STATE – President Barack Obama has authorized a federal cost-share increase for Hurricane Sandy recovery projects funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance grant program from 75 percent to 90 percent. This decision is expected to save the state an estimated $240 million in cleanup and recovery costs, according to state officials.
“This is great news for New Jersey and something we’ve been aggressively working to achieve over the last eight months,” said Republican Gov. Chris Christie. “This increased funding from the federal government will go a long way as our residents and communities continue rebuilding from Sandy. I am grateful for the continued bipartisan cooperation from the White House and our congressional delegation, and will continue working across the aisle with leaders on all levels of government until our state is fully restored.”
“FEMA’s announcement confirms what we knew all along – Sandy was a storm of epic proportions that caused widespread and severe damage,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6). “With the additional reimbursements from FEMA, our communities will be able to rebuild stronger than they otherwise might be able to and will take smaller financial hits during that process. It has always been a tradition in our country for the federal government to step in and provide appropriate assistance when disaster strikes, and in this case, I’m pleased that the Administration recognized further assistance was needed for our communities.”
The increase in federal funding allows FEMA to reimburse state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations 90 percent of eligible costs of emergency expenses, debris removal and infrastructure repair. The remaining ten percent is provided by non-federal funds. FEMA generally reimburses state and local governments for 75 percent of costs incurred while responding to a natural disaster.
After Superstorm Sandy struck, Obama authorized 100 percent federal funding for 15 days for emergency power restoration assistance and emergency public transportation assistance, including direct federal assistance, for those areas within New Jersey counties designated for Public Assistance. Under the President’s authorization to increase the cost-share to 90 percent, the federal share for Public Assistance, including direct federal assistance, has been increased to 90 percent of the total eligible costs, except for the assistance previously authorized at 100 percent federal funding.
To date, FEMA has approved more than $550 million in Public Assistance grants to help New Jersey communities recover and rebuild.
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