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Title 44 Part 80

Title 44 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 80

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 44 Part 80

e-CFR data is current as of September 20, 2018

Title 44Chapter ISubchapter B → Part 80


Title 44: Emergency Management and Assistance


PART 80—PROPERTY ACQUISITION AND RELOCATION FOR OPEN SPACE


Contents

Subpart D—After the Grant Requirements

§80.21   Closeout requirements.

Authority: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 through 5207; the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 43 FR 41943, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 329; Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. 101; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 376; E.O. 12148, 44 FR 43239, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 412; E.O. 13286, 68 FR 10619, 3 CFR, 2003 Comp., p. 166.

Source: 72 FR 61743, Oct. 31, 2007, unless otherwise noted.

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Subpart A—General

§80.1   Purpose and scope.

This part provides guidance on the administration of FEMA mitigation assistance for projects to acquire property for open space purposes under all FEMA hazard mitigation assistance programs. It provides information on the eligibility and procedures for implementing projects for acquisition and relocation of at-risk properties from the hazard area to maintain the property for open space purposes. This part applies to property acquisition for open space project awards made under any FEMA hazard mitigation assistance program. This part supplements general program requirements of the funding grant program and must be read in conjunction with the relevant program regulations and guidance available at http://www.fema.gov.This part, with the exception of §80.19 Land use and oversight, applies to projects for which the funding program application period opens or for which funding is made available pursuant to a major disaster declared on or after December 3, 2007. Prior to that date, applicable program regulations and guidance in effect for the funding program (available at http://www.fema.gov) shall apply. Section 80.19 Land use and oversight apply as of December 3, 2007 to all FEMA funded acquisitions for the purpose of open space.

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§80.3   Definitions.

(a) Except as noted in this part, the definitions applicable to the funding program apply to implementation of this part. In addition, for purposes of this part:

(b) Applicant is the State or Indian tribal government applying to FEMA for a grant, and which will be accountable for the use of the funds.

(c) Grantee means the State or Indian tribal government to which FEMA awards a grant and which is accountable for the use of the funds provided. The grantee is the entire legal entity, even if only a particular component of the entity is designated in the grant award document.

(d) Market Value is generally defined as the amount in cash, or on terms reasonably equivalent to cash, for which in all probability the property would have sold on the effective date of the valuation, after a reasonable exposure time on the open competitive market, from a willing and reasonably knowledgeable seller to a willing and reasonably knowledgeable buyer, with neither acting under any compulsion to buy or sell, giving due consideration to all available economic uses of the property at the time of the valuation.

(e) National of the United States means a person within the meaning of the term as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. section 1101(a)(22).

(f) Purchase offer is the initial value assigned to the property, which is later adjusted by applicable additions and deductions, resulting in a final offer amount to a property owner.

(g) Qualified alien means a person within the meaning of the term as defined at 8 U.S.C. 1641.

(h) “Qualified conservation organization” means a qualified organization with a conservation purpose pursuant to 26 CFR 1.170A-14 and applicable implementing regulations, that is such an organization at the time it acquires the property interest and that was such an organization at the time of the major disaster declaration, or for at least 2 years prior to the opening of the grant application period.

(i) Subapplicant means the entity that submits an application for FEMA mitigation assistance to the State or Indian tribal applicant/grantee. With respect to open space acquisition projects under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), this term has the same meaning as given to the term “applicant” in part 206, subpart N of this chapter. Upon grant award, the subapplicant is referred to as the subgrantee.

(j) Subgrant means an award of financial assistance made under a grantee to an eligible subgrantee.

(k) Subgrantee means the State agency, community, or Indian tribal government or other legal entity to which a subgrant is awarded and which is accountable to the grantee for the use of the funds provided.

(l) Administrator means the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or his/her designated representative.

(m) Regional Administrator means the head of a Federal Emergency Management Agency regional office, or his/her designated representative.

