Notice of Funding Availability for Resilience Projects in Response to Hurricane Sandy
Notice of funding availability (NOFA).
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the availability of approximately $3 billion in funds under the Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program and the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 for States, local governmental authorities, tribal governments and other FTA recipients impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which affected mid-Atlantic and northeastern states in October 2012. This announcement solicits proposals for resilience projects, defined as those projects designed and built to address current and future vulnerabilities to a public transportation facility or system due to future occurrence or recurrence of emergencies or major disasters that are likely to occur in the geographic area in which the public transportation system is located; or projected changes in development patterns, demographics, or climate change and extreme weather patterns. For the purposes of this notice, ``public transportation'' may include consideration of intercity passenger rail service. This resilience funding is intended to protect public transportation infrastructure that has been repaired or rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy or that is at risk of being damaged or destroyed by a future natural disaster. These investments reduce the likelihood that U.S. taxpayers are asked to repair the same infrastructure after a future major storm or natural disaster. Furthermore, the activities funded under this notice will help strengthen and build more resilient communities to better withstand future disasters. The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 was enacted on January 29, 2013, and provided $10.9 billion for FTA's Emergency Relief Program for recovery, relief and resilience efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy with approximately $10.4 billion still available after implementation of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 2011. FTA has previously allocated $5.7 billion for recovery and resilience projects to public transportation agencies impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 permits the Secretary to transfer up to $5.383 billion to other agencies to fund programs authorized under titles 23 and 49, United States Code, in order to carry out resilience projects in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Under this authority, DOT transferred $185 million to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) authorized the Emergency Relief Program at 49 U.S.C. 5324. With the authorization of this program, Congress provided FTA with primary responsibility for Federal reimbursements for emergency response and recovery costs after an emergency or major disaster that affects public transportation systems. The Emergency Relief Program allows FTA to make grants for eligible public transportation capital and operating costs in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, that affects a wide area, including projects to protect public transportation assets from damage. Beginning in late October 2012, President Obama issued major disaster declarations for specified counties in the following States: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia as a result of the impacts Hurricane Sandy and its remnants. Providers of public transportation in the affected areas as defined by these Presidential declarations are eligible to apply for funding for public transportation resilience projects. This notice includes a description of eligible projects, the criteria FTA will use to identify projects for funding, and a description of how to apply for funding. This announcement is available on the FTA Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. A synopsis of the funding opportunity will be posted in the FIND module of the government-wide electronic grants Web site at http://www.GRANTS.GOV. FTA will announce final allocations in a Federal Register notice and on the FTA Web site.