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H.R. 3791 (111th): Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009

The text of the bill below is as of Oct 13, 2009 (Introduced).


I

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3791

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 13, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Gordon of Tennessee, Mr. Wu, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Tonko, Mr. Rothman of New Jersey, Mr. Wilson of Ohio, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Carnahan, Mr. Costello, Mr. Peters, Mr. Holden, Ms. Shea-Porter, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Michaud, Mr. Higgins, Mrs. Halvorson, Mr. Ross, Mr. Foster, Mr. Langevin, Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Delahunt, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Kagen, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Richardson, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Cuellar, Mrs. Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Ms. Clarke, Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California, Mr. Luján, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Mrs. Blackburn, Mr. Cleaver, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, and Mr. Doyle) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology

A BILL

To amend sections 33 and 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009.

2.

Amendment of Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974

Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or a repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.).

3.

Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Amendments

(a)

Grant recipients

Section 33(b)(1) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking State, in consultation and inserting State or State fire training academies, in consultation; and

(2)

in subparagraph (C), by striking nonaffiliated EMS and inserting volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue.

(b)

Use of grant funds

Section 33(b)(3) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (B), by striking in firefighting, and by inserting in firefighting, emergency medical services and other;

(2)

in subparagraph (D), by striking inspectors and inserting and building inspectors employed by a fire department or serving as a volunteer building inspector with a fire department;

(3)

in subparagraph (F), by striking nonaffiliated EMS and inserting volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue;

(4)

in subparagraph (H), by striking for fighting fires with foam in remote areas without access to water, and equipment; and

(5)

in subparagraph (K), by striking codes and inserting codes and standards.

(c)

Fire prevention and firefighter safety programs

Section 33(b)(4) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking 5 percent and inserting 10 percent; and

(2)

in subparagraph (C), by striking $1,000,000 and inserting $1,500,000.

(d)

Matching requirement

Section 33(b)(6) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking 20 percent and inserting 10 percent;

(2)

by amending subparagraph B to read as follows:

(B)

Requirement for small community organizations

In the case of an applicant whose personnel serve jurisdictions of 20,000 or fewer residents, the percent applied under the matching requirement of subparagraph (A) shall be 5 percent.

; and

(3)

in subparagraph (C), by striking (A)(ii).

(e)

Maintenance of Expenditures

Section 33(b)(7) is amended by striking above the and inserting above 80 percent of the.

(f)

Variety of fire department grant recipients

Section 33(b)(9) is amended to read as follows:

(9)

Variety of fire department grant recipients

(A)

In general

Of the amounts made available under subsection (e), the Director shall ensure that grants under paragraph (1)(A) for a fiscal year are allocated, to the extent that there are eligible applicants to carry out the activities under paragraph (3), as follows:

(i)

25 percent shall be made available to career fire departments;

(ii)

25 percent shall be made available to volunteer fire departments; and

(iii)

25 percent shall be made available to combination fire departments.

(B)

Priority for high population and incident response

In awarding grants under paragraph (1)(A), the Director shall give priority within each category of applicants under subparagraph (A) to an applicant that is serving an area with high population and with a high number of incidents requiring a response.

(C)

Remainder

Of the amounts made available under subsection (e) that are not allocated for use and awarded under subparagraph (A) or designated for use under any other provision of this section, the Director shall provide for an open competition for grants among career fire departments, volunteer fire departments, and combination fire departments to carry out the activities under paragraph (3).

.

(g)

Recipient limitations

Section 33(b)(10) is amended—

(1)

by amending subparagraph (A) to read as follows:

(A)

Recipient limitations

A grant recipient under paragraph (1)(A)—

(i)

that serves a jurisdiction with 100,000 people or less may not receive grants in excess of $1,000,000 for any fiscal year;

(ii)

that serves a jurisdiction with more than 100,000 people but less than 500,000 people may not receive grants in excess of $2,000,000 for any fiscal year;

(iii)

that serves a jurisdiction with 500,000 people or more but less than 1,000,000 people may not receive grants in excess of $3,000,000 for any fiscal year;

(iv)

that serves a jurisdiction with 1,000,000 people or more but less than 2,500,000 people may not receive grants in excess of $6,000,000 for any fiscal year; and

(v)

that serves a jurisdiction with 2,500,000 people or more may not receive grants in excess of $9,000,000 for any fiscal year.

The Director may award grants in excess of the limitations provided in clauses (i), (ii), (iii), and (iv) if the Director determines that extraordinary need for assistance by a jurisdiction warrants a waiver.

;

(2)

by striking subparagraph (B);

(3)

by redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph (B);

(4)

by inserting after subparagraph (B), as redesignated by paragraph (3) of this Act, the following new subparagraph:

(C)

State Fire Training Academies

(i)

In general

To the extent that there are eligible applicants and in accordance with clause (ii), the Director shall award not more than 3 percent of the amounts made available under subsection (e) for grants under this subsection for State fire training academies.

