Text: S.3418 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 116-284 (01/01/2021)

 
[116th Congress Public Law 284]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 134 STAT. 4869]]

Public Law 116-284
116th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance 
   Act to allow the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency to provide capitalization grants to States to establish revolving 
   funds to provide hazard mitigation assistance to reduce risks from 
     disasters and natural hazards, and other related environmental 
               harm. <<NOTE: Jan. 1, 2021 -  [S. 3418]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Safeguarding 
Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 42 USC 5121 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing 
Risk Mitigation Act'' or the ``STORM Act''.
SEC. 2. GRANTS TO ENTITIES FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF HAZARD MITIGATION 
                    REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS.

    Title II of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5131 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end 
the following:
``SEC. 205. <<NOTE: 42 USC 5135.>>  GRANTS TO ENTITIES FOR 
                        ESTABLISHMENT OF HAZARD MITIGATION 
                        REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS.

    ``(a) General Authority.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Administrator may enter into 
        agreements with eligible entities to make capitalization grants 
        to such entities for the establishment of hazard mitigation 
        revolving loan funds (referred to in this section as `entity 
        loan funds') for providing funding assistance to local 
        governments to carry out eligible projects under this section to 
        reduce disaster risks for homeowners, businesses, nonprofit 
        organizations, and communities in order to decrease--
                    ``(A) the loss of life and property;
                    ``(B) the cost of insurance; and
                    ``(C) Federal disaster payments.
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Requirements.>>  Agreements.--Any agreement 
        entered into under this section shall require the participating 
        entity to--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Compliance.>>  comply with the 
                requirements of this section; and
                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Procedures.>>  use accounting, audit, 
                and fiscal procedures conforming to generally accepted 
                accounting standards.

    ``(b) Application.--
            ``(1) In general.--To be eligible to receive a 
        capitalization grant under this section, an eligible entity 
        shall submit to the Administrator an application that includes 
        the following:
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Proposals. Notice. Deadline.>>  
                Project proposals comprised of local government hazard 
                mitigation projects, on the condition that the entity 
                provides public notice not less than 6 weeks prior to 
                the submission of an application.

[[Page 134 STAT. 4870]]

                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  An assessment of 
                recurring major disaster vulnerabilities impacting the 
                entity that demonstrates a risk to life and property.
                    ``(C) A description of how the hazard mitigation 
                plan of the entity has or has not taken the 
                vulnerabilities described in subparagraph (B) into 
                account.
                    ``(D) A description about how the projects described 
                in subparagraph (A) could conform with the hazard 
                mitigation plan of the entity and of the unit of local 
                government.
                    ``(E) <<NOTE: Proposal.>>  A proposal of the 
                systematic and regional approach to achieve resilience 
                in a vulnerable area, including impacts to river basins, 
                river corridors, watersheds, estuaries, bays, coastal 
                regions, micro-basins, micro-watersheds, ecosystems, and 
                areas at risk of earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, severe 
                storms, and wildfires, including the wildland-urban 
                interface.
            ``(2) Technical assistance.--The Administrator shall provide 
        technical assistance to eligible entities for applications under 
        this section.

    ``(c) Entity Loan Fund.--
            ``(1) Establishment of fund.--An entity that receives a 
        capitalization grant under this section shall establish an 
        entity loan fund that complies with the requirements of this 
        subsection.
            ``(2) Fund management.--Except as provided in paragraph (3), 
        entity loan funds shall--
                    ``(A) be administered by the agency responsible for 
                emergency management; and
                    ``(B) include only--
                          ``(i) funds provided by a capitalization grant 
                      under this section;
                          ``(ii) repayments of loans under this section 
                      to the entity loan fund; and
                          ``(iii) interest earned on amounts in the 
                      entity loan fund.
            ``(3) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Administration.--A 
        participating entity may combine the financial administration of 
        the entity loan fund of such entity with the financial 
        administration of any other revolving fund established by such 
        entity if the Administrator determines that--
                    ``(A) the capitalization grant, entity share, 
                repayments of loans, and interest earned on amounts in 
                the entity loan fund are accounted for separately from 
                other amounts in the revolving fund; and
                    ``(B) the authority to establish assistance 
                priorities and carry out oversight activities remains in 
                the control of the entity agency responsible for 
                emergency management.
            ``(4) Entity share of funds.--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  In general.--On or 
                before the date on which a participating entity receives 
                a capitalization grant under this section, the entity 
                shall deposit into the entity loan fund of such entity, 
                an amount equal to not less than 10 percent of the 
                amount of the capitalization grant.
                    ``(B) Reduced grant.--If, with respect to a 
                capitalization grant under this section, a participating 
                entity deposits in the entity loan fund of the entity an 
                amount that is