[72 FR 61743, Oct. 31, 2007, as amended at 74 FR 47481, Sept. 16, 2009]

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§80.5   Roles and responsibilities.

The roles and responsibilities of FEMA, the State, the subapplicant/subgrantee, and participating property owners in the particular context of mitigation projects for the purpose of creating open space include the activities in this section. These are in addition to grants management roles and responsibilities identified in regulations and guidance of the program funding the project (available at http://www.fema.gov) and other responsibilities specified in this part.

(a) Federal roles and responsibilities. Oversee property acquisition activities undertaken under FEMA mitigation grant programs, including:

(1) Providing technical assistance to the applicant/grantee to assist in implementing project activities in compliance with this part;

(2) Reviewing applications for eligibility and compliance with this part;

(3) Reviewing proposals for subsequent transfer of a property interest and approving appropriate transferees;

(4) Making determinations on the compatibility of proposed uses with the open space purpose, in accordance with §80.19;

(5) Complying with applicable Federal statutory, regulatory, and Executive Order requirements related to environmental and historic preservation compliance, including reviewing and supplementing, if necessary, environmental analyses conducted by the State and subgrantee in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and agency policy;

(6) Providing no Federal disaster assistance, flood insurance claims payments, or other FEMA assistance with respect to the property or any open-space related improvements, after the property interest transfers; and

(7) Enforcing the requirements of this part and the deed restrictions to ensure that the property remains in open space use in perpetuity.

(b) State (applicant/grantee) roles and responsibilities. Serve as the point of contact for all property acquisition activities by coordinating with the subapplicant/subgrantee and with FEMA to ensure that the project is implemented in compliance with this part, including:

(1) Providing technical assistance to the subapplicant/subgrantee to assist in implementing project activities in compliance with this part;

(2) Ensuring that applications are not framed in a manner that has the effect of circumventing any requirements of this part;

(3) Reviewing the application to ensure that the proposed activity complies with this part, including ensuring that the property acquisition activities remain voluntary in nature, and that the subgrantee and property owners are made aware of such;

(4) Submitting to FEMA subapplications for proposed projects in accordance with the respective program schedule and programmatic requirements, and including all the requisite information to enable FEMA to determine the eligibility, technical feasibility, cost effectiveness, and environmental and historic preservation compliance of the proposed projects;

(5) Reviewing proposals for subsequent transfer of property interest and obtaining FEMA approval of such transfers; and ensuring that all uses proposed for the property are compatible with open space project purposes;

(6) Making no application for, nor providing, Federal disaster assistance or other FEMA assistance for the property or any open-space related improvements, after the property interest transfers;

(7) Enforcing the terms of this part and the deed restrictions to ensure that the property remains in open space use in perpetuity; and

(8) Reporting on property compliance with the open space requirements after the grant is awarded.

(c) Subapplicant/Subgrantee roles and responsibilities. Coordinate with the applicant/grantee and with the property owners to ensure that the project is implemented in compliance with this part, including:

(1) Submitting all applications for proposed projects in accordance with the respective program schedule and programmatic requirements, and including all the requisite information to enable the applicant/grantee and FEMA to determine the eligibility, technical feasibility, cost effectiveness, and environmental and historic preservation compliance of the proposed projects;

(2) Ensuring that applications are not framed in a manner that has the effect of circumventing any requirements of this part;

(3) Coordinating with the property owners to ensure they understand the benefits and responsibilities of participating in the project, including that participation in the project is voluntary, and that the property owner(s) are made aware of such;

(4) Developing the application and implementing property acquisition activities in compliance with this part, and ensuring that all terms of the deed restrictions and grant award are enforced;

(5) Ensuring fair procedures and processes are in place to compensate property owners and tenants affected by the purchase of property; such as determining property values and/or the amount of the mitigation offer, and reviewing property owner disputes regarding such offers;

(6) Making no application for Federal disaster assistance, flood insurance, or other FEMA benefits for the property or any open-space related improvements, after the property interest transfers;

(7) Taking and retaining full property interest, consistent with this part; or if transferring such interest, obtaining approval of the grantee and FEMA;

(8) Submitting to the grantee and FEMA proposed uses on the property for open space compatibility determinations; and

(9) Monitoring and reporting on property compliance after the grant is awarded.

