The high winds and heavy rains of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent widespread flooding damaged many buildings in Orleans Parish, LA. In the aftermath of the hurricane, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is issuing this public notice as part of its responsibilities under the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) regulations, 36 CFR Part 800, implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), as amended, and to supplement its public outreach for E.O. 11988 and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This notice applies to activities carried out by the Public Assistance (PA) program implemented under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C.ßß 5152-5206.
Tulane has applied for FEMA hazard mitigation funds to construct flood-proofing treatments at the Tulane University of Louisiana, St. Charles Avenue Campus, in the area of campus roughly bounded by Saint Charles Avenue and South Claiborne as requested by the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund. The intent of this construction is to reduce or eliminate the threat of future similar damage.
The proposed flood-proofing treatments include dry flood-proofing measures below-grade, at grade-level, or in the mechanical spaces of various buildings; the construction of free-standing and attached concrete flood walls at the perimeters of select buildings; the installation of flood doors and gates at select locations; and the installation of a fiber reinforced polymer dry flood-proofing system or other waterproofing system to the interior faces of below-grade portions of exterior walls. The construction of the free-standing and attached flood walls will require limited ground disturbing excavations.
Executive Order 11988, 44 CFR Part 9 - FEMA's Floodplain Management regulations found in 44 CFR 9.8 (b), require FEMA to enable the public to have impact on the decision outcome for all FEMA funded actions having the potential to adversely affect, or be affected by floodplains. Initial public notice requirements within 44 CFR 9.8 have been addressed as described in FEMA's 8-step decision making document, which can be found at the Tulane University Capital Projects and Real Estate Group website (http://tulane.edu/cpreg/hazmit.cfm). Tulane University also completed a Hydrology and Hydraulics (H&H) study to determine the environmental effects of this undertaking to the surrounding community near Tulane University. The study concluded that the proposed projects would present negligible impacts to the surrounding community in the event of a 100-yr storm. FEMA has determined that the H&H study adequately defines the impact to the local floodplains. Tulane placed the H&H Study on its website on August 9, 2011: http://tulane.edu/cpreg/hhrms_20110809.cfm, and it is currently still available. The H&H Study is also available for public review at Tulane's Howard-Tilton Library, at 7001 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70118. This notice shall serve as FEMA's final public notice for this undertaking as required by 44 CFR 9.12. All relevant documentation for public review can be found on the Tulane University Capital Projects and Real Estate Group website.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 44 CFR Part 10 - FEMA is required to follow the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (NEPA Regulations, 43 FR 55978 (1978)) that provide policy and procedures to enable FEMA officials to be informed of and take into account environmental considerations when authorizing or approving major FEMA actions that may significantly affect the environment in the United States. It is the intent of NEPA that federal agencies encourage and facilitate public involvement to the extent practicable in decisions that may affect the quality of the environment. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the CEQ established Alternative Arrangements to meet the requirements of NEPA in reconstructing critical infrastructure in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area (NOMA); Alternative Arrangements, Federal Register/Vol. 71, No. 56/Thursday, March 23, 2006. Alternative Arrangements enable FEMA, as a component of DHS, to consider the potential for significant impacts to the human environment from its approval to fund critical physical infrastructure in NOMA. More information on NEPA and the Alternative Arrangements process can be found on FEMA's web page at: www.fema.gov/plan/ehp/noma.
FEMA has determined to fulfill its responsibilities under Section 106 of the NHPA through the development and implementation of a Secondary Programmatic Agreement (Tulane 2PA). This approach is appropriate because specific flood-proofing plans have not been developed for individual properties, FEMA has not prepared Project Worksheets for all properties that may be included in this project, and a Secondary Programmatic Agreement will allow FEMA to identify programmatic conditions or treatment measures for multiple but similar Undertakings.
The Undertaking has the potential to affect historic properties in the Tulane University of Louisiana National Register Historic District (Tulane NRHD) and the Uptown New Orleans National Register Historic District (Uptown NRHD).
The Tulane 2PA will include a process to identify and evaluate properties, including archaeological resources, that may be affected by the Undertaking to determine if they are listed on or eligible for inclusion in the NRHP; assess effects; consider alternatives to avoid any adverse effects; identify treatment measures to offset any adverse effects; and address discoveries. FEMA is seeking input from members of the public on ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential Adverse Effect.
Any member of the public is encouraged to provide views on this project to FEMA. FEMA will accept and consider public comments on Floodplain Management and NEPA related issues as a part of the Section 106 review. Comments can be submitted to FEMA for a 15-day period beginning on March 15, 2012 by posting online at http://www.crt.state.la.us/culturalassets/fema106/commentnotice.asp?NoticeID=159 (this web site) or sending an email to FEMA-NOMA@dhs.gov or sending a letter through the mail to:
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Louisiana Recovery Office - Attn: E/HP
1 Seine Court
New Orleans, LA 70114
If mailed, comments and requests must be physically received at this address by March 31st, 2012.