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September 28, 2021 10:22AM
September 28, 2021 10:22AM
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local hazard mitigation plan

IRWD Local Hazard Mitigation Plan available for public comment

Irvine Ranch Water District has initiated development of a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP). The LHMP will provide a framework for IRWD to reduce its vulnerability to the impacts of natural and human-induced events such as earthquakes, flooding, and spills. The plan will identify opportunities for IRWD to make its water and sewer infrastructure even more resilient to hazards in the future.

Draft Documents Available for Review

Starting July 27, 2021, the LHMP was available for a two-week public review period. The comment period closed at 6 p.m. Aug.10.  Please see the following draft document: IRWD LHMP Public Review with Appendix.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a Hazard Mitigation Plan?

A Hazard Mitigation Plan is a framework that guides decision making and policy development to reduce or eliminate risks in our community. The plan identifies the types of hazards that may exist, evaluates our community’s vulnerability to those threats, and outlines a strategy to reduce or eliminate the risk.

Why is the LHMP important?

The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires state and local governments, including special districts, to have an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan to be eligible to apply for and receive hazard mitigation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). IRWD is committed to reducing impacts and maintaining eligibility for FEMA funds for implementation of mitigation programs.

How is a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan developed?

The goal of an LHMP is to identify and address hazards specific to the IRWD service area, identify mitigation actions to reduce the severity and impact of each hazard, and achieve certification by FEMA for mitigation funding. The LHMP primarily consists of three components:

  • Hazard profiles: type, location, extent, previous occurrences, probability of future events.
  • Vulnerability assessment: impacts of hazards, vulnerability to each hazard, repetitive loss, potential dollar losses.
  • Mitigation strategies: overarching goals, specific actions, and prioritization.

The LHMP is developed through a process-oriented approach, using the experience of IRWD community partners such as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Orange County Fire Authority, service-area cities, and the Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County. The IRWD community partners provide key stakeholder input on the hazard profiles, vulnerability assessment and mitigation strategies. This participation is documented and incorporated into the LHMP. Additionally, the LHMP will identify how the plan will be monitored, evaluated, and updated within a five-year cycle.

Once completed, the LHMP is submitted to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and FEMA for review and comment. Once conditional approval is received from Cal OES and FEMA, the LHMP will be submitted for approval locally by the IRWD Board of Directors.

How can the public become involved in the Hazard Mitigation Planning process?

Public participation is important because it helps raise awareness of potential hazards and any actions to mitigate those hazards. By participating in the process, you will be taking time to consider the priority those actions should take. That will help IRWD reduce risk exposure, thereby reducing the need to expend resources on recovery from hazards. IRWD will consider your comments, questions, ideas, and concerns and integrate your input into the plan where appropriate.

CONTACT IRWD

  • • The two-week comment period closed Aug. 10.  If you have questions, please email IRWD at Info@IRWD.com. Use “Local Hazard Mitigation Plan” as the subject line.

 

This article was updated on Aug. 10, 2021, to reflect the fact that the comment period has closed.