current sign up. “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,” Mosley said.
Interested landowners should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more about the program and submit an application prior to the April 18 deadline. More information is also available on the NRCS floodplain easement website.


FACT SHEET:

Hurricane Sandy Emergency Watershed Protection Flood Plain Easement Program
Assistance available to owners of NJ property impacted by Hurricane Sandy
USDA-NRCS has funding available through the Emergency Watershed Protection – Flood Plain Easement (EWP-FPE) program to purchase easements on public or private New Jersey agricultural and residential properties that were damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Eligible applicants may be awarded the fair market value of land and structures, and NRCS will cover the cost of restoration of the easement, including the demolition or removal of structures present on the property.
Current eligibility requirements:
• Property damage must have been sustained from Hurricane Sandy.
• Owners of private properties zoned “residential” must secure a public sponsor who will assume ownership of the property.
• Property must be outside of the FEMA “Coastal” Flood Zones (Zones V, VE, or V1-30). These areas are currently not eligible for this program.
Before you apply:
Contact your local NRCS office and provide the address of your impacted property. NRCS will verify that your property is in an eligible area.
After property eligibility is established:
Start gathering your application documents. (Documents required are listed on the other side of this fact sheet.) Contact your local USDA-NRCS office to start the application process.
What to expect after you application has been submitted:
• NRCS NJ will rank applications and submit finalized application packets to National NRCS office after the sign-up period closes.
• NRCS will supply a color map developed by using the FEMA Region 2 Base Flood Elevation Address Lookup Tool http://www.region2coastal.com/sandy/table (or equivalent) to show the location of the applications relative to the ineligible FEMA “Coastal” Flood Zones (Zones V, VE or V1-30) for the application packets.
Accepting applications through April 18, 2014, at your local USDA-NRCS office

Documentation required:
1) Documentation of flood damage and proof, including photos, that damage was a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Acceptable evidence includes insurance claims, newspaper or other publication clippings, or any other documentation that links the flood damage directly to Hurricane Sandy.
2) Proof of ownership a copy of the ownership vesting deed
3) *NRCS Form AD-1153 (Application for Long-Term Contracted Assistance through the EWP-FPE Program)
4) Confirmation in writing that public sponsor is interested in assuming ownership of property.

If the landowner is an entity, the entity must also provide—
1) A list of the individuals who comprise the entity, including the percent of ownership for each individual.
2) Documents that show the entity to be legal and valid in the State where the application was submitted.
3) Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number; more information is available at https://eupdate.dnb.com/requestoptions.html.
4) Registration with the System for Awards Management (SAM); more information is available at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.
5) Legal documentation of signature authority


*Note: All applicants must be willing to comply with the terms of the NRCS LTP 20 warranty easement deed, any other agreements that might be necessary to complete the purchase, and restoration of the easement, including the demolition or removal of structures present on the property. NRCS will regard an applicant’s signature on the AD-1153 as verification that the EWP-FPE terms have been fully explained and the applicant is willing to comply with the terms of the deed. The AD-1153, a one-page form, is available at any NRCS office and online at forms.sc.egov.usda.gov – Browse forms and select “Natural Resources Conservation Service” and enter form number “1153.”

NRCS Office Locations
Columbus - serving Burlington, Camden, and Ocean Counties
1971 Jacksonville-Jobstown Road Columbus, NJ 08022
PHONE: 609-267-1639 x3 FAX: (609) 261-3007
Hackettstown - serving Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties
Hackettstown Commerce Park, Building #1 101 Bilby Rd. Hackettstown, NJ 07840
PHONE: (908) 852-2576, ext. 3 FAX: (908) 852-4666
Freehold - serving Mercer, Middlesex and Monmouth Counties
4000 Kozloski Rd, PO Box 5033 Freehold, NJ 07728-5033
PHONE: (732) 462-0075 ext. 3 FAX: (732) 462-5274
Vineland - serving Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties
1318 S. Main Rd., Building 5, Suite A Vineland, NJ 08360
PHONE: (856) 205-1225 ext. 3 FAX: (856) 205-0691
Frenchtown - serving Hunterdon, Somerset, and Union Counties
687 Pittstown Rd, Suite 2
Frenchtown, NJ 08825
PHONE: (908) 782-4614 ext. 3
FAX: (908) 782-0501
Woodstown- serving Gloucester and Salem Counties
51 Cheney Road, Suite 2 Woodstown, NJ 08098
PHONE: (856) 769-1126


Published February06, 2014 | Announcements | 1778


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