[[Page 134 STAT. 4871]]

                less than 10 percent of the total amount of the 
                capitalization grant that the participating entity would 
                otherwise receive, the Administrator shall reduce the 
                amount of the capitalization grant received by the 
                entity to the amount that is 10 times the amount so 
                deposited.

    ``(d) Apportionment.--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  In general.--Except as 
        otherwise provided by this subsection, the Administrator shall 
        apportion funds made available to carry out this section to 
        entities that have entered into an agreement under subsection 
        (a)(2) in amounts as determined by the Administrator.
            ``(2) Reservation of funds.--The Administrator shall reserve 
        not more than 2.5 percent of the amount made available to carry 
        out this section for the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
        for--
                    ``(A) administrative costs incurred in carrying out 
                this section;
                    ``(B) providing technical assistance to 
                participating entities under subsection (b)(2); and
                    ``(C) capitalization grants to insular areas under 
                paragraph (4).
            ``(3) Priority.--In the apportionment of capitalization 
        grants under this subsection, the Administrator shall give 
        priority to entity applications under subsection (b) that--
                    ``(A) propose projects increasing resilience and 
                reducing risk of harm to natural and built 
                infrastructure;
                    ``(B) involve a partnership between two or more 
                eligible entities to carry out a project or similar 
                projects;
                    ``(C) take into account regional impacts of hazards 
                on river basins, river corridors, micro-watersheds, 
                macro-watersheds, estuaries, lakes, bays, and coastal 
                regions and areas at risk of earthquakes, tsunamis, 
                droughts, severe storms, and wildfires, including the 
                wildland-urban interface; or
                    ``(D) propose projects for the resilience of major 
                economic sectors or critical national infrastructure, 
                including ports, global commodity supply chain assets 
                (located within an entity or within the jurisdiction of 
                local governments, insular areas, and Indian tribal 
                governments), power and water production and 
                distribution centers, and bridges and waterways 
                essential to interstate commerce.
            ``(4) Insular areas.--
                    ``(A) Apportionment.--From any amount remaining of 
                funds reserved under paragraph (2), the Administrator 
                may enter into agreements to provide capitalization 
                grants to insular areas.
                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Compliance.>>  Requirements.--An 
                insular area receiving a capitalization grant under this 
                section shall comply with the requirements of this 
                section as applied to participating entities.

    ``(e) Environmental Review of Revolving Loan Fund Projects.--The 
Administrator may delegate to a participating entity all of the 
responsibilities for environmental review, decision making, and action 
pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.), and other applicable Federal environmental laws including 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the 
National Historic Preservation

[[Page 134 STAT. 4872]]

