26.0223 Coastal hazards.

Cite as [A.S.A.C. § 26.0223]

A. Coastal hazards policy

1. Coastal hazards means hazards to life and property from flooding, tsunamis, landslides, slope, and shoreline erosion, storm surge, and winds.

2. Life and property shall be protected from such coastal hazards.

3. Projects, uses or activities in coastal hazards areas, including floodplains, storm wave inundation areas, landslide hazard areas, and erosion-prone areas shall normally be denied, unless:

a. there is a public need, including recreational; and

b. the development is located and designed to minimize risks to public safety; and

c. is water-dependent or water-related, if adjacent to the shoreline; and

d. is compatible with adjacent land uses; and

e. traditional Samoan uses; and

f. has no feasible, environmentally preferable, alternative sites, provided that:

(1) individual and/or communal family lands have been exhausted; and

(2) the proposed project, use or activity does not pose adverse environmental impact.

g. alterations of the natural shoreline, streams, and hillsides are minimized; and

h. adverse effects on habitats, streams, and drainage are minimized.

4. Projects, uses or activities permitted in areas prone to flooding, landslides, and erosion shall meet the standards of the American Samoa Floodplain Management Regulation.

a. Development in areas prone to flooding, landslides, and erosion that will not require protection through dikes, dams, levees, groins, seawalls, retaining walls, shoreline protection or other structures shall be preferred over uses that require such protection.

b. Structures to protect existing development against flooding, landslides, and erosion shall comply with the following criteria:

(1) remedial protective measures must avoid impacts on adjacent properties;

(2) there are no feasible environmentally preferable alternatives;

(3) alterations of the natural shoreline, streams, and hillsides are minimized.

B. Shoreline development policy

1. In the area measured two hundred (200) feet horizontally inland from the mean high-tide mark, projects, uses or activities shall normally be denied.

2. In villages with a ratified Village Mitigation Ordinance, the minimum setback established in a Village Mitigation Ordinance shall be imposed between the proposal project, use or activity and identified coastal hazards lands.

a. Village mitigation ordinance means a village regulatory instrument established collectively with a village council and the American Samoa Coastal Management Program that sets forth village or municipal mitigation policies for future village development which compliment and supplement Village Regulations including the most feasible coastal hazards setbacks specific to village geography.

b. Village Mitigation Ordinances have been developed and ratified in the following villages of American Samoa:

(1) Eastern District:

(a) Alofau, ratified on July 1, 1997;

(b) Tula, ratified on July 2, 1997, and

(c) Aua, ratified on July 3, 1997.

(2) Western District:

(a) Nua & Se’etaga, ratified June 3, 1997;

(b) Utulei & Gaiaivai, ratified June 5, 1997;

(c) Afao, ratified June 6, 1997; and

(d) Amanave, ratified June 10, 1997.

(3) Manua District:

(a) Fitiuta, ratified June 2, 1997.

c. Subsequent Village Mitigation Ordinances shall be adopted by the American Samoa Coastal Management Program thirty (30) days after a village council has ratified such ordinance.

C. Soil erosion policy.

1. All clearing, grading, or construction on slopes shall use best management practices or avoid or minimize soil erosion, including but not limited to:

a. conducting a soils survey and providing a geological report of the affected project, use or activity;

b. minimizing on-site disturbance by utilizing careful design and knowledge of soils, vegetation, and terrain and other available techniques;

c. retaining earth slopes through use of retaining walls and professionally designed slope stabilization techniques; and

d. controlling off-site movement of surface soils during construction through use of silt fences, berms, dikes, desilting ponds, ground netting, and other temporary measures to be maintained throughout construction.

2. Development on steep slopes

a. Projects, uses or activities that develop slope areas of grades zero to twenty percent (0-20%), outside of known landslide paths, and having stable soils for the intended use shall generally be permitted.

b. Projects, uses or activities that develop slope areas of grades twenty to forty percent (20-40%), outside of known landslide paths, and having stable soils for the intended use may be conditionally permitted.

c. Projects, uses or activities that develop slope areas of grades greater than forty percent (40%), shall normally be denied; provided that feasible environmentally preferable alternatives to the proposed action exist.

3. Road building and construction activities that severely alter land contours, are located in steep areas, or may otherwise promote soil erosion shall be minimized and controlled to reduce or eliminate soil erosion.

History: Rule 8-80 (Ex. Ord. 03-80); ASCMP Reg. (Ex. Ord. 07-88); Rule 2-97, eff 4 Aug 97.