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EPA signs MOU with FEMA to support restoring water infrastructure after disasters

June 5th, 2019 / By: / Industry News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to streamline coordination between FEMA and the EPA-funded State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. Now, the funding used to restore vital water infrastructure can be provided quicker in times of disaster.

“This first-of-its-kind MOU with FEMA will give disaster-stricken communities expedited access to federal funds that will aid in their rebuilding process by helping to restore vital infrastructure and water services in times of disaster,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This MOU is another way the Trump Administration is working to help communities and utilities prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other emergencies.”

“Disasters are locally executed, state managed and federally supported, so we are pleased to work with EPA to provide local communities with additional resources to help them in their times of need,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor.

“This is great news for the state of Iowa and every community recovering from severe floods that occurred earlier this year,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “The Memorandum of Understanding with the EPA and FEMA allows Iowa access to critical funds for the restoration of vital drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. We appreciate this administration’s focus on recovery efforts and coming to the aid of rural communities fighting to come back stronger than ever.”

Highlights of the MOU:

  • Encourages a tribe or local government to access a no-interest or low-interest loan from its state revolving fund to help pay for the restoration of vital drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Allows for loan repayments, state match and interest earnings that are state funds to be reimbursed by FEMA.
  • Allows the SRFs to act as cost-sharing financing sources for a municipality applying for FEMA disaster assistance grant funding.
  • Encourages Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs to provide nonfederal funds for the purposes of FEMA Cost Share or Interim Loans.

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