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Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Administration Announces Nearly $3 Billion in Project Selections to Help Communities Build Resilience to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

Today’s selections include projects in 23 states that have never before received competitive BRIC funding.

Today, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu announced the project selections for nearly $3 billion in climate resilience funding as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics. The selections, through two competitive grant programs, will help communities across the nation enhance resilience to climate change and extreme weather events. Overall, the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides FEMA nearly $7 billion to help communities proactively reduce their vulnerability to flood, hurricanes, drought, wildfires, extreme heat, and other climate-fueled hazards.

Today’s selections include $1.8 billion for critical resilience projects funded by the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) national competition and $642 million for Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) community-scale flood mitigation projects. These selections build on $160 million in BRIC and FMA selections that FEMA announced in May for efforts to support mitigation projects, project scoping, and adoption of hazard-resistant building codes. Combined, the funds awarded this grant cycle of the BRIC and FMA programs total nearly $3 billion including management costs.

A key pillar of Bidenomics, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has provided record funding to FEMA’s annual resilience grant programs, increasing them from $700 million when he took office to $3 billion this year. This increased funding allows FEMA to expand its geographic scope in funding selections and protect more of our nation’s communities that are most in harm’s way from the effects of climate change and extreme weather. Today’s selections include projects in 23 states that have never before received competitive BRIC funding.

“Our local and community partners are the first responders when extreme weather events unfold, and they are on the front lines of building our nation’s resilience to the impacts of climate change,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “By investing today in strengthening our critical infrastructure, particularly for the most marginalized and vulnerable communities, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is going to keep Americans and their communities safer and more resilient.”

“From Hawaii to Maine, communities across the country are experiencing more frequent and intense severe weather events, resulting in devastating impacts to their homes, businesses, and families. Though FEMA will always help communities respond and recover to these disasters, it is also paramount to build resilience before disasters strike,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we can further our mission to help our state, local, territorial, and tribal partners build a more resilient nation.”

“Millions of Americans in communities big and small feel the effects of climate change each year from drought, extreme heat, wildfires and floods,” said Mitch Landrieu, Senior Adviser to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator. “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda provides the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history. These projects will be a lifeline for many communities as we build a stronger, more resilient America.”

Today’s selections further underscore the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity and environmental justice, including by assisting the most disadvantaged communities in building resilience to climate change and extreme weather events. Aligning with the President’s Justice40 Initiative, these efforts will advance the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain covered Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.  In total, more than $1.2 billion—71%—in BRIC national competition selections and approximately 53% of all BRIC and FMA selections—$1.6 billion—will benefit disadvantaged communities.

Both programs received applications representing an intense demand for climate resilience funding. State, local, tribal and territorial governments submitted record-breaking requests for funding totaling a combined $5.6 billion for these two grant programs.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities

For the BRIC national competition, FEMA selected 124 projects across 115 communities. The selections span all 10 FEMA regions, including 38 states, one tribe and the District of Columbia. These are critical mitigation projects and activities to reduce natural hazard risks for states, local communities, tribes and territories. Examples of funded projects include:

  • Strengthening the electrical grid in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, including by equipping poles and wires to withstand 150 mph winds. The project should decrease the risk of power outages to residents and critical facilities;
  • Upgrading pipelines in the Central Utah Water Conservancy District to withstand seismic activity. Pipelines will be designed to withstand a 975-year seismic event;
  • Installing new sewer mains in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood to protect over 600 homes from flooding. The area has seen repeated major flooding since the 1950s;
  • Building three critical electrical hubs in Ko‘olaupoko, Hawaii, to keep the power on during severe weather and long outages;
  • Installing critical infrastructure upgrades to the Hobart Creek Reservoir Dam in Nevada to enhance safety and protect the water supply. This work will help to mitigate the risk of a catastrophic breach during earthquakes or major precipitation events;
  • Making storm drainage improvements in Greenville, North Carolina that will reduce flood risk for 90 homes;
  • Reducing extreme heat conditions in Portland, Oregon, by planting 10,500 trees over three years to reduce the impacts of heat islands as well as mitigate urban flooding during extreme rainfall events as well as improve air quality;
  • Supporting a comprehensive wildfire mitigation program in Napa County, California, to provide long-term-term wildfire and climate resilience for many of its residents and communities; and
  • Funding a new water pump station in Philadelphia to reduce flood risk and improve water quality and quality of life throughout the city.

A total of 64 of the projects selected use nature-based solutions to achieve program objectives. In addition to funding for flood mitigation, wildfire, and drought, this year’s selections also include the first BRIC funding for extreme heat.

Combined with May’s announcement of $136 million, FEMA has selected $2.1 billion worth in BRIC grants for this funding cycle.

Also announced in May, 46 local communities, tribes, and territories will receive non-financial direct technical assistance to help build community-wide resilience through the BRIC program. Through process-oriented, hands-on support, this assistance enhances a community’s capacity to design holistic, equitable climate adaptation solutions that advance numerous community-driven objectives.

This assistance provides free support to help disadvantaged and underserved communities access Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. More than 70 communities, territories, and tribes nationwide have been selected to receive this hands-on support since the BRIC technical assistance program began three years ago, several of which received implementation funding as part of this year’s selections.

Learn more about selected projects on FEMA.gov.

Flood Mitigation Assistance

For the Flood Mitigation Assistance program, FEMA selected 149 projects in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)-participating communities in 28 states and the District of Columbia. This funding will go towards flood control and individual property mitigation projects such as elevation, acquisitions and mitigation reconstruction of repetitively flood-damaged buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Combined with May’s announcement of $24 million, FEMA has selected $711 million worth in Flood Mitigation Assistance grants for this funding cycle. Examples of funded projects include:

  • Elevating 84 structure to two feet above the Base Flood Elevation and open green space for the community in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
  • Acquiring and demolishing repetitively-flooded structures in Machesney Park, Illinois, to eliminate repetitive flood threats to property and convert to green space.
  • Upgrading a stormwater infrastructure system in Harris County, Texas.
  • Elevating 19 single-family homes in the Florida Keys using piers and concrete footings to at least three feet above the Base Flood Elevation, or to the elevation set by the local floodplain ordinance, whichever is higher.

Approximately $212 million (33%) of this cycle’s Flood Mitigation Assistance project selections will go to disadvantaged communities. Examples of community-wide projects funded areas include:

  • Upgrading drainage to reduce flood risk in Canton, Mississippi.
  • Constructing a flood control facility in Apache Junction, Arizona.

Learn more about selected projects on FEMA.gov.

Read more at DHS

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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