Act of 1966 (54 U.S.C. 300101 et seq.) that would apply to the 
Administrator were the Administrator to undertake projects under this 
section as Federal projects so long as the participating entity carries 
out such responsibilities in the same manner and subject to the same 
requirements as if the Administrator carried out such responsibilities.
    ``(f) <<NOTE: Loans.>>  Use of Funds.--
            ``(1) Types of assistance.--Amounts deposited in an entity 
        loan fund, including loan repayments and interest earned on such 
        amounts, may be used--
                    ``(A) to make loans, on the condition that--
                          ``(i) such loans are made at an interest rate 
                      of not more than 1 percent;
                          ``(ii) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  annual principal 
                      and interest payments will commence not later than 
                      1 year after completion of any project and all 
                      loans made under this subparagraph will be fully 
                      amortized--
                                    ``(I) not later than 20 years after 
                                the date on which the project is 
                                completed; or
                                    ``(II) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  for 
                                projects in a low-income geographic 
                                area, not later than 30 years after the 
                                date on which the project is completed 
                                and not longer than the expected design 
                                life of the project;
                          ``(iii) the loan recipient of a loan under 
                      this subparagraph establishes a dedicated source 
                      of revenue for repayment of the loan;
                          ``(iv) <<NOTE: Plan.>>  the loan recipient of 
                      a loan under this subparagraph has a hazard 
                      mitigation plan that has been approved by the 
                      Administrator; and
                          ``(v) the entity loan fund will be credited 
                      with all payments of principal and interest on all 
                      loans made under this subparagraph;
                    ``(B) for mitigation efforts, in addition to 
                mitigation planning under section 322 not to exceed 10 
                percent of the capitalization grants made to the 
                participating entity in a fiscal year;
                    ``(C) for the reasonable costs of administering the 
                fund and conducting activities under this section, 
                except that such amounts shall not exceed $100,000 per 
                year, 2 percent of the capitalization grants made to the 
                participating entity in a fiscal year, or 1 percent of 
                the value of the entity loan fund, whichever amount is 
                greatest, plus the amount of any fees collected by the 
                entity for such purpose regardless of the source; and
                    ``(D) to earn interest on the entity loan fund.
            ``(2) Prohibition on determination that loan is a 
        duplication.--In carrying out this section, the Administrator 
        may not determine that a loan is a duplication of assistance or 
        programs under this Act.
            ``(3) Projects and activities eligible for assistance.--
        Except as provided in this subsection, a participating entity 
        may use funds in the entity loan fund to provide financial 
        assistance for projects or activities that mitigate the impacts 
        of natural hazards including--
                    ``(A) drought and prolonged episodes of intense 
                heat;
                    ``(B) severe storms, including hurricanes, tornados, 
                wind storms, cyclones, and severe winter storms;

[[Page 134 STAT. 4873]]

                    ``(C) wildfires;
                    ``(D) earthquakes;
                    ``(E) flooding, including the construction, repair, 
                or replacement of a non-Federal levee or other flood 
                control structure, provided that the Administrator, in 
                consultation with the Army Corps of Engineers (if 
                appropriate), requires an eligible entity to determine 
                that such levee or structure is designed, constructed, 
                and maintained in accordance with sound engineering 
                practices and standards equivalent to the purpose for 
                which such levee or structure is intended;
                    ``(F) shoreline erosion;
                    ``(G) high water levels; and
                    ``(H) storm surges.
            ``(4) <<NOTE: Studies.>>  Zoning and land use planning 
        changes.--A participating entity may use not more than 10 
        percent of a capitalization grant under this section to enable 
        units of local government to implement zoning and land use 
        planning changes focused on--
                    ``(A) the development and improvement of zoning and 
                land use codes that incentivize and encourage low-impact 
                development, resilient wildland-urban interface land 
                management and development, natural infrastructure, 
                green stormwater management, conservation areas adjacent 
                to floodplains, implementation of watershed or greenway 
                master plans, and reconnection of floodplains;
                    ``(B) the study and creation of agricultural risk 
                compensation districts where there is a desire to remove 
                or set-back levees protecting highly developed 
                agricultural land to mitigate for flooding, allowing 
                agricultural producers to receive compensation for 
                assuming greater flood risk that would alleviate flood 
                exposure to population centers and areas with critical 
                national infrastructure;
                    ``(C) the study and creation of land use incentives 
                that reward developers for greater reliance on low 
                impact development stormwater best management practices, 
                exchange density increases for increased open space and 
                improvement of neighborhood catch basins to mitigate 
                urban flooding, reward developers for including and 
                augmenting natural infrastructure adjacent to and around 
                building projects without reliance on increased sprawl, 
                and reward developers for addressing wildfire ignition; 
                and
                    ``(D) the study and creation of an erosion response 
                plan that accommodates river, lake, forest, plains, and 
                ocean shoreline retreating or bluff stabilization due to 
                increased flooding and disaster impacts.
            ``(5) Establishing and carrying out building code 
        enforcement.--A participating entity may use capitalization 
        grants under this section to enable units of local government to 
        establish and carry out the latest published editions of 
        relevant building codes, specifications, and standards for the 
        purpose of protecting the health, safety, and general welfare of 
        the building's users against disasters and natural hazards.
            ``(6) Administrative and technical costs.--For each fiscal 
        year, a participating entity may use the amount described in 
        paragraph (1)(C) to--

