Mitigation funding targets resilience
The Biden Administration announced that an additional $3.46 billion dollars will be dispersed among states and tribes to invest in mitigation projects around the country.
In August, the Biden Administration announced that an additional $3.46 billion dollars will be dispersed among states and tribes to invest in mitigation projects around the country. Each state is eligible to receive 4% of their COVID-related disaster costs to invest in projects that will further reduce risk from disasters. When coupled with the $1 billion dollars recently announced for the 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grant Program, there has never been more funding available to state and local governments for mitigation and resilience projects. To put this spending in perspective, here is a snapshot of the allocations headed for just a few states around the country:
- California: $484,383,864
- District of Columbia: $17,379,665
- Florida: $185,056,086
- Louisiana: $78,005,056
- Maryland: $93,289,392
- Massachusetts: $110,760,576
- New York: $378,128,107
- North Carolina: $63,758,987
- Oklahoma: $10,562,604
- Texas: $666,134,283
- Virginia: $62,005,907
Minimizing risks to communities
These funds will have the same eligibility and restrictions as other projects under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. However, unlike the BRIC program, these new funds are not competitive at the federal level, so this is a great opportunity to fund projects that will reduce risks to life and property.
Communities are encouraged to prioritize investments that benefit economically disadvantaged populations and communities disproportionally vulnerable to disasters. The new funding can also be used to scope projects that can be implemented through other programs, such as BRIC.
Funding flexibility: Supporting innovation
From a practical perspective, what can governments do with this funding? The answer is straightforward: A lot. The funding is flexible, so states can be creative in their projects. The hazard mitigation assistance allows for innovation wherever a clear link to risk reduction can be made. Potential uses for communities include:
- Retrofitting or elevating government facilities and other critical infrastructure
- Flood risk reduction projects
- Climate adaptation plans
- Buy-outs for communities prone to hazards
- Addressing building codes
- For western states, funds can be used for removal of brush in areas that are prone to wildfires and seismic retrofits for certain buildings
To learn more about the types of projects that may be funded under this program, FEMA’s Mitigation Action Portfolio is an important resource. The portfolio catalogs projects that the agency has funded in the past and that are suitable for future funding.
Our team of mitigation experts can assist in administering these funds for state and municipal clients and in providing the engineering and architecture expertise to implement the projects. I am excited for the opportunities that this funding provides to make our communities more resilient and create stability across community lifelines in the years to come.
- An additional $3.46 billion will be dispersed among states and tribes to invest in mitigation projects around the country
- $1 billion for the 2021 Building Resilience Infrastructure and Communities Grant Program
Dewberry is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.
Original content can be found at www.dewberry.com.