ASFPM Executive Director Chad Berginnis’ Reaction to DRRA Passage
I wanted to let all of you know that earlier this afternoon (Oct. 3, 2018), the Senate passed the FAA Reauthorization that included the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (The broader legislation is here. DRRA is found in Division D Section 1201-1246). The legislation now goes to the president for signature. As with most legislation ASFPM works with, this is imperfect. It does have several good things, especially related to hazard mitigation, but it also has at least one major concern having to do with waiving the general prohibition of duplication of benefits and lowering the flood insurance requirements for multi-building campuses when applying for public assistance. ASFPM will be getting out a more detailed section-by-section analysis soon, but here is a short list of the highlights:
·Allows Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) eligibility for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds.
·Allows for 6% of disaster costs be available for pre-disaster mitigation when certain criteria are met (ie, adoption of building codes, cost effectiveness).
·Increases allowable management costs for HMGP to 15% (10% state/5% local)
·Most excitingly, it includes an amendment championed by ASFPM to clarify that floodplain management and building code enforcement (including substantial damage determinations) are eligible under Stafford Act. Specifically this should be enough to overturn FEMA policy from 1998 that currently prohibits reimbursement of such activities under Category B of Public Assistance. In other words, this should enable reimbursement when a state or community requests, through EMAC, mutual aid assistance to do substantial damage determinations and floodplain management code administration post-disaster. In fact, ASFPM has just sent a letter to FEMA Director Brock Long requesting recession of current policy pending the president’s signature of this law.
More to come!