[[Page 134 STAT. 4874]]

                    ``(A) pay the reasonable costs of administering the 
                programs under this section, including the cost of 
                establishing an entity loan fund; and
                    ``(B) provide technical assistance to recipients of 
                financial assistance from the entity loan fund, on the 
                condition that such technical assistance does not exceed 
                5 percent of the capitalization grant made to such 
                entity.
            ``(7) Limitation for single projects.--A participating 
        entity may not provide an amount equal to or more than 
        $5,000,000 to a single hazard mitigation project.
            ``(8) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  Requirements.--For fiscal 
        year 2022 and each fiscal year thereafter, the requirements of 
        subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code, 
        shall apply to the construction of projects carried out in whole 
        or in part with assistance made available by an entity loan fund 
        authorized by this section.

    ``(g) Intended Use Plans.--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Public comment. Review. Consultation.>>  In 
        general.--After providing for public comment and review, and 
        consultation with appropriate government agencies of the State 
        or Indian tribal government, Federal agencies, and interest 
        groups, each participating entity shall annually prepare and 
        submit to the Administrator a plan identifying the intended uses 
        of the entity loan fund.
            ``(2) Contents of plan.--An entity intended use plan 
        prepared under paragraph (1) shall include--
                    ``(A) the integration of entity planning efforts, 
                including entity hazard mitigation plans and other 
                programs and initiatives relating to mitigation of major 
                disasters carried out by such entity;
                    ``(B) an explanation of the mitigation and 
                resiliency benefits the entity intends to achieve by--
                          ``(i) reducing future damage and loss 
                      associated with hazards;
                          ``(ii) reducing the number of severe 
                      repetitive loss structures and repetitive loss 
                      structures in the entity;
                          ``(iii) decreasing the number of insurance 
                      claims in the entity from injuries resulting from 
                      major disasters or other natural hazards; and
                          ``(iv) increasing the rating under the 
                      community rating system under section 1315(b) of 
                      the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 
                      U.S.C. 4022(b)) for communities in the entity;
                    ``(C) information on the availability of, and 
                application process for, financial assistance from the 
                entity loan fund of such entity;
                    ``(D) <<NOTE: Criteria.>>  the criteria and methods 
                established for the distribution of funds;
                    ``(E) the amount of financial assistance that the 
                entity anticipates apportioning;
                    ``(F) the expected terms of the assistance provided 
                from the entity loan fund; and
                    ``(G) a description of the financial status of the 
                entity loan fund, including short-term and long-term 
                goals for the fund.

    ``(h) Audits, Reports, Publications, and Oversight.--
            ``(1) Biennial entity audit and report.--Beginning not later 
        than the last day of the second fiscal year after the

[[Page 134 STAT. 4875]]

        receipt of payments under this section, and biennially 
        thereafter, any participating entity shall--
                    ``(A) conduct an audit of the entity loan fund 
                established under subsection (c); and
                    ``(B) provide to the Administrator a report 
                including--
                          ``(i) the result of any such audit; and
                          ``(ii) <<NOTE: Review.>>  a review of the 
                      effectiveness of the entity loan fund of the 
                      entity with respect to meeting the goals and 
                      intended benefits described in the intended use 
                      plan submitted by the entity under subsection (g).
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Update.>>  Publication.--A participating 
        entity shall publish and periodically update information about 
        all projects receiving funding from the entity loan fund of such 
        entity, including--
                    ``(A) the location of the project;
                    ``(B) the type and amount of assistance provided 
                from the entity loan fund;
                    ``(C) the expected funding schedule; and
                    ``(D) the anticipated date of completion of the 
                project.
            ``(3) Oversight.--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Time 
                period. Reviews. Determination.>>  In general.--The 
                Administrator shall, at least every 4 years, conduct 
                reviews and audits as may be determined necessary or 
                appropriate by the Administrator to carry out the 
                objectives of this section and determine the 
                effectiveness of the fund in reducing natural hazard 
                risk.
                    ``(B) GAO requirements.--A participating entity 
                shall conduct audits under paragraph (1) in accordance 
                with the auditing procedures of the Government 
                Accountability Office, including generally accepted 
                government auditing standards.
                    ``(C) Recommendations by administrator.--The 
                Administrator may at any time make recommendations for 
                or require specific changes to an entity loan fund in 
                order to improve the effectiveness of the fund.

