Thursday, October 17, 2019

USDA to invest $103 million in natural disaster recovery, rehabilitation

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced that it will invest up to $103 million in the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program, which will partially go towards recovery and rehabilitation of aging dams.

The EWP will provide $93 million for state and local governments to undertake recovery projects following natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and wildfires. Approximately $59 million of that funding will be used to help regions of Texas, Mississippi and Utah that were severely impacted by excessive rains in 2015, which overwhelmed drainage systems and damaged culverts, bridges and roads.

The NRCS will also provide $10.4 million for Watershed Rehabilitation Program funding, which will allow communities to assess aging dams and rehabilitate them where necessary to lessen the impacts of natural disasters.

"The Emergency Watershed Protection program is vital to communities repairing damage and making improvements to reduce future damage from natural disasters," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $647 million to help local governments restore watersheds and protect communities from the aftermath of devastating natural disasters like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy and fires and flooding in the Southwestern United States."

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United States Department of Agriculture

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