EARLY NOTICE AND PUBLIC REVIEW OF A PROPOSED
ACTIVITY IN A 100-YEAR FLOODPLAIN
April 5, 2013
To: All Interested Agencies, Groups & Individuals
This is to give notice that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Order 11988 , in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management, to determine the potential effect that its activity in the floodplain will have on the human environment for Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Economic Revitalization Programs under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (PL 93-383).
The State has determined that its first allocations of CDBG-DR funds ($1.83 billion in total) will be directed to the most impacted municipalities and counties, with approximately $475 million for economic recovery and revitalization programs. The best available data suggests that businesses within nine counties sustained approximately $382 million in commercial property losses and approximately another $63.9 million in business interruption losses. In addition, damages to public infrastructure, such as roads, rail and bridges as well as water and electrical utility systems, have caused significant interruption to the State’s economy and have had a corresponding negative impact on businesses trying to recover after the storm. It is the State’s expectation that the number of businesses requiring assistance and the amount of additional funding needed will greatly increase as unmet needs assessments continue.
Though the confirmation of site locations is currently in progress, 80 percent of the CDBG funding must be spent on projects located in the following nine counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union. The estimated numbers of impacted businesses in each of these counties are as follows: 3,300 businesses in Atlantic County; 2,400 businesses in Bergen County; 1,600 businesses in Cape May County; 2,800 businesses in Essex County; 4,500 businesses in Hudson County; 2,100 businesses in Middlesex County; 6,000 businesses in Monmouth County; 10,700 businesses in Ocean County, and; 2,100 businesses in Union County. The approximate floodplain acreages in each of these counties are as follows: 144,402 acres in Atlantic County; 27,249 acres in Bergen County; 99,264 acres in Cape May County; 17,849 acres in Essex County; 19,876 acres in Hudson County; 34,751 acres in Middlesex County; 37,516 acres in Monmouth County; 176,541 acres in Ocean County, and; 14,299 acres in Union County. The tidal floodplains in the State are depicted on two maps: the advisory mapping developed by FEMA, which can be viewed by selecting “FEMA's Interactive ABFE Map” link at www.region2coastal.com/sandy/abfe and the FEMA Base Flood Elevation Map link at www.msc.fema.gov.
Grants and Recoverable Loans to Small Businesses (approximately $300 million)
This program will provide grants of up to approximately $50,000 to small businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenues that sustained physical damage from Superstorm Sandy. Eligible uses of funds include costs related to rehabilitation, new construction, equipment, inventory, mitigation and refinancing.
Direct Loans for Impacted Small Businesses (approximately $100 million)
This program will provide loans ranging from approximately $100,000 to $5 million for storm-impacted small businesses. These loans are intended to assist businesses that suffered physical damage, as well as to spur economic revitalization by providing funding for businesses to locate or expand in storm-impacted areas.
Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (approximately $75 million)
This program will provide funding to help communities with public facility improvements, such as: streetscapes, lighting, and sidewalks; businesses assistance initiatives such as micro-loans for storm-related damage and loan guarantees for loan loss reserves; and façade and code-related improvements.
There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in floodplains and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. Second, an adequate public notice program can be an important public education tool. The dissemination of information about floodplains can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the Federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in floodplains, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk.
In review and consideration of proposed projects, NJDEP will: identify and evaluate practicable alternatives; identify potential direct and indirect impacts associated with floodplain development; where practicable, design or modify the proposed action to minimize the potential adverse impacts to lives, property, and natural values within the floodplain and to restore and preserve the values of the floodplain, and; reevaluate alternatives in view of decision. In conducting this review, NJDEP will assess proposed projects for compliance with federal and state laws. Written comments must be received by NJDEP on or before April 20, 2013. NJDEP encourages electronic submittal of comments at www.nj.gov/dep/special/hudnotices/comments.htm. In the alternative, comments may be submitted on paper, and must be postmarked by April 20, 2013, and addressed to: NJDEP, Mail Code 401-07D, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0402.
Bob Martin, Commissioner, NJDEP