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Serving Local Communities Through Technical Service Programs

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides strong technical services through a variety of programs to address an array of water resources issues, large and small, in the Chesapeake Bay region. The National Hurricane, Continuing Authorities (CAP), Rehabilitation and Inspection (RIP), Floodplain Management Services (FPMS), Planning Assistance to States (PAS), and Silver Jackets programs grant the Corps the ability to provide technical water resources services through federal funding or a combination of federal and local funding. The Baltimore District serves communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Delaware and the District of Columbia. View our Serving Local Communities booklet below that showcases one unique project for each state and the District of Columbia in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Also located below is a comparison table of the Corps' PAS and FPMS programs that contains helpful links on partnering with the Corps through these programs. 

                                                 

Floodplain Management Services

The Floodplain Management Services (FPMS) Program authorizes the Corps to provide planning-level technical assistance and analyses to federal, state and local agencies on flooding and floodplain management related issues. Products may be completed with all federal funding or in combination with voluntary contributions from a non-federal partner. Detailed plans and specifications as well as construction would have to be accomplished under other Civil Works authorities or by the non-federal sponsor. View the FPMS program fact sheet that is updated annually for current projects. 

Types of FPMS projects include:

  • Flood modeling (hydrologic and hydraulic)

  • Floodplain mapping

  • Flood emergency access studies

  • Flood/Hurricane preparedness and response

  • Flood hazard vulnerability analysis

  • Flood risk management studies

  • Flood-proofing studies

  • Flood warning systems

  • Stormwater-related flood studies and mapping

  • Dam break analyses

  • Outreach materials

  • Anything related to flooding!

For example, Howard County and the Corps signed a Letter of Agreement in September 2016 to initiate a flood-proofing study for Historic Ellicott City after they experienced devastating flooding in July 2016. As part of this FPMS study, the Corps will survey buildings in the floodplain and evaluate and develop non-structural measures for flood proofing individual structures to reduce future damages. Examples of nonstructural flood-proofing measures include elevation of buildings, moving valuables to higher locations, raising utilities and waterproofing buildings by applying sealant and installing closures on doors and windows. 

In addition, Baltimore District is working with the District of Columbia to investigate the Oxon Run watershed, which comprises fourteen square miles of highly-urbanized land. The investigation will evaluate the impact of flooding along Oxon Run when environmental restoration alternatives are implemented such as: channel modifications; removal of sanitary sewer lines; modification of existing federally-authorized flood risk management systems, and stormwater management. A related objective of this project is to remove homes within the 100-year floodplain. The DC Department of Energy and Environment is voluntarily contributing funds for this study. 

In Pennsylvania, between fiscal 2010 and 2016, Baltimore District conducted bridge surveys and developed and ran hydrologic and hydraulic models for the Buffalo Valley Run watershed in York County; completed a flood risk management analysis for Middle Creek in Hamiltonban Township; developed hydraulic modeling and floodplain mapping and developed flood risk management alternatives for the Borough of Tyrone; conducted an evaluation of a flood risk management concept plan for the Borough of Pine Grove; and developed flood modeling and mapping for Toms Creek. In fiscal 2017, Baltimore District will complete the Borough of Tyrone stormwater study, and a hydrologic analysis for the Upper Swatara Watershed in Schuylkill County, and initiate other flood-related work with other communities throughout the south central portion of the state. 

Projects compete for limited funding across the county. A municipality/state must contact the Corps to request a study, and the study area must be an area and not one individual property. 

Sample letter to request FPMS assistance from Baltimore District

Sample Letter of Agreement to partner with Baltimore District under FPMS

For more information regarding FPMS, please contact Stacey Underwood at 410-962-4977, or stacey.m.underwood@usace.army.mil.

 

Planning Assistance to States

The Planning Assistance to States Program authorizes the Corps to assist states, local governments, Native American Tribes and other non-federal entities with planning-level technical guidance and analyses, in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development and conservation of water and related land resources. The needed planning assistance is determined by the non-federal sponsor. The studies generally involve the analysis of existing data for planning purposes using standard engineering techniques although some data collection is often necessary. The cost share is 50 percent federal and 50 percent non-federal. In fiscal 2016, PAS authority expanded to include regional comprehensive studies that allow the non-federal sponsor to voluntarily contribute above the 50/50 cost-share requirement. Like FPMS, PAS projects do not lead to construction; implementation is the responsibility of the non-federal sponsor.  View the PAS program fact sheet that is updated annually for current projects. 

Types of PAS projects include:

  • All flood-related studies

  • Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping

  • Stormwater assessments, stormwater BMP and outfall inventories and assessments

  • Stream assessments

  • Sanitary sewer (wastewater) studies

  • Water supply and demand

  • Water system vulnerability assessments

  • Surface and groundwater quality

  • Environmental restoration

  • Wetland delineations

  • Watershed planning

  • TMDL-related analysis

  • Anything related to water!

Baltimore District is currently working with Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, to initiate the “Greater Muncy Resiliency Plan.” Flooding is the preeminent natural disaster threatening this area. The purpose of this project is to deliver a holistic study resulting in a plan of action that includes specific details for implementation of best practices for community resiliency. 

