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This will be a very brief overview of the disaster recovery process, funding sources available and types of programs they cover to make our country’s energy infrastructure more resilient to future disasters
There are lots of federal agencies that fund infrastructure resiliency improvements and projects following disasters, including (but not limited to) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the US Army Corps of Engineers. We will focus on the two largest federal agencies involved in disaster recovery; FEMA and HUD with an emphasis on FEMA.
PDM grants are awarded annually on a competitive basis and can be made to States, US Territories, Federally-recognized tribes, and local governments. It requires an application process that requires the grantee to complete hazard mitigation planning. Being replaced by Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities (BRIC) program
PA is made available after Presidentially declared disaster to states and then distributed to state agencies, local governments, schools, public facilities, hospitals to reimburse for disaster-related debris removal, emergency protective measures as well as repairs and mitigation of public infrastructure assets.
Local governments include Counties and Parishes Municipalities, Cities, Borough, and Townships Local Public Authorities Intrastate Districts Council of Governments (regardless of whether incorporated as nonprofit corporations under State law) Regional and Intrastate Government Entities Agencies or Instrumentalities of Local Government State – Recognized Tribes Special District Established Under State Law
Eligible nonprofits: Private Non-Profit (PNP) Municipal Utilities Electric Cooperatives
Need to mention that FEMA funding is issued through the Recipient (State) and flowed down to Sub-recipient (utilities). Once obligated by FEMA based on eligibility, for project that money is sent to sub-recipient
Made as special appropriation by Congress after presidential disaster declaration Funds States, U.S. Territories, Federally-recognized tribes, local communities, nonprofits.
Although administered by HUD, CDBG Disaster Recovery and CDBG-Mitigation aren’t just housing programs.
CDBG-DR funding can be used for infrastructure investments including energy investments.
CDBG-Mitigation or CDBG-MIT funding is a new type of CDBG-DR funding and was made as a one time appropriation by Congress funding following the 2017 disasters specifically for mitigation investments. The total appropriation is $15,934,516,000 and made to states and localities that had major disasters in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
There is a bipartisan bill active right now to make the CDBG-DR program a standing program so that funding is released in predictable way following major disaster events rather than by special appropriation.
This visual shows how these funding sources are utilized at different points in the “recovery continuum”
FEMA PA provides assistance immediately following a disaster and on-going through recovery CDBG-DR provides permanent, long-term recovery after a disaster and typically it takes at least a year after a disaster before funding begins to flow from CDBG-DR.
While FEMA PA and CDBG-DR emphasize resilience and mitigation, PDM grants and CDBG-MIT grants are directly meant to address ongoing needs to mitigate the possible effects of a disaster and make communities and infrastructure more resilient. Mitigation is the cornerstone of how we create a true culture of preparedness and investing in mitigation before the next disaster is the first step in building a more resilient nation.
Here are some but not all of the types of projects that each of these funding sources can fund.
While FEMA funding has a history of being used for energy infrastructure, use of CDBG for these purposes is fairly new and evolving.
After Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey used $200 million of its CDBG-DR funding for an Energy Resilience Bank that supported the development of distributed energy resources at critical facilities throughout the state that will enable them to remain operational during future outages. Many hospitals applied to the program.
In the CDBG-MIT funding, $2 billion has been specifically allocated for grid repairs in PR. And all CDBG-DR and CDBG-MIT grantees can choose to make energy resilience investments with their DR dollars.
In 2018 Congress passed a law to reform disaster recovery activities by the federal government and build an increasing focus on resiliency. A few sections directly relate to increasing utility resiliency.
Expands Eligible Wildfire Activities (Section 1205): Authorizes FEMA to provide assistance under its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Pre-Disaster Mitigation program for activities related to wildfire and windstorm disaster mitigation. These activities range from reseeding damaged groundcover with native species, to installing utility poles that are resilient to extreme winds.
Code Implementation and Enforcement (Section 1206): Authorizes FEMA to provide assistance to state and local governments for building code and floodplain management ordinance administration and enforcement.