(d) Participating property owner roles and responsibilities. Notify the subapplicant/subgrantee of its interest to participate, provide information to the subapplicant/subgrantee, and take all required actions necessary for the completion of the grant application and the implementation of property acquisition activities in accordance with this part.

[72 FR 61743, Oct. 31, 2007, as amended at 81 FR 56533, Aug. 22, 2016]

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Subpart B—Requirements Prior to Award

§80.7   General.

A project involving property acquisition or the relocation of structures for open space is eligible for hazard mitigation assistance only if the subapplicant meets the pre-award requirements set forth in this subpart. A project may not be framed in a manner that has the effect of circumventing the requirements of this subpart.

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§80.9   Eligible and ineligible costs.

(a) Allowable costs. Eligible project costs may include compensation for the value of structures, for their relocation or demolition, for associated land, and associated costs. For land that is already held by an eligible entity, compensation for the land is not an allowable cost, but compensation for development rights may be allowable.

(b) Pre-award costs. FEMA may fund eligible pre-award project costs at its discretion and as funds are available. Grantees and subgrantees may be reimbursed for eligible pre-award costs for activities directly related to the development of the project proposal. These costs can only be incurred during the open application period of the respective grant program. Costs associated with implementation of the project but incurred prior to grant award are not eligible. Therefore, activities where implementation is initiated or completed prior to award are not eligible and will not be reimbursed.

(c) Duplication of benefits. Grant funds may not duplicate benefits received by or available to applicants, subapplicants and other project participants from insurance, other assistance programs, legal awards, or any other source to address the same purpose. Such individual or entity must notify the subapplicant and FEMA of all benefits that it receives, anticipates, or has available from other sources for the same purpose. FEMA will reduce the subgrant award by the amounts available for the same purpose from another source.

(d) Negligence or other tortious conduct. FEMA acquisition funds are not available where an applicant, subapplicant, other project participant, or third party's negligence or intentional actions contributed to the conditions to be mitigated. If the applicant, subapplicant, or project participant suspects negligence or other tortious conduct by a third party for causing such condition, they are responsible for taking all reasonable steps to recover all costs attributable to the tortious conduct of the third party. FEMA generally considers such amounts to be duplicated benefits available for the same purpose, and will treat them consistent with paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) FEMA mitigation grant funds are not available to satisfy or reimburse for legal obligations, such as those imposed by a legal settlement, court order, or State law.

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§80.11   Project eligibility.

(a) Voluntary participation. Eligible acquisition projects are those where the property owner participates voluntarily, and the grantee/subgrantee will not use its eminent domain authority to acquire the property for the open space purposes should negotiations fail.

(b) Acquisition of improved properties. Eligible properties are those with at-risk structures on the property, including those that are damaged or destroyed due to an event. In some cases, undeveloped, at-risk land adjacent to an eligible property with existing structures may be eligible.

(c) Subdivision restrictions. The land may not be subdivided prior to acquisition except for portions outside the identified hazard area, such as the Special Flood Hazard Area or any risk zone identified by FEMA.

(d) Subapplicant property interest. To be eligible, the subapplicant must acquire or retain fee title (full property interest), except for encumbrances FEMA determines are compatible with open space uses, as part of the project implementation. A pass through of funds from an eligible entity to an ineligible entity must not occur.

(e) Hazardous materials. Eligible properties include only those that are not contaminated with hazardous materials, except for incidental demolition and household hazardous waste.

(f) Open space restrictions. Property acquired or from which a structure is removed must be dedicated to and maintained as open space in perpetuity consistent with this part.

[72 FR 61743, Oct. 31, 2007, as amended at 74 FR 47481, Sept. 16, 2009]

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§80.13   Application information.