The district is also working with Susquehanna River Basin Commission to update and improve their Abandoned Mine Drainage Portal. The ultimate purpose of this portal is to help identify and prioritize candidate sites for forest restoration. 

Projects compete for limited funding across the county. A municipality/state must contact the Corps to request a study, and the study area must be an area and not one individual property.  

Silver Jackets

The Corps runs a program that establishes interagency flood risk management teams for states, known as the Silver Jackets. The teams meet routinely to collaborate to reduce flood risk and increase resiliency within their states. Many of the teams have 10-15 active federal, regional, state and local agency members. Baltimore District leads the Pennsylvania, Maryland and District of Columbia Silver Jackets teams and supports the Virginia, West Virginia and New York teams that are led by other Corps districts. In addition to coordination, the state teams have an opportunity to submit proposals to receive federal  funding for interagency projects that will help reduce flood risk. The funds come from the Corps Floodplain Management Services program; however, projects must also leverage funds from other agencies.

View the Baltimore District Silver Jackets program fact sheet that is updated annually for current projects, as well as the Silver Jackets web site for more in-depth information on the projects.  
 
For example, in 2016, the Washington, DC, Silver Jackets Team developed an online flood inundation mapping tool project that will help government leaders, emergency managers, and the public better predict flood impacts during high-water events in the D.C. metropolitan area. 

For more information, please contact Stacey Underwood at 410-962-4977, or stacey.m.underwood@usace.army.mil.



Continuing Authorities Program

The Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) provides the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the authority to solve water-resource, flood-risk mitigation and environmental restoration problems in partnership with local sponsors without the need to obtain specific Congressional authorization. This program decreases the amount of time required to budget, develop and approve a potential project for construction. CAP allows the Corps to plan and implement projects that are smaller, less complex and less costly. Learn more about this program and obtain sample letters to request assistance on the CAP web page

 

Rehabilitation and Inspection Program

The Baltimore District has 148 miles of federally-built levees that help manage flood risk in southern New York, central Pennsylvania, Maryland, northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Every year, teams with special training and equipment conduct annual inspections by walking the levees to ensure they will perform as designed in case of a flood. These teams also conduct periodic inspections every five years for a more in-depth review. All inspections are done in coordination with the local sponsor that operates and maintains the levee. Detailed reports following the inspections are given to the sponsor for any follow-up actions. Inspections also provide a better picture of levee conditions and an opportunity in our shared efforts with state and local authorities to communicate flood risk and make informed decisions on how best to manage it.

The results of Corps levee inspections help determine continued eligibility as part of the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program (RIP). This authority allows the Corps to repair and / or rehabilitate qualified flood risk management projects, whether constructed by federal or state / local governments, that have been damaged by floods or storms, using federal aid. The repairs are supposed to bring the projects back to pre-storm condition.  

Rehabilitation projects for non-federal flood risk management projects are cost-shared 80 percent federal and 20 percent non-federal. The non-federal share may be provided with work-in-kind, cash, or a combination of both. Federal flood risk management projects are repaired at 100 percent federal cost.

For example, the Corps completed repairs to a retention wall in the Borough of Danville that was damaged by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011. The rehabilitation restored the level of managed flood risk to the Borough of Danville that existed prior to the flood event.

The wall is part of the Danville flood risk management project, which is a non-federal project designed and constructed under the authority of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection flood control program to reduce the risk of flooding from the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, Mahoning Creek, and tributaries.

For more information on the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program, please contact Leon Skinner at 410-962-4226, or Leon.Skinner@usace.army.mil

 

 

National Hurricane Program

The Baltimore District is home to the National Hurricane Program Office, which centrally manages all Corps technical support as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Hurricane Program. Within this program, the Corps and FEMA work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct hurricane evacuation studies with the ultimate goal of helping local communities understand their evacuation timeline. 

For example, the Corps teaches an annual HURREVAC training refresher class for state and local emergency managers at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency - Emergency Operations Center in Smyrna, Delaware. HURREVAC is a computer software program that allows emergency managers to track hurricanes, view official forecast information, analyze potential risks and receive evacuation-timing guidance. It is a product of the National Hurricane Program. The Corps is responsible for executing the operation and maintenance of the software, as well as administering the training program.  

In 2012, Baltimore District worked with Philadelphia District to update the hazards analysis portion of the Delaware Hurricane Evacuation Study that provides valuable information on vulnerability, public evacuation behavior, and shelter demand that aids hurricane planning and ultimately results in the calculation of evacuation clearance times. This update was based on the ‘Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes’ model, which the National Hurricane Center uses to predict storm surge for an approaching hurricane. The areas in Delaware at risk from storm surge flooding were identified using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and placed on risk maps. State and local officials in Delaware use these maps to understand where hurricane evacuations may need to occur, in order to be better prepared for the next storm. 

Both of these projects were entirely federally-funded. 

For more information on the National Hurricane Program, please contact Carla Quinn at 410-962-6775, or Carla.M.Quinn@usace.army.mil