March 29, 2023
March 29, 2023
Flood Recovery Regulatory Efforts Meeting
2:00 pm – Present:
Carbon County: Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock, DES Coordinator Cyrina Allen (call-in), and Human Resources Kate Asbury
Stillwater County: Tyrel Hamilton, Steve Riveland
Park County: Bill Berg, Matt Whitman
FEMA: James Fox, Edie Vinson-Maitlandt
Army Corps: Col Mark Himes, Sheila Newman, Sage Joyce, Ted Streakfuss, Melanie Englert
Senator Representatives: Tory Kolkhorst (Daines’ Office), Emily Schneller (Rosendale’s Office), Josiah Porcel (Tester’s Office)
DES: Jeff Gates, Allison Taylor, Sarah (DES Rep on phone)
FWP: Shannon Blackburn
DNRC: Shylea Wingard (Floodplain), Sam Johnson (Billings)
Conservation Districts: Sharon Flemetis, Amy Bailey
Red Lodge: Kristen Cogswell, Terri Durbin, Courtney Long
Governor’s Office: Krista Juras
Great West Engineering: Kody Marxer
Public: Heather Quinn
Discussed woody debris removal, permitting, access through private property, staging, and disposal. Woody debris removal is expected to be completed by June 16th. There was a discussion about contractors, the use of local subcontractors, and equipment needs.
The conversation shifted to rock debris removal. Fox discussed rock and sediment removal challenges; FEMA will only fund returning the waterway to “pre-flood conditions.” Fox also noted the permitting challenges with EHP and concerns about habitat disturbances. Various rock debris sites were discussed including the difference in moving the rock from the middle of the channel to the banks vs. removing the rock debris to a location outside the floodway, and that we are not “dredging” the river. Discussed possible timelines for rock removal; the hope is that this can get started this year.
FEMA provided a general update and discussed the weather challenges with permitting and designing repair projects. Vinson-Maitlandt noted FEMA has obligated about $9.9 Million to Montana, and another $3.8 Million is expected to be obligated to the Nye Road. A discussion was had about how unfinished projects may be treated if there is additional flooding in 2023. it depends on whether or not the damage is significant enough to warrant a Presidential Disaster Declaration; if not then the work would be considered an emergency protective measure, if there is a Presidential Declaration the projects would be evaluated under that Declaration.
Col Himes provided an update from Army Corps, noting the permitting efforts thus far. Also discussed was the Regional General Permit that was put in place about 2 weeks ago. This will allow great flexibility in getting projects permitted and does provide for channel restoration.
Conservation District provided an update on their permitting capacity and EWP projects in the region.
DNRC discussed Floodplain permitting and water channel remapping.
There was a general discussion about FEMA deadlines and the extension request process, monitoring for the possibility of flooding this spring, and the continued economic impacts of flood damage
3:29 pm Adjourned.