I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the following findings:
- During the period September 12, 2007, through September 14, 2007, a fall sea storm with sustained high surf and storm surge caused severe seawall damage and coastal erosion in the city of Kivalina within the Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB).
- On September 14, after word that 1,000 linear feet of the 1,600-foot-long seawall in Kivalina had breached, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) sent two emergency management specialists to Kivalina to assist the city of Kivalina, NWAB, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC), Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Spill Response Unit, United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in discussions to address the imminent threat to the AVEC bulk tank facility and assess the poor integrity of the seawall in the city of Kivalina.
- The NWAB, through a local declaration dated September 25, 2007, requested assistance to repair the seawall and protect community infrastructure.
- Based on the findings of the DHS&EM, NWAB, and USACE damage assessment, as supported by recommendations from the November 9, 2007 Disaster Policy Cabinet meeting, I have determined this incident poses a direct and imminent threat of sufficient magnitude and severity to justify state action.
- I have determined it appropriate that financial assistance from the disaster relief fund be expended in accordance with AS 26.23.020(h) to cover eligible emergency response costs and emergency protective measures for the NWAB and the city of Kivalina to address emergency repairs to the seawall. Costs of permanent repairs to or replacement of the seawall are not appropriate for funding from the disaster relief fund.
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 1 of the Alaska Constitution and AS 26.23.020(h) and 26.23.050, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, hereby order that:
Consistent with AS 26.23.010 – 26.23.220 (Alaska Disaster Act) and AS 26.23.020(h), expenditures be made from the disaster relief fund to cover eligible emergency response and emergency protective measures costs for the Northwest Arctic Borough and the city of Kivalina not covered by alternative financing sources. The amounts of these expenditures are not to exceed $500,000, including administrative fees.
Consistent with Administrative Order No. 175, I further direct the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development to act as the state coordinating agency to coordinate with other state and federal agencies to propose long-term solutions to the ongoing erosion issues in the city of Kivalina and other affected coastal communities in this state.
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 22nd day of January, 2008.