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WEB-BASED HANDBOOK (Legacy Edition). CLICK HERE to submit comments.
Because of staff changes and Randolph Langenbach's retirement from FEMA, these handbooks were never published on the FEMA website.  These are the only copies available.




This Appendix briefly discusses significant regulations and issues that should be considered when developing one of the projects identified in this handbook. To streamline the use of the Handbook, these cautions are represented by symbols. The most applicable symbols accompany each mitigation measure in the Handbook. It is solely the project proponent's responsibility to ensure that all applicable codes and standards are met, regardless if they are identified in this Handbook.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

All federal agencies must consider the effects of federally-funded projects upon the environment as required by NEPA. Actions identified by this symbol may have an impact on the environment and may require further investigation to determine the extent of any impacts.

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

The ESA protects animals and plants that are federally listed as threatened or endangered (as well as their habitat). Actions identified by this symbol may have an affect on endangered species or their habitat. Consultation and approval by the National Marine Fisheries Service and/or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may be necessary when either agency has jurisdiction.

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)

NHPA strives to protect our nation's heritage, and requires the review of any project that affects a structure 50 years or older that may be on (or eligible for) the Federal Register of Historic Places, or that affects a site which may contain artifacts of archaeological or cultural significance. For any action identified by this symbol, FEMA may need to consult with the State or Tribal Historic Preservation Office to determine whether any additional action or mitigation is necessary.

Clean Water Act (CWA)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is responsible for ensuring that projects in 'the waters of the United States' do not adversely affect such waters. Actions identified by this symbol may require a permit by the Corps.

Floodplain / Wetlands

Actions identified by this symbol are subject to Executive Order 11988 on Floodplain Management and/or Executive Order 11990 on Wetlands. The Executive Orders on Floodplains and Wetlands are intended to ensure that federally-funded projects avoid long and short term impacts associated with the modification of floodplains or wetlands.

Right of Way Constraints

Mitigation measures identified by this symbol may be limited by required right of way widths, clear zone constraints, and/or geometry of embankment constraints.

Downstream or Upstream Effects

Actions identified by this symbol indicate that the action may impact downstream flow volumes or may create backwater effects upstream of the measure.


The cost of actions identified by this symbol may be prohibitively expensive.


Actions identified by this symbol may require significant and/or continuous maintenance.


Actions identified by this symbol require that an engineer be consulted or hired to develop and/or approve the retrofit


NOTE:  None of the mitigation measures in these Handbooks should be considered ‘pre-approved’ or otherwise automatically eligible for FEMA funding. Only FEMA staff can determine eligibility, once they have determined that an applicant is eligible and they have reviewed a project proposal.

FEMA HAZARD MITIGATION HANDBOOKS                                                                        Updated: June 13, 2002