Coastal Barrier Resources Act

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hurricane photoDisaster Assistance

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) limitations and exceptions also apply for new expenditures or financial assistance made available under authority of the Stafford Act.  There is an exception under Section 6 of CBRA (16 U.S.C. § 3505(a)(6)(E)) for emergency actions essential to the saving of lives and the protection of property and the public health and safety if those actions are consistent with the three purposes of CBRA.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) regulations implementing CBRA as that statue applies to disaster relief can be found at 44 CFR 206.340 through 206.349, located here.


Emergency Disaster Assistance

Federal assistance for most emergency actions in a Federally-declared disaster area which are essential to the saving of lives and the protection of property and the public health and safety, are allowed within the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS), if those actions are consistent with the three purposes of CBRA (16 U.S.C. § 3505(a)(6)(E)).  The actions are limited to those that are necessary to alleviate the emergency such as removal of debris from public property; emergency restoration of essential community services such as electricity, water or sewer; provision of emergency shelter; relocation of individuals out of danger; etc.  Since these activities must be accomplished immediately, FEMA has conducted advance consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for the emergency work, and only an after the fact notification is provided.  The Service still has the responsibility for providing an opinion after these activities have been accomplished. 


Permanent Restoration Assistance

Most Federal funding for permanent restoration assistance is prohibited within the CBRS unless the project or action meets one of the exceptions in Section 6 of CBRA (16 U.S.C. § 3505).  Federal funding may not be used within System units to replace non-public roads, dredge new navigation channels; provide structural beach or shoreline stabilization; expand publicly owned or operated roads, structures, or facilities (e.g., sewer lines or sewage plants, bridges and culverts); and for other projects or actions that promote or provide for expanded development or services within the CBRS.  FEMA’s regulations (44 C.F.R. 206.348) require consultation with the Service at the regional level before approving any action involving permanent restoration of a facility or structure on or attached to a System unit.  The Service has 12 working days to respond to FEMA’s consultation requests for permanent restoration assistance. 

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