Morgan Creek Embankment Repair FEMA Notice

OWASA will be making repairs to a section of armored embankment protecting critical infrastructure on Morgan Creek. Below is a FEMA notice regarding public comments on the project.


Orange Water and Sewer Authority has applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program funding through North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) as a sub- recipient.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal actions must be reviewed and evaluated for feasible alternatives and for social, economic, historic, environmental, legal, and safety considerations. Under Executive Order (EO) 11988 and EO 11990, FEMA is required to consider alternatives, and to provide a public notice of any proposed actions in or affecting floodplains or wetlands. EO 12898 also requires FEMA to provide the opportunity for public participation in the planning process and to consider potential impacts to minority and low-income populations. This notice may also fulfill requirements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Funding for the proposed project will be conditional upon compliance with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws, regulations, floodplain standards, permit requirements and conditions.

Sub-Applicant: Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA)

Project Title: 86182- Sewer Line Ground Repairs; PA-04-NC-4412-PW-00142

Location of Proposed Work:

Facility Latitude Longitude Date of Construction

Armored Embankment 35.89140 -79.04063 1977

Armored Embankment 34.89168 -79.04171 1977

Special Flood Hazard Area Zone:

This project is for the replacement of rip rap and surge rock at a section of armored embankment on Morgan Creek in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which protects a larger system of water and sewer lines. Some work is located in an AE Zone and Floodway (1% Annual Chance Flood Hazard). Confirmation of location in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) was determined by the Orange County Flood Insurance Rate Map, Panel Number: 3710978700K, dated 11/17/2017. The proposed work conforms to all applicable State of North Carolina and local floodplain regulations. There is a potential for the armored embankment to be impacted by future flooding events due to its location within the AE Zone and Floodway. The proposed work will not take place in wetlands per the United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory and will have little potential to impact or affect wetland values.

Proposed Work and Purpose:

Orange Water and Sewer Authority will repair two sections of armored embankment protecting water and sewer lines using 76.95 tons of rip rap and 24.7 tons of surge rock, which was damaged due to flooding during Tropical Storm Michael. The work will be in-kind and to pre-disaster conditions. The armored embankment is a protection measure for the larger system of water and sewer lines running through Orange County, which allows for continued operations of the utility systems during future storms.

Project Alternatives:

Alternative #1 (No action): The ‘no action’ alternative would ultimately result in a negative impact on Orange Water and Sewer Authority. If the embankment is not repaired, the water and sewer lines could be exposed, destabilized, and possibly damaged in the next flood event.

Alternative #2 (Relocation): Relocating the utility lines would be cost prohibitive as the repairs are only to a section of armoring to an embankment as opposed to the relocating the system of underground utility lines.

Comment Period:

Comments are solicited from the public; local, state or federal agencies, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed project. The comments should be made in writing and addressed to:

FEMA Internal 11988 Reviewer

FEMA Region 4

3003 Chamblee-Tucker Road

Atlanta, Georgia, 30341

Alternatively, comments may be emailed to: Please send comments with the subject line [DR-4412-NC-00142 11988 COMMENT].

All comments are due by no later than 30 days of the posted date of this notice.

POSTED ON: April 14, 2020