(a) An application for acquisition of property for the purpose of open space must include:

(1) A photograph that represents the appearance of each property site at the time of application;

(2) Assurances that the subapplicant will implement the project grant award in compliance with subparts C and D of this part;

(3) The deed restriction language, which shall be consistent with the FEMA model deed restriction that the local government will record with the property deeds. Any variation from the model deed restriction language can only be made with prior approval from FEMA's Office of General Counsel;

(4) The documentation of voluntary interest signed by each property owner, which must include that the subapplicant has informed them in writing that it will not use its eminent domain authority for the open space purpose; and

(5) Assurance that the subject property is not part of an intended, planned, or designated project area for which the land is to be acquired by a certain date, and that local and State governments have no intention to use the property for any public or private facility in the future inconsistent with this part;

(6) If the subapplicant is offering pre-event value: the property owner's certification that the property owner is a National of the United States or qualified alien; and

(7) Other information as determined by the Administrator.

(b) Consultation regarding other ongoing Federal activities. (1) The subapplicant must demonstrate that it has consulted with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding the subject land's potential future use for the construction of a levee system. The subapplicant must also demonstrate that it has, and will, reject any future consideration of such use if it accepts FEMA assistance to convert the property to permanent open space.

(2) The subapplicant must demonstrate that it has coordinated with its State Department of Transportation to ensure that no future, planned modifications, improvements, or enhancements to Federal aid systems are under consideration that will affect the subject property.

(c) Restriction on alternate properties. Changes to the properties in an approved mitigation project will be considered by FEMA but not approved automatically. The subapplicant must identify the alternate properties in the project application and each alternate property must meet eligibility requirements in order to be considered.

[72 FR 61743, Oct. 31, 2007, as amended at 74 FR 47481, Sept. 16, 2009]

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Subpart C—Post-Award Requirements

§80.15   General.

A project involving property acquisition or the relocation of structures for open space must be implemented consistent with the requirements set forth in this subpart.

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§80.17   Project implementation.

(a) Hazardous materials. The subgrantee shall take steps to ensure it does not acquire or include in the project properties contaminated with hazardous materials by seeking information from property owners and from other sources on the use and presence of contaminants affecting the property from owners of properties that are or were industrial or commercial, or adjacent to such. A contaminated property must be certified clean prior to participation. This excludes permitted disposal of incidental demolition and household hazardous wastes. FEMA mitigation grant funds may not be used for clean up or remediation of contaminated properties.

(b) Clear title. The subgrantee will obtain a title insurance policy demonstrating that fee title conveys to the subgrantee for each property to ensure that it acquires only a property with clear title. The property interest generally must transfer by a general warranty deed. Any incompatible easements or other encumbrances to the property must be extinguished before acquisition.

(c) Purchase offer and supplemental payments. (1) The amount of purchase offer is the current market value of the property or the market value of the property immediately before the relevant event affecting the property (“pre-event”).

(i) The relevant event for Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act assistance under HMGP is the major disaster under which funds are available; for assistance under the Pre-disaster Mitigation program (PDM) (42 U.S.C. 5133), it is the most recent major disaster. Where multiple disasters have affected the same property, the grantee and subgrantee shall determine which is the relevant event.

(ii) The relevant event for assistance under the National Flood Insurance Act is the most recent event resulting in a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claim of at least $5000.

(2) For acquisition of properties under the Severe Repetitive Loss program under part 79 of this subchapter, the purchase offer is not less than the greatest of the amount in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; the original purchase price paid by the participating property owner holding the flood insurance policy; or the outstanding amount of any loan to the participating property owner, which is secured by a recorded interest in the property at the time of the purchase offer.

(3) The grantee should coordinate with the subgrantee in their determination of whether the valuation should be based on pre-event or current market value. Generally, the same method to determine market value should be used for all participants in the project.

