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Policies, Authorities & Standard Operation Procedures

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Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies describes the authority to provide emergency response and disaster assistance. It authorizes disaster preparedness, advance measures, emergency operations (disaster response and post flood response), rehabilitation of flood control works (FCW) threatened or destroyed by flood, protection or repair of federally authorized shore protection works threatened or destroyed by coastal storm, provision of emergency water due to drought or contaminated sources, emergency dredging, and flood related rescue operations.
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes FEMA to direct the Corps to use its available personnel, supplies, facilities, and other resources to provide assistance in the event of a major disaster or emergency declaration by the President. Under the National Response Framework (NRF), The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #3, Public Works and Engineering. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the designated operating agent for DOD in executing ESF #3 activities. Public Works and Engineering support includes technical advice and evaluations, engineering services, construction management and inspection, emergency contracting, emergency power, emergency repair of wastewater and solid waste facilities, and real estate support. Some of the activities within the scope of ESF #3 include:
1. Clear debris
2. Construct Emergency access routes, including damaged streets, roads, bridges, ports, waterways, airfields, and other facilities
3. Restore critical public services and facilities, including supply of adequate amounts of potable water, temporary restoration of water supply systems, and the provision of water for firefighting
4. Demolish or stabilize damaged structures and facilities
This Act provides the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authority for emergency response assistance for up to 10 days following an emergency and before the Presidential Declaration. (This is often referred to as the 10-day rule). Activities are limited to actions to save lives and protect improved property (public facilities/services and residential or commercial developments).
Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  ER 500-1-1, Civil Emergency Management Program, Engineering Regulation
This regulation prescribes policies for the Civil Emergency Management (CEM) Program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) under the authorities of 33 U.S.C. 701n (commonly referred to as Public Law (PL) 84-99); the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) (The Stafford Act); Army Regulation (AR) 500-60, Disaster Relief; and Engineer Regulation (ER) 1130-2-530, Flood Control Operations and Maintenance Policies.
Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  EP 500-1-1, Civil Emergency Management Program Procedures Engineering Pamphlet
This pamphlet prescribes processes and procedures for the management and execution of the Civil Emergency Management (CEM) Program. This pamphlet is a companion document to, and must be used in conjunction with, ER 500-1-1.
Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  EM-385-1-1, Safety And Health Requirements Manual
Safety And Health Requirements Manual. This manual prescribes the safety and health requirements for all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activities and operations. It applies to all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers elements, major subordinate commands, districts, laboratories, and field operating activities.

Rehabilitation & Inspection Program

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The Rehabilitation and Inspection Program is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' program that provides for inspection of flood control projects, the rehabilitation of damaged flood control projects, and the rehabilitation of Federally authorized and constructed hurricane or shore protection projects. Inspection of non-Federal flood control works are accomplished under provisions of Public Law (PL) 84-99. Projects initially constructed by the Corps of Engineers, including hurricane and shore protection projects, and turned over to the local sponsor for maintenance are inspected under authority of the Inspection of Completed Works (ICW) program. Should an eligible project require rehabilitation as a result of damage from a significant flood or storm event, project rehabilitation would be accomplished under provisions of PL 84-99.
Flood control and Hurricane/Shore Protection projects in an active status at the time of a flood or storm event may receive Rehabilitation Assistance under the authority of Public Law 84-99. An active status is maintained by proper project maintenance and the correction of deficiencies identified during periodic inspections.

The program assures sponsor compliance with existing agreements that the structures and facilities constructed by the United States, or eligible projects constructed by non-Federal governmental entities, for flood protection and/or hurricane and shore protection will be continuously maintained in such a manner and operated at such times and for such periods as may be necessary to obtain the maximum benefits. Failure of local government to properly maintain such projects may result in a determination of ineligibility for Federal assistance to rehabilitate a storm-damaged project.

There are two ways for a flood control/protection project to be included in the RIP:
1. Non-Federally Constructed Flood Control Works: — An Initial Eligibility Inspection (IEI) must be requested by the project sponsor and conducted by Corps of Engineers' personnel. The project sponsor is usually a government entity with authority to levy assessments for project maintenance, which has constructed and assumed maintenance responsibility for the project. Corps of Engineers technical staff experienced in flood control project design, construction, maintenance, and damage investigations will perform this inspection. The IEI determines the general functional and structural integrity of the project, and thus the project's ability to provide reliable protection against floods. If the project meets the Corps' condition standards, with the public sponsor assuming maintenance, the project may be included in the RIP.
2. Federally Constructed / Locally Maintained Flood Control Works: — Flood Control Projects built by the Corps of Engineers with a public sponsor responsible for maintenance do not require an initial eligibility inspection as they have been built to established Federal standards and are eligible for rehabilitation assistance, assuming proper sponsor maintenance. These projects are periodically inspected to assure proper maintenance and continued eligibility for Federal rehabilitation assistance. Failure by the project sponsor to correct deficient maintenance may result in removal of the project from the Inspection of Complete Works program and from eligibility for emergency rehabilitation under PL 84-99.

Rehabilitation Assistance can be provided on a cost shared bases for non-Federally constructed projects (currently 80% Federal and 20% non-Federal). Projects initially constructed by the Corps of Engineers and properly maintained are eligible for 100% Federal funding for repairing the project to its prior-storm condition. Local sponsors will be required to assume any rehabilitation cost of a damaged active project attributable to deferred maintenance.

State and Local governments may make application for inclusion in this program by submitting a request to Chief, Emergency Management Branch and provide the following information:
3. Point of contact, telephone number, and address
4. Location and description of FCW
5. If making application for damages, please include site maps or drawings (if available), and a statement indicating whether it is in an active status in the Corps program
6. State the urgency desired for the repair

National Response Framework

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The National Response Framework, developed through the efforts of 27 departments and agencies, describes the basic methodology by which the Federal government will mobilize resources and conduct activities to assist States in coping with the consequences of significant disasters.

Within the Plan, the Department of Defense has designated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the primary agency for planning, preparedness, and response under the Emergency Support Function (ESF) #3, Public Works and Engineering. The purpose of this Emergency Support Function is to provide lifesaving or life protecting assistance to augment efforts of the affected State(s) and local response efforts following a major or catastrophic disaster.

The process begins by local government identifying their requirements for public works and engineering assistance to the State. If sufficient resources are not available at the State, the requirement will be forwarded to the ESF #3 element in the Disaster Field Office. The Corps will then assign the mission to one of its offices in or near the disaster area to deliver the required Federal assistance.

Under the Stafford Act, the Corps supports the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency in carrying out the National Response Framework, which calls on 30 federal departments and agencies to provide coordinated disaster relief and recovery operations.

The National Response Framework (NRF) is an all-discipline, all-hazards plan that establishes a single, comprehensive framework for the management of domestic incidents.

  •   It provides the structure and mechanisms to coordinate federal support to state, local, and tribal incident managers and for exercising direct federal authorities and responsibilities.
  •  It assists in the important homeland security mission of preventing terrorist attacks within the United States; reducing the vulnerability to all natural and man-made hazards; and minimizing the damage and assisting in the recovery from any type of incident that occurs.

Within the Plan, the Department of Defense has designated USACE as the primary agency for planning, preparedness, and response under the Emergency Support Function #3, Public Works and Engineering. The purpose of this Emergency Support Function is to provide lifesaving or life protecting assistance to augment efforts of the affected state(s) and local response efforts following a major or catastrophic disaster.