House Bill 8300
117th Congress(2021-2022)
Empowering Resilient Local Communities Act
Introduced
Introduced
Introduced in House on Jul 7, 2022
Overview
Text
H. R. 8300 (Introduced-in-House)


117th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 8300


To direct the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue guidance on extreme temperature events and resilience goals, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 7, 2022

Mr. Blumenauer introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


A BILL

To direct the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue guidance on extreme temperature events and resilience goals, 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 “Empowering Resilient Local Communities Act”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

Section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5133) is amended—

(1) by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

“(a) Definition of underserved community.—In this section, the term ‘underserved community’ means a community, or a neighborhood within a community, that—

“(1) is classified as high risk according to census tract risk ratings derived from a product that—

“(A) is maintained under a natural hazard assessment program;

“(B) is available to the public;

“(C) defines natural hazard risk across the United States;

“(D) reflects high levels of individual hazard risk ratings;

“(E) reflects high social vulnerability ratings and low community resilience ratings;

“(F) reflects the principal natural hazard risks identified for the respective census tracts; and

“(G) any other elements determined by the President;

“(2) is comprised of 50,000 or fewer individuals and is economically disadvantaged, as determined by the State in which the community is located and based on criteria established by the President; or

“(3) is otherwise determined by the President based on factors including, high housing cost burden and substandard housing, percentage of homeless population, limited water and sanitation access, demographic information such as race, age, and disability, language composition, transportation access or type, disproportionate environmental stressor burden, and disproportionate impacts from climate change.”;

(2) in subsection (g)(9) by striking “small impoverished communities” and inserting “underserved communities”; and

(3) in subsection (h)(2)—

(A) in the heading by striking “Small impoverished communities” and inserting “Underserved communities”; and

(B) by striking “small impoverished community” and inserting “underserved community”.

SEC. 3. Guidance on extreme temperature events.

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration shall issue guidance related to extreme temperature events, including heat waves and freezes, and publish such guidance in the Federal Emergency Management Administration Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

SEC. 4. Hazard mitigation plans.

Section 322 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5165) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a) by striking the period at the end and inserting “, including—

“(1) identifying the extent to which resilience is or will be incorporated into other planning processes, including community land use, economic development, capital improvement budgets and transportation planning processes;

“(2) goals and objectives related to increasing resilience over a 5-year period, including benchmarks for future work and an assessment of past progress;

“(3) the building codes in existence at the time the plan is submitted and standards that are in use by the State for all manner of planning or development purposes and how the State has or will comply with the standards set forth in section 406(e)(1)(A);

“(4) the use of nature-based solutions or other mitigation activities that conserve or restore natural features that can serve to abate or lessen the impacts of future disasters;

“(5) integration of each local mitigation plan with the State, Indian Tribe, or territory plan; and

“(6) the disparate impacts on underserved communities (as such term is defined in section 203(a)) and plans to address any disparities.”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(f) Guidance.—The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall issue specific guidance on resilience goals and provide technical assistance for States, Indian Tribes, territories, and local governments to meet such goals.

“(g) Adequate staffing.—The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall ensure that ample staff are available to develop the guidance and technical assistance under section 322, including hazard mitigation planning staff and personnel with expertise in community planning, land use development, and consensus based codes and hazard resistant designs at each regional office that specifically focus on providing financial and non-financial direct technical assistance to States, Indian Tribes, and territories.

“(h) Reporting.—Not less frequently than every 5 years, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report on the progress of meeting the goals under this section.”.

SEC. 5. Additional uses of funds.

Section 408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(k) Additional uses of funds.—For State and local governments that have exceeded, adopted, or are implementing the latest two published editions of relevant consensus-based codes, specifications, and standards that incorporate the latest hazard-resistant designs and establish minimum acceptable criteria for the design, construction, and maintenance of residential structures and facilities, a recipient of assistance provided under this paragraph may use such assistance in a manner consistent with the standards set forth in clauses (ii) and (iii) of section 406(e)(1)(A).”.

SEC. 6. Collaboration with other agencies.

In awarding grants under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may coordinate with other relevant agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Corps of Engineers, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as necessary, to improve collaboration for eligible activities under the Act.

SEC. 7. GAO reports.

(a) Extreme temperature events.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and every 5 years thereafter, the Comptroller General of the United States shall evaluate and issue to Congress and the Federal Emergency Management Agency a report regarding the impacts of extreme temperatures events on communities, the challenges posed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in addressing extreme temperature events, and recommendations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to better provide assistance to communities experiencing extreme temperature events. The report may also include examples of specific mitigation and resilience projects that communities may undertake, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency may consider, to reduce the impacts of extreme temperatures on and within building structures, participatory processes that allow for public engagement in determining and addressing local risks and vulnerabilities related to extreme temperatures events, and community infrastructure, including heating or cooling shelters.

(b) Smoke and indoor air quality.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and every 5 years thereafter, the Comptroller General shall evaluate and issue to Congress and the Federal Emergency Management Agency a report regarding the impacts of wildfire smoke and poor indoor air quality, the challenges posed to Federal Emergency Management Agency in addressing wildfire smoke and indoor air quality, and recommendations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to better provide assistance to communities and individuals in dealing with wildfire smoke and indoor air quality.

SEC. 8. Report Congress and update of cost effectiveness determinations and declarations.

(a) Report.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall submit to Congress a report regarding the challenges posed by the Agency’s requirements for declaring an incident or determining the cost effectiveness of mitigation activities and specifically how such requirements may disproportionately burden small impoverished communities, or specific vulnerable populations within communities.

(b) Update of cost effectiveness determination.—Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, to the extent practicable, shall update the requirements for determining cost effectiveness and declaring incidents, including selection of appropriate interest rates, based on the findings made under subsection (a).