| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 707 (rh) To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to authorize a program for predisaster mitigation, to streamline the administration of disaster relief, to control the Federal costs of disaster assistance, and for...
H.R. 707 (rh) To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to authorize a program for predisaster mitigation, to streamline the administration of disaster relief, to control the Federal costs of disaster assistance, and for...
106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 707 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES March 4, 1999 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to authorize a program for predisaster mitigation, to streamline the administration of disaster relief, to control the Federal costs of disaster assistance, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Disaster Mitigation and Cost Reduction Act of 1999''. SEC. 2. AMENDMENTS TO ROBERT T. STAFFORD DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ACT. Except as otherwise specifically provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision of law, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.). TITLE I--PREDISASTER HAZARD MITIGATION SEC. 101. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) greater emphasis needs to be placed on identifying and assessing the risks to State and local communities and implementing adequate measures to reduce losses from natural disasters and to ensure that critical facilities and public infrastructure will continue to function after a disaster; (2) expenditures for post-disaster assistance are increasing without commensurate reduction in the likelihood of future losses from such natural disasters; (3) a high priority in the expenditure of Federal funds under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act should be to implement predisaster activities at the local level; and (4) with a unified effort of economic incentives, awareness and education, technical assistance, and demonstrated Federal support, States and local communities will be able to increase their capabilities to form effective community-based partnerships for mitigation purposes, implement effective natural disaster mitigation measures that reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, and suffering, ensure continued functioning of critical facilities and public infrastructure, leverage additional non-Federal resources into meeting disaster resistance goals, and make commitments to long-term mitigation efforts in new and existing structures. (b) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this title to establish a predisaster hazard mitigation program that-- (1) reduces the loss of life and property, human suffering, economic disruption, and disaster assistance costs resulting from natural hazards; and (2) provides a source of predisaster hazard mitigation funding that will assist States and local governments in implementing effective mitigation measures that are designed to ensure the continued functioning of critical facilities and public infrastructure after a natural disaster. SEC. 102. STATE MITIGATION PROGRAM. Section 201(c) (42 U.S.C. 5131(c)) is amended-- (1) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (1); (2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (2) and inserting ``; and''; and (3) by adding at the end the following: ``(3) set forth, with the ongoing cooperation of local governments and consistent with section 409, a comprehensive and detailed State program for mitigating against emergencies and major disasters, including provisions for prioritizing mitigation measures.''. SEC. 103. DISASTER ASSISTANCE PLANS. Section 201(d) (42 U.S.C. 5131(d)) is amended to read as follows: ``(d) Grants for Disaster Assistance and Hazard Identification.-- The President is authorized to make grants for-- ``(1) not to exceed 50 percent of the cost of improving, maintaining, and updating State disaster assistance plans including, consistent with section 409, evaluation of natural hazards and development of the programs and actions required to mitigate such hazards; and ``(2) the development and application of improved floodplain mapping technologies that can be used by Federal, State, and local governments and that the President determines will likely result in substantial savings over current floodplain mapping methods.''. SEC. 104. PREDISASTER HAZARD MITIGATION. Title II (42 U.S.C. 5131-5132) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``SEC. 203. PREDISASTER HAZARD MITIGATION. ``(a) General Authority.--The President may establish a program to provide financial assistance to States and local governments for the purpose of undertaking predisaster hazard mitigation activities that are cost effective and substantially reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, or suffering from a major disaster. ``(b) Purpose of Assistance.-- ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), a State or local government that receives financial assistance under this section shall use the assistance for funding activities that are cost effective and substantially reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, or suffering from a major disaster. ``(2) Dissemination.--The State or local government may use not more than 10 percent of financial assistance it receives under this section in a fiscal year for funding activities to disseminate information regarding cost effective mitigation technologies (such as preferred construction practices and materials), including establishing and maintaining centers for protection against natural disasters to carry out such dissemination. ``(c) Allocation of Funds.--The amount of financial assistance to be made available to a State, including amounts made available to local governments of such State, under this section in a fiscal year shall-- ``(1) not be less than the lesser of $500,000 or 1.0 percent of the total funds appropriated to carry out this section for such fiscal year; but ``(2) not exceed 15 percent of such total funds. ``(d) Criteria.--Subject to the limitations of subsections (c) and (e), in determining whether to provide assistance to a State or local government under this section and the amount of such assistance, the President shall consider the following criteria: ``(1) The clear identification of prioritized cost- effective mitigation activities that produce meaningful and definable outcomes. ``(2) If the State has submitted a mitigation program in cooperation with local governments under section 201(c), the degree to which the activities identified in paragraph (1) are consistent with the State mitigation program. ``(3) The extent to which assistance will fund activities that mitigate hazards evaluated under section 409. ``(4) The opportunity to fund activities that maximize net benefits to society. ``(5) The ability of the State or local government to fund mitigation activities. ``(6) The extent to which assistance will fund mitigation activities in small impoverished communities. ``(7) The level of interest by the private sector to enter into a partnership to promote mitigation. ``(8) Such other criteria as the President establishes in consultation with State and local governments. ``(e) State Nominations.