Prioritization of Facilities (Section 1208): Requires FEMA to develop guidance and annual training for state, local, tribal and territorial governments, first responders and utility companies. The guidance will highlight the prioritization of power restoration for hospitals and nursing homes and the need to coordinate response plans before power outages occur. IMPLEMENTATION UPDATE Guidance released on August 22, 2019.
National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation (Section 1234): Authorizes the National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Mitigation fund, which will be funded through the Disaster Relief Fund as a six percent set aside from estimated disaster grant expenditures. This allows for a greater investment in mitigation before a disaster. This new program is named Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC).
Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge and strong winds severely damaged LIPA’s infrastructure throughout Long Island. More than 90% of customers reported power outages. DMS is providing Program Management Consulting Services for FEMA and CDBG compliance, to assist PSEGLI in implementing their recovery efforts. DMS is integrating PSEGLI’s internal management with other entities involved in the project, to fulfill all objectives according to the established guidelines of the grant. As always, DMS is focused on maximizing available funding, while achieving FEMA’s grant requirements. The goal of the mitigation project to storm harden 1,025 miles of the mainline overhead distribution system consisting of 320 most vulnerable circuits is to achieve a 20% reduction of loss services and a 29% reduction in physical damages resulting from future events. In addition, installing 900 Automatic Sectionalizing Units (Switches) that will reduce outages and increase reliability throughout Long Island NY.
ICF is providing technical assistance to the Puerto Rico Department of Housing on how to solarize public housing that can in turn serve as power oases and remain online during disaster events. The project itself will be funded with HUD CDBG-DR funding.
This is the process we are using to provide technical assistance
Federal Dollars for Improving Energy Infrastructure Resilience (NASEO 2019)
Where is the money?
Federal Dollars for Improving Energy Infrastructure Resilience
Presented by Marty Altman
September 17, 2019
Pre-disaster Mitigation Grants (PDM)
Public Assistance (PA)
Eligible Utilities (Sub Recipients)
Transmission and Distribution Systems (Substations,
Overhead and Underground Powerlines, Solar Systems,
Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution
Sewage Collection Systems and Treatment Plants
Housing and Urban Development
Community Development Block Grant
Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)
Community Development Block Grant-
CDBG-MIT funding was released in August
Eligible activities include housing,
infrastructure and economic
Energy resilience and infrastructure
FEMA, CDBG and the Recovery
Adapted from the National Disaster Recovery Framework, DHS, 2016
Types of Funded Activities
• Utility protection and
• Resiliency studies
• Permanent Repairs
• Codes and Standards
• Mitigation activities
CDBG-DR and MIT
• Repair and update
• Energy resilience
• Mitigation activities
Reform Act of 2018
Section 1205: Expands the use HMGP PDM Grants
to be used for wildfire and windstorm mitigation
Section 1206: Authorizes assistance for building and
construction codes implementation/enforcement
Section 1208: Directs FEMA to develop guidance
and training for state and local governments, first
responders and utility companies on prioritizing
services in the event of a disaster.
Section 1234: Creates the Building Resilient
Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program
Successful Examples: FEMA Funding
BRUNSWICK ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP
COOPERATIVE, NORTH CAROLINA
ICF developed a conclusive model that
demonstrated the cost effectiveness of a
hazard mitigation project to bury the
overhead power lines using Section 406
Benefits included minimizing the risk of
damages to the electrical lines and
reducing the risk of electrical service
interruption from future events.
PSEG LONG ISLAND / LONG ISLAND POWER
AUTHORITY, NEW YORK
ICF serves as Project Manager for PA’s recovery
and storm hardening project. This project is a $1.4
bn grant with $729 million for hazard mitigation.
The goal of the mitigation project to storm harden
1,025 miles of the vulnerable mainline overhead
distribution system is to achieve a 20% reduction
of loss services and a 29% reduction in physical
damages resulting from future events
Sites & Tailor
ICF Technical Assistance for Potential Solar + Storage
Resiliency Pilots at Puerto Rico Public Housing
Marty Altman: firstname.lastname@example.org, (407) 967-1950
Paul Vrabel: email@example.com, (703) 934-3777