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Potomac Highlands Implementation Grants

Additional Information About the Mid-Atlantic Highlands

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Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant Description

Funds were provided in the Appropriations Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-88) for certain geographic programs, including two million dollars to conduct a competitive assistance agreement to protect and restore the Potomac Highlands.  The funds have been authorized to support on-the-ground projects relating to the protection and restoration of ecological resources and services to improve the Potomac Highlands ecosystem. The Potomac Highlands, for the purposes of this funding, were considered to be the Potomac Watershed west of and above the fall line, plus the eight counties in the east central portion of West Virginia defined as the Potomac Highlands by the West Virginia Department of Commerce:

  1. Mineral
  2. Hampshire
  3. Grant
  4. Tucker
  5. Randolph
  6. Pendleton
  7. Pocahontas, and
  8. Hardy.

EPA’s solicitation (EPA-R3-EAID-10-05), which was issued under the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 66.050, resulted in an award to American Rivers, Inc. (AR) to administer the grant implementation program in accordance with the Highlands Action Program goals.  AR solicited for projects through the Potomac Highlands Restoration Grant Request for Proposals in accordance with their cooperative agreement with EPA and selected projects for funding. Information on the selected projects may be found on the American Rivers web site Exit EPA Disclaimer.

The Potomac Highlands are located within the Mid-Atlantic Highlands (map). Additional information on the Mid-Atlantic Highlands is included in a report called, Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program, Transforming the Legacy (PDF) (78 pp, 5.4MB, About PDF). This report provides a more detailed description of environmental conditions of the Mid-Atlantic Highlands, including the Potomac Highlands region.

Adoption of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

EPA has the responsibility to award funds consistent with the terms of the Appropriation Act and other applicable Federal requirements.  One such Federal requirement involves compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U. S. C. 4331-4347.  NEPA requires Federal agencies to assess the degree to which projects that are proposed to receive Federal funding will cause either short-term or long-term impact to the natural and human environment.  EPA has performed a review of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) prepared by the USDA Forest Service - Monongahela National Forest for the Lambert Restoration Project and has adopted the Environmental Assessment and FONSI for Mower Tract Ecological Restoration project, which is part of the larger Lambert Restoration Project. The Mower Tract project has been recommended for funding by American Rivers:

  1. Official Project Name: Mower Tract Ecological Restoration
    Project Applicant: University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Kentucky

Adoption of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact; Decision Notice and Determination of No Significant Impact (December 2011) Lambert Restoration Project USDA Forest Service, Monongahela National Forest, Greenbrier Ranger District by the US Environmental Protection Agency (PDF) (2 pp., 74 K, About PDF)

Lambert Restoration Project - USDA Forest Service project site

Finding of No Significant Impact


EPA has the responsibility to award funds consistent with the terms of the Appropriation Act and other applicable Federal requirements.  One such Federal requirement involves compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U. S. C. 4331-4347.  NEPA requires Federal agencies to assess the degree to which projects that are proposed to receive Federal funding will cause either short-term or long-term impact to the natural and human environment.  EPA has performed an Environmental Review and has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for two of the projects which have been recommended for funding by American Rivers:

  1. Official Project Name: Pharis Knob-Gandy Creek: Restoring Habitat and Landscape Connections
    Project Applicant: The Nature Conservancy, Elkins, West Virginia
  2. Official Project Name: Frostburg Grows, Grow It Local Greenhouse: Innovative Mined Land Reclamation Through the Development of a Regional Food Production Training Facility and Native Tree Nursery.
    Project Applicant: Western Maryland Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., Hagerstown, Maryland

The 30 day public comment period for these projects began on May 30, 2012 and ended on June 30, 2012. The FONSI documents are listed below.


Mid-Atlantic Region || Mid-Atlantic Env'l Assessment & Innovation


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