(4) A property owner who did not own the property at the time of the relevant event, or who is not a National of the United States or qualified alien, is not eligible for a purchase offer based on pre-event market value of the property. Subgrantees who offer pre-event market value to the property owner must have already obtained certification during the application process that the property owner is either a National of the United States or a qualified alien.

(5) Certain tenants who must relocate as a result of the project are entitled to relocation benefits under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (such as moving expenses, replacement housing rental payments, and relocation assistance advisory services) in accordance with 49 CFR part 24.

(6) If a purchase offer for a residential property is less than the cost of the homeowner-occupant to purchase a comparable replacement dwelling outside the hazard-prone area in the same community, the subgrantee for funding under the Severe Repetitive Loss program implemented at part 79 of this subchapter shall make available a supplemental payment to the homeowner-occupant to apply to the difference. Subgrantees for other mitigation grant programs may make such a payment available in accordance with criteria determined by the Administrator.

(7) The subgrantee must inform each property owner, in writing, of what it considers to be the market value of the property, the method of valuation and basis for the purchase offer, and the final offer amount. The offer will also clearly state that the property owner's participation in the project is voluntary.

(d) Removal of Existing Buildings. Existing incompatible facilities must be removed by demolition or by relocation outside of the hazard area within 90 days of settlement of the property transaction. The FEMA Regional Administrator may grant an exception to this deadline only for a particular property based upon written justification if extenuating circumstances exist, but shall specify a final date for removal.

(e) Deed Restriction. The subgrantee, upon settlement of the property transaction, shall record with the deed of the subject property notice of applicable land use restrictions and related procedures described in this part, consistent with FEMA model deed restriction language.

[72 FR 61743, Oct. 31, 2007, as amended at 74 FR 47481, Sept. 16, 2009]

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§80.19   Land use and oversight.

This section applies to acquisitions for open space projects to address flood hazards. If the Administrator determines to mitigate in other circumstances, he/she will adapt the provisions of this section as appropriate.

(a) Open space requirements. The property shall be dedicated and maintained in perpetuity as open space for the conservation of natural floodplain functions.

(1) These uses may include: Parks for outdoor recreational activities; wetlands management; nature reserves; cultivation; grazing; camping (except where adequate warning time is not available to allow evacuation); unimproved, unpaved parking lots; buffer zones; and other uses FEMA determines compatible with this part.

(i) Allowable uses generally do not include: Walled buildings, levees, dikes, or floodwalls, paved roads, highways, bridges, cemeteries, landfills, storage of any hazardous or toxic materials, above or below ground pumping and switching stations, above or below ground storage tanks, paved parking, off-site fill or other uses that obstruct the natural and beneficial functions of the floodplain.

(ii) In the rare circumstances where the Administrator has determined competing Federal interests were unavoidable and has analyzed floodplain impacts for compliance with §60.3 of this subchapter or higher standards, the Administrator may find only USACE projects recognized by FEMA in 2000 and improvements to pre-existing Federal-aid transportation systems to be allowable uses.

(2) No new structures or improvements will be built on the property except as indicated below:

(i) A public facility that is open on all sides and functionally related to a designated open space or recreational use;

(ii) A public restroom; or

(iii) A structure that is compatible with open space and conserves the natural function of the floodplain, which the Administrator approves in writing before the construction of the structure begins.

(3) Any improvements on the property shall be in accordance with proper floodplain management policies and practices. Structures built on the property according to paragraph (a)(2) of this section shall be floodproofed or elevated to at least the base flood level plus 1 foot of freeboard, or greater, if required by FEMA, or if required by any State or local ordinance, and in accordance with criteria established by the Administrator.

(4) After the date of property settlement, no Federal entity or source may provide disaster assistance for any purpose with respect to the property, nor may any application for such assistance be made to any Federal entity or source.

(5) The property is not eligible for coverage under the NFIP for damage to structures on the property occurring after the date of the property settlement, except for pre-existing structures being relocated off the property as a result of the project.