-- ``(1) In general.--The Governor of each State may recommend to the President not less than 5 local governments to receive assistance under this section. The recommendations shall be submitted to the President not later than October 1, 1999, and each October 1st thereafter or such later date in the year as the President may establish. In making such recommendations, the Governors shall consider the criteria identified in subsection (d). ``(2) Use.-- ``(A) General rule.--In providing assistance to local governments under this section, the President shall select from local governments recommended by the Governors under this subsection. ``(B) Waiver.--Upon request of a local government, the President may waive the limitation in subparagraph (A) if the President determines that extraordinary circumstances justify the waiver and that granting the waiver will further the purpose of this section. ``(3) Effect of failure to nominate.--If a Governor of a State fails to submit recommendations under this subsection in a timely manner, the President may select, subject to the criteria in subsection (d), any local governments of the State to receive assistance under this section. ``(f) Small Impoverished Communities.--For the purpose of this section, the term `small impoverished communities' means communities of 3,000 or fewer individuals that are economically disadvantaged, as determined by the State in which the community is located and based on criteria established by the President. ``(g) Federal Share.--Financial assistance provided under this section may contribute up to 75 percent of the total cost of mitigation activities approved by the President; except that the President may contribute up to 90 percent of the total cost of mitigation activities in small impoverished communities. ``(h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 and $80,000,000 for fiscal year 2000. ``(i) Authorization of Section 404 Funds.--Effective October 1, 2000, in addition to amounts appropriated under subsection (h) from only appropriations enacted after October 1, 2000, the President may use, to carry out this section, funds that are appropriated to carry out section 404 for post-disaster mitigation activities that have not been obligated within 30 months of the disaster declaration upon which the funding availability is based. ``(j) Report on Federal and State Administration.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of the Disaster Mitigation and Cost Reduction Act of 1999, the President, in consultation with State and local governments, shall transmit to Congress a report evaluating efforts to implement this section and recommending a process for transferring greater authority and responsibility for administering the assistance program authorized by this section to capable States.''. SEC. 105. INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE. The President shall establish an interagency task force for the purpose of coordinating the implementation of the predisaster hazard mitigation program authorized by section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall chair such task force. SEC. 106. MAXIMUM CONTRIBUTION FOR MITIGATION COSTS. (a) In General.--Section 404(a) (42 U.S.C. 5170c(a)) is amended by striking ``15 percent'' and inserting ``20 percent''. (b) Applicability.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply to major disasters declared under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act and Emergency Assistance Act after January 1, 1997. SEC. 107. CONFORMING AMENDMENT. The heading for title II is amended to read as follows: ``TITLE II--DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MITIGATION ASSISTANCE''. TITLE II--STREAMLINING AND COST REDUCTION SEC. 201. MANAGEMENT COSTS. (a) In General.--Title III (42 U.S.C. 5141-5164) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``SEC. 322. MANAGEMENT COSTS. ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including any administrative rule or guidance), the President shall establish by rule management cost rates for grantees and subgrantees. Such rates shall be used to determine contributions under this Act for management costs. ``(b) Management Costs Defined.--Management costs include indirect costs, administrative expenses, associated expenses, and any other expenses not directly chargeable to a specific project under a major disaster, emergency, or emergency preparedness activity or measure. Such costs include the necessary costs of requesting, obtaining, and administering Federal assistance and costs incurred by a State for preparation of damage survey reports, final inspection reports, project applications, final audits, and related field inspections by State employees, including overtime pay and per diem and travel expenses of such employees, but not including pay for regular time of such employees. ``(c) Review.--The President shall review the management cost rates established under subsection (a) not later than 3 years after the date of establishment of such rates and periodically thereafter.''. (b) Applicability.--Section 322 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (as added by subsection (a) of this section) shall apply as follows: (1) Subsections (a) and (b) of such section 322 shall apply to major disasters declared under such Act on or after the date of the enactment of this Act. Until the date on which the President establishes the management cost rates under such subsection, section 406(f) shall be used for establishing such rates. (2) Subsection (c) of such section 322 shall apply to major disasters declared under such Act on or after the date on which the President establishes such rates under subsection (a) of such section 322. SEC. 202. ASSISTANCE TO REPAIR, RESTORE, RECONSTRUCT, OR REPLACE DAMAGED FACILITIES. (a) Contributions.--Section 406(a) (42 U.S.C. 5172(a)) is amended to read as follows: ``(a) Contributions.-- ``(1) In general.--The President may make contributions-- ``(A) to a State or local government for the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of a public facility which is damaged or destroyed by a major disaster and for associated expenses incurred by such government; and ``(B) subject to paragraph (2), to a person who owns or operates a private nonprofit facility damaged
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