FEMA Program Changes

Good morning. Please find links below pertaining to recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) /Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program changes. Following each link is a brief summary of the corresponding item. These are not requests for comments-just disseminating the information for your review and reference.


Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) request for comments on Non-Disaster (ND) Grants System grant applications

Good morning. Please find a link here to 82 FR 37106-Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) request for comments on Non-Disaster (ND) Grants System grant applications.  As you may be aware, ND Grants is a web-based grants management system that fulfills FEMA’s strategic initiative to consolidate the entire non-disaster grants management lifecycle into a single system. Currently, ND Grants has functionality that supports the grantee application process, award acceptance, amendments, and performance reporting.

Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Should you wish to provide comments, please submit those to Rita or myself, and certainly don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.  DEADLINE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS TO DHS/FEMA IS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2017.  In order to provide to for review, please kindly provide comments to myself or Rita by THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 2017.

Marty Williams

Marty Williams Government Affairs Manager American Public Works Association Washington, D.C. Office Ph: (202) 218-6732 | Fax: (202) 408-9542 Your Comprehensive Public Works Resource

FEMA – Risk Map Standards & Guidance Updates (APWA)

Good afternoon, please find a link, here, to the FEMA Flood Risk Mapping Guidelines and Standards. FEMA has published information about the upcoming annual update and the start of public review of planned changes to Risk MAP standards, expected to be released in November 2017. As you may be aware, FEMA updates standards and guidance for Risk MAP on an annual basis.  I have condensed the information, for the purpose of this email, you can read the full reports by clicking on the attached links.


The November update will include routine updates and completion of the transformation of legacy guidelines and specifications to produce new guidance documents that align with the current structure of the Risk MAP Program. The transformation of guidance comprehensively reviews existing guidance, updates the content to reflect current practices and clarifies the guidance intent. Guidelines for the Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (link) comprises the standards for practitioners of the Risk MAP program. As part of the guidelines and standards maintenance cycle, FEMA provides an opportunity for stakeholders to review and comment on proposed changes to standards.

In addition to routine maintenance, there are several more significant changes that FEMA plans to implement through new or updated standards, guidance documents, and technical references in November. These include:

  • establishing guidance for Base Level Engineering
  • clarifying how submitters can use Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) or other elevation data for Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs)
  • updating Flood Risk Product (FRP) requirements based on feedback from FRP users and stakeholders
  • updating coastal standards to consolidate the definition of the V-Zone for coastal Flood Risk Projects and simplifying standard language related to dune erosion analysis.

In addition to providing notification of all the planned changes to standards and guidance for November 2017, this notice is also announcing the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to standards. FEMA intends to publish these standards as a part of the Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping. Comments received prior to August 31, 2017, will be reviewed and addressed as appropriate before the standards are finalized. Please submit any comments that you wish to offer to myself or Rita Cassida, and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.


Marty Williams

Marty Williams Government Affairs Manager American Public Works Association Washington, D.C. Office Ph: (202) 218-6732 | Fax: (202) 408-9542 Your Comprehensive Public Works Resource

APWA Washington Report – June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017                                             Share:

**Due to the upcoming July 3-7 Congressional district work period, the next edition of the APWA Washington Report will be sent out on July 10. We hope you have a safe and fun July 4th holiday.

Follow @APWAGovAffairs on Twitter!


New FEMA Administrator Confirmed

  • William ‘Brock’ Long was confirmed last week by the U.S. Senate to serve as the next Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA);
  • Mr. Long was confirmed by a vote of 95-4 and was sworn in on June 23;
  • Mr. Long previously served as the Director for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Hagerty Consulting, an emergency management firm;
  • As the Administrator of FEMA, Mr. Long oversees the coordination of the Federal Government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made;
  • For more information about Administrator Long, please click here.

House Passes Legislation to Streamline Water Storage Projects

  • Last week, the House voted 230-188 to approve the Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act (H.R. 1654);
  • If enacted, H.R. 1654 would create a ‘one-stop-shop’ permitting process through the Bureau of Reclamation;
  • The Bureau of Reclamation, which is under the Department of the Interior, would be tasked with streamlining the current multi-agency permitting processes and expediting construction of all new or expanded non-federal surface water storage facilities;
  • Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a companion bill (S. 677) in the Senate in April;
  • For more information about the legislation, click here.

Interior Department Seeks Input on Regulatory Reform

  • The Department of the Interior established a Regulatory Reform Task Force this past March and is now requesting input from the public on ways it can improve implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
  • Specifically, the Department is requesting input on regulations that may be considered for repeal, replacement or modification;
  • This move is part of President Trump’s initiative across federal agencies to alleviate unnecessary burdens as outlined by Executive Order 13777;
  • More information may be found at regulations.gov and comments/input will be evaluated by the Department on an ongoing basis.

Committee Advances Multiple National Flood Insurance Program bills

  • Last Week the House Financial Services Committee approved seven bills aiming to make changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP);
  • The Committee ultimately plans to consolidate aspects from each of the measures into one comprehensive bill to be considered by the House in July;
  • Highlights of the legislation include ensuring community accountability for areas repeatedly damaged by floods, and repealing the mandatory flood insurance coverage requirement for commercial properties located in flood hazard areas;
  • The NFIP is set to expire September 30, 2017, and language to reauthorize the program for five years is included for consideration;
  • To view text of each of the bills, click here.

House Plans Vote on Disaster Assistance Legislation

  • This week the House will vote on H.R. 1684, the Disaster Assistance Support for Communities and Homeowners Act of 2017;
  • The bill was introduced by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and will be considered under suspension of the rules (a procedural maneuver to quickly pass non-controversial bills);
  • If enacted, the bill would direct the FEMA Administrator to provide technical assistance to a common interest community providing essential services of a governmental nature;
  • There is currently no companion legislation in the Senate;
  • To view the text of H.R. 1684, click here.

Update on FirstNet ‘Opt Out’

  • Last week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved guidelines for states seeking to opt-out of the FirstNet program;
  • FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce created through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96;
  • The mission of FirstNet is to develop, build, and operate a dedicated nationwide broadband communications network for first responders;
  • The law does contain a provision allowing states to ‘opt out’ of the Network and submit an alternative plan, provided it is fully interoperable with the FirstNet network;
  • To view a copy of the procedural guidelines approved by the FCC, click here.


  • On June 27 at 9:30 am ET, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing to examine the fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency–click here for more information;
  • On June 27 at 10:00 am ET, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing to examine legislation focused on self-driving vehicles—click here for more information;
  • On June 28 at 10 am ET, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a markup to examine the FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill–click here for more information;
  • On June 28 at 11 am ET, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies has scheduled a markup on the FY 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations bill–click here for more information;
  • On June 28 at 2:30 pm ET, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development has scheduled a hearing to review the FY 2018 budget request for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation–click here for more information;

On June 29 at 9:30 am ET, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee has scheduled a hearing titled, “Conservation and Forestry: Perspectives on the Past and Future Direction for the 2018 Farm Bill”–click here for more information.