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Final Public Notice

Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative has applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding through Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSMED) as a sub-recipient.


Under the NationalEnvironmental Policy Act (NEPA), federalactions must be reviewed and evaluated for feasible alternatives and for social, economic, historic, environmental, legal, and safety considerations. Under Executive Order (EO) 11988 and EO 11990, FEMA is required to consider alternatives, and to provide a public notice of any proposed actions in or affecting floodplains or wetlands. EO 12898 also requires FEMA to provide the opportunity for public participation in the planning process and to consider potential impacts to minority and low-income populations. This notice may also fulfill requirements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).


Funding for the proposed project will be conditional upon compliance with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws, regulations, floodplain standards, permit requirements and conditions.


Sub-Applicant: Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative


Project Title: IA-DR-4557-HMGP-54; Harrison County REC 2021 Electrical Retrofit


Location of Proposed Work:

See figures 1-3 below for maps of project area.


Special Flood Hazard Area Zone:

The project sites are located within a mixture of unmapped, unshaded Zone X, areas of minimal flood hazard outside the SFHA, and Zone A, areas of 1% annual chance flooding. There is a potential for the facility to be impacted by future flooding events due to portions being located within the floodplain. The proposed work does take place in wetlands and non-wetlands per the United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory; however, it will have little potential to impactor affect wetland values with the minimization methods applied.


Proposed Work and Purpose:

Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative mitigate a total of 55.5 miles of electric powerlines. 7.83 miles of lines will be upgraded by utilizing stronger conductors, shorter pole spans, and higher-class poles to meet the NESC Class B strength requirements. 47.67 miles of lines will be converted to underground lines utilizing plowing, trenching, or directional boring. Additional minimization methods applied to this project include requiring construction activities and equipment staging to avoid wetlands and the use of best management practices to prevent erosion and sedimentation affecting wetlands. As such, the useful life of this utility should increase, and no adverse impacts to the floodplain or wetlands should occur.


Project Alternatives:

Alternative #1 (No action): The 'no action' alternative would result in recurring damages to the powerlines due to severe winter storms. By building back stronger, the public is less likely to lose power in the future.


Alternative #2 (Reroute lines away from the floodplain):While it could be possible to reroute all lines away from the floodplain, it would result in many more lines and could even reduce coverage for some individuals who live within the floodplain. It could also lead to significant ground disturbance as the lines could need to be installed outside of the right of way.


Comment Period:

Commentsare solicited from the public;local, state or federal agencies,and other interested parties in order toconsider and evaluatethe impacts of the proposed project. The comments shouldbe made in writing and addressed to the following email: teri.toye@fema.dhs.gov. Please send comments with the subject line DR-4557-HMGP-54 11988 COMMENT].


All comments are due by no later than 15 days of the posted date of this notice.


POSTED ON: August 9, 2023



End of Notice


Figure 1: Google Earth aerial view of the line segments to be mitigated shown in pink.


Figure 2: Google Earth aerial view of the line segments to be mitigated shown in pink.


Figure 3: Google Earth aerial view of the line segments to be mitigated shown in pink.

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