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H.R. 2548: Hazard Eligibility and Local Projects Act


The text of the bill below is as of May 7, 2019 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Should a state or municipality have to wait for the federal government to approve their application for a post-recovery construction or infrastructure project before they can proceed?

Context

A state or locality applying for federal dollars for a construction or recovery project following a natural disaster must wait for an official ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) before they can begin construction or buy the needed land.

These replies are often slow to arrive, even when time is of the essence.

What the bill does

The Hazard Eligibility and Local Projects (HELP) Act is a bipartisan bill that would allow more post-recovery projects to go ahead ...


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2548

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 7, 2019

(for herself, Mr. Olson, Mr. Butterfield, and Mr. Meadows) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To modify eligibility requirements for certain hazard mitigation assistance programs, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Hazard Eligibility and Local Projects Act.

2.

Authority to begin planning and construction of certain hazard mitigation projects

(a)

Definitions

In this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(2)

Covered project

The term covered project means—

(A)

an acquisition or relocation project for which an entity began implementation before a grant was awarded under a hazard mitigation assistance program; and

(B)

a project for which an entity initiated planning or construction before or after requesting assistance for the project under a hazard mitigation grant program qualifying for a categorical exemption under the National Environmental Policy Act.

(3)

Hazard mitigation assistance program

The term hazard mitigation assistance program means—

(A)

the predisaster hazard mitigation grant program authorized under section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5133);

(B)

the hazard mitigation grant program authorized under section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c); and

(C)

the flood mitigation assistance program authorized under section 1366 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4104c).

(b)

Eligibility for assistance for initiated projects

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an entity seeking hazard mitigation assistance under a hazard mitigation assistance program shall be eligible to receive such assistance for a covered project if the entity—

(A)

complies with all other eligibility requirements of the hazard mitigation assistance program for acquisition or relocation projects, including extinguishing all incompatible encumbrances; and

(B)

complies with all Federal requirements for the project.

(2)

Costs incurred

An entity seeking hazard mitigation assistance under a hazard mitigation assistance program shall be responsible for any project costs incurred by the entity for a covered project if the covered project is not awarded, or is determined to be ineligible for, assistance.

(c)

Applicability

This section shall apply to any application for hazard mitigation assistance for a covered project submitted on or after January 1, 2016.