    ``(i) Regulations or Guidance.--The Administrator shall issue such 
regulations or guidance as are necessary to--
            ``(1) ensure that each participating entity uses funds as 
        efficiently as possible;
            ``(2) reduce waste, fraud, and abuse to the maximum extent 
        possible; and
            ``(3) <<NOTE: Requirement. Procedures.>>  require any party 
        that receives funds directly or indirectly under this section, 
        including a participating entity and a recipient of amounts from 
        an entity loan fund, to use procedures with respect to the 
        management of the funds that conform to generally accepted 
        accounting standards.

    ``(j) Waiver Authority.--Until such time as the Administrator issues 
final regulations to implement this section, the Administrator may--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  waive notice and comment 
        rulemaking, if the Administrator determines the waiver is 
        necessary to expeditiously implement this section; and
            ``(2) provide capitalization grants under this section as a 
        pilot program.

    ``(k) Liability Protections.--The Agency shall not be liable for any 
claim based on the exercise or performance of, or the failure to 
exercise or perform, a discretionary function or duty

[[Page 134 STAT. 4876]]

by the Agency, or an employee of the Agency in carrying out this 
section.
    ``(l) <<NOTE: Examinations.>>  GAO Report.--Not later than 1 year 
after the date on which the first entity loan fund is established under 
subsection (c), the Comptroller General of the United States shall 
submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of 
the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the 
House of Representatives a report that examines--
            ``(1) the appropriateness of regulations and guidance issued 
        by the Administrator for the program, including any oversight of 
        the program;
            ``(2) a description of the number of the entity loan funds 
        established, the projects funded from such entity loan funds, 
        and the extent to which projects funded by the loan funds adhere 
        to any applicable hazard mitigation plans;
            ``(3) the effectiveness of the entity loan funds to lower 
        disaster related costs; and
            ``(4) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  recommendations for 
        improving the administration of entity loan funds.

    ``(m) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  Definitions.--In this section, the 
following definitions apply:
            ``(1) Administrator.--The term `Administrator' means the 
        Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
            ``(2) Agency.--The term `Agency' means the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency.
            ``(3) Eligible entity.--The term `eligible entity' means--
                    ``(A) a State; or
                    ``(B) an Indian tribal government that has received 
                a major disaster declaration during the 5-year period 
                ending on the date of enactment of the STORM Act.
            ``(4) Hazard mitigation plan.--The term `hazard mitigation 
        plan' means a mitigation plan submitted under section 322.
            ``(5) Insular area.--The term `insular area' means Guam, 
        American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
        Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.
            ``(6) Low-income geographic area.--The term `low-income 
        geographic area' means an area described in paragraph (1) or (2) 
        of section 301(a) of the Public Works and Economic Development 
        Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3161(a)).
            ``(7) Participating entity.--The term `participating entity' 
        means an eligible entity that has entered into an agreement 
        under this section.
            ``(8) Repetitive loss structure.--The term `repetitive loss 
        structure' has the meaning given the term in section 1370 of the 
        National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4121).
            ``(9) Severe repetitive loss structure.--The term `severe 
        repetitive loss structure' has the meaning given the term in 
        section 1366(h) of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 
        U.S.C. 4104c(h)).
            ``(10) State.--The term `State' means any State of the 
        United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
            ``(11) Wildland-urban interface.--The term `wildland-urban 
        interface' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the 
        Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6511).

[[Page 134 STAT. 4877]]

    ``(n) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  Authorization of Appropriations.--
There are authorized to be appropriated $100,000,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2022 through 2023 to carry out this section.''.

    Approved January 1, 2021.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 3418:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 116-249 (Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 166 (2020):
            Dec. 9, considered and passed Senate.
            Dec. 18, considered and passed House.

                                  <all>

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