H.R. 1746: Pre-Disaster Mitigation Act of 2009

H.R. 1746

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Act of 2009

Date
April 27, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 1746 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) on March 26, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1746 amends the Stafford Act to authorize appropriations to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for grants to States and localities for pre-disaster mitigation programs, such as constructing levies, relocating homes from flood-prone areas, and retrofitting buildings in earthquake zones. This provision also increases the minimum allocation that States receive from $500,000 under current law to $575,000. No State may receive more than 15 percent of the total funds appropriated for a fiscal year.

The bill authorizes $250 million for each of Fiscal Years 2010, 2011, and 2012 for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program (PDM).

 

Background

In the 1990s, FEMA developed a pre-disaster mitigation pilot program known as "Project Impact." Congress appropriated funds for Project Impact in each of Fiscal Years 1997 through 2001. The PDM program affected by this bill is the successor to the Project Impact pilot program. The PDM program was first authorized in the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The program is currently authorized under section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act). The program terminates on September 30, 2009, unless reauthorized by Congress.

The PDM program provides technical and financial assistance (competitive grants) to State and local governments to reduce injuries, loss of life, and damage to property caused by natural hazards. Examples of such activities include the strengthening of buildings and infrastructure, acquiring repetitively flooded homes, installing shutters and shatter resistant windows in hurricane-prone areas, and the building of "safe rooms" in houses and other buildings to protect from high winds. The Federal share of the program costs is up to 75 percent, or up to 90 percent for small or impoverished communities.

 

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that H.R. 1746 would cost $700 million over the 2010-2014 period and $50 million in later years, subject to appropriations.