(b) Subsequent transfer. After acquiring the property interest, the subgrantee, including successors in interest, shall convey any interest in the property only if the Regional Administrator, through the State, gives prior written approval of the transferee in accordance with this paragraph.

(1) The request by the subgrantee, through the State, to the Regional Administrator must include a signed statement from the proposed transferee that it acknowledges and agrees to be bound by the terms of this section, and documentation of its status as a qualified conservation organization if applicable.

(2) The subgrantee may convey a property interest only to a public entity or to a qualified conservation organization. However, the subgrantee may convey an easement or lease to a private individual or entity for purposes compatible with the uses described in paragraph (a), of this section, with the prior approval of the Regional Administrator, and so long as the conveyance does not include authority to control and enforce the terms and conditions of this section.

(3) If title to the property is transferred to a public entity other than one with a conservation mission, it must be conveyed subject to a conservation easement that shall be recorded with the deed and shall incorporate all terms and conditions set forth in this section, including the easement holder's responsibility to enforce the easement. This shall be accomplished by one of the following means:

(i) The subgrantee shall convey, in accordance with this paragraph, a conservation easement to an entity other than the title holder, which shall be recorded with the deed, or

(ii) At the time of title transfer, the subgrantee shall retain such conservation easement, and record it with the deed.

(4) Conveyance of any property interest must reference and incorporate the original deed restrictions providing notice of the conditions in this section and must incorporate a provision for the property interest to revert to the subgrantee or grantee in the event that the transferee ceases to exist or loses its eligible status under this section.

(c) Inspection. FEMA, its representatives and assigns, including the grantee shall have the right to enter upon the property, at reasonable times and with reasonable notice, for the purpose of inspecting the property to ensure compliance with the terms of this part, the property conveyance and of the grant award.

(d) Monitoring and reporting. Every 3 years the subgrantee (in coordination with any current successor in interest) through the grantee, shall submit to the FEMA Regional Administrator a report certifying that the subgrantee has inspected the property within the month preceding the report, and that the property continues to be maintained consistent with the provisions of this part, the property conveyance and the grant award.

(e) Enforcement. The subgrantee, grantee, FEMA, and their respective representatives, successors and assigns, are responsible for taking measures to bring the property back into compliance if the property is not maintained according to the terms of this part, the conveyance, and the grant award. The relative rights and responsibilities of FEMA, the grantee, the subgrantee, and subsequent holders of the property interest at the time of enforcement, shall include the following:

(1) The grantee will notify the subgrantee and any current holder of the property interest in writing and advise them that they have 60 days to correct the violation.

(i) If the subgrantee or any current holder of the property interest fails to demonstrate a good faith effort to come into compliance with the terms of the grant within the 60-day period, the grantee shall enforce the terms of the grant by taking any measures it deems appropriate, including but not limited to bringing an action at law or in equity in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(ii) FEMA, its representatives, and assignees may enforce the terms of the grant by taking any measures it deems appropriate, including but not limited to 1 or more of the following:

(A) Withholding FEMA mitigation awards or assistance from the State and subgrantee; and current holder of the property interest.

(B) Requiring transfer of title. The subgrantee or the current holder of the property interest shall bear the costs of bringing the property back into compliance with the terms of the grant; or

(C) Bringing an action at law or in equity in a court of competent jurisdiction against any or all of the following parties: the grantee, the subgrantee, and their respective successors.

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Subpart D—After the Grant Requirements

§80.21   Closeout requirements.

Upon closeout of the grant, the subgrantee, through the grantee, shall provide FEMA, with the following:

(a) A copy of the deed recorded for each property, demonstrating that each property approved in the original application was mitigated and that the deed restrictions recorded are consistent with the FEMA model deed restriction language to meet the requirements of this part;

(b) A photo of each property site after project completion;

(c) The latitude-longitude coordinates of each property site;

(d) Identification of each property as a repetitive loss property, if applicable; and

(e) Other information as determined by the Administrator.

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