(ii)

Limitation

The Director shall not make a grant to a State fire training academy in excess of $1,000,000 and shall ensure that any grant awarded to a State fire training academy shall be used for the purposes described in paragraphs 3(G), 3(H), and 3(I).

;

(5)

in subparagraph (E)—

(A)

in the heading, by striking Nonaffiliated EMS and inserting Volunteer, Non-Fire Service EMS and Rescue Organizations; and

(B)

in the text, by striking nonaffiliated EMS and inserting volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue;

(6)

in subparagraph (F)—

(A)

in the heading, by striking Nonaffiliated EMS and inserting Volunteer, Non-Fire Service EMS and Rescue; and

(B)

in the text, by striking nonaffiliated EMS and inserting volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue; and

(7)

by adding at the end the following:

(G)

Consensus standards

Any grant amounts used to obtain training under this section shall be limited to training that complies with applicable national voluntary consensus standards (if applicable national voluntary consensus standards have been established).

.

(h)

Economic hardship waiver

Section 33(b)(11) is amended to read as follows:

(11)

Economic hardship waiver

(A)

In general

In exceptional circumstances, the Director may waive or reduce the matching requirement under paragraph (6) and the maintenance of expenditures requirement under paragraph (7) for applicants facing demonstrated economic hardship.

(B)

Criteria development

The criteria under which the Director may waive or reduce such requirements shall be developed in consultation with individuals who are—

(i)

recognized for expertise in firefighting, emergency medical services provided by fire services, or the economic affairs of State and local governments; and

(ii)

members of national fire service organizations or national organizations representing the interests of State and local governments.

(C)

Public availability

Criteria developed under subparagraph (B) shall be made publicly available.

.

(i)

Guidelines

Section 33(b)(14)(A) is amended—

(1)

in clause (i), by striking and after the semicolon;

(2)

in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(iii)

the criteria developed under paragraph (11) which the Director will use to evaluate applicants for waivers from program requirements.

.

(j)

Definitions

Section 33(d) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2), by striking and after the semicolon;

(2)

in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(4)

the term career fire department means a firefighting department that has an all professional force of firefighting personnel;

(5)

the term combination fire department means a firefighting department that has a combined force of professional and volunteer firefighting personnel; and

(6)

the term volunteer fire department means a firefighting department that has an all volunteer force of firefighting personnel.

.

(k)

Authorization of appropriations

Section 33(e) is amended to read as follows:

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of this section $1,000,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

(2)

Administrative expenses

(A)

In general

Of the funds appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the Director may use not more than 3 percent of the funds to cover salaries and expenses and other administrative costs incurred by the Director to make grants and provide assistance under this section.

(B)

Formula

The Director shall subtract the amount to be used for subparagraph (A) from the amount appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) before making any allocations or apportioning any funds under subsection (b).

.

4.

Expansion of Pre-September 11, 2001, Fire Grant Program

(a)

Amendments to subsection (a)

Section 34(a) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)—

(A)

in subparagraph (B)—

(i)

in clause (i), by striking 4 years and inserting 3 years;

(ii)

in clause (ii), by striking 1 year beyond the termination of their grants and inserting the entire 3 years of the grant period; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following new clause:

(iii)

The portion of the cost of hiring firefighters provided by a grant under this paragraph may not exceed 80 percent of such cost for each fiscal year.

;

(B)

in subparagraph (C), by striking subparagraph (E) and inserting subparagraph (B)(iii);

(C)

by striking subparagraph (E); and

(D)

by redesignating subparagraphs (F) through (H) as subparagraphs (E) through (G), respectively; and

(2)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by striking paragraph (1)(H) and inserting paragraph (1)(G); and

(B)

by striking departments, and organizations on a local or statewide and inserting departments and organizations on a local, statewide, or national.

(b)

Amendment to subsection (b)

Section 34(b)(3)(B) is amended by striking subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) and (F) and inserting subparagraphs (B)(ii) and (E) of such subsection.

(c)

Amendment to subsection (c)

Section 34(c)(4) is amended to read as follows:

(4)

Waiver

In exceptional circumstances, the Administrator may waive the requirements of subsections (a)(1)(B)(ii), (a)(1)(B)(iii), and paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection if the Administrator determines that the jurisdiction is facing demonstrated economic hardship in accordance with section 33(a)(11).

.

(d)

Amendment to subsection (e)

Section 34(e) is amended by striking of this section each place it appears and by inserting of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009.

(e)

Amendment to subsection (i)

Section 34(i) is amended by striking this section and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting this section $1,194,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

(f)

Technical and conforming amendment

Section 34 is amended—

(1)

by striking Administrator each place it appears and inserting Director; and

(2)

in subsection (h)—

(A)

by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively; and

(B)

by inserting before paragraph (2) (as so redesignated) the following:

(1)

Director means the Director, acting through the Administrator;

.