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Expanded Federal Assistance for Storm Recovery Approved Following Advocacy by Bishop

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FEMA Public Assistance support for entities in New York State was expanded yesterday to include repairs to road systems, bridges, water control facilities, public buildings, utilities and other critical infrastructure. On Thursday, Bishop wrote FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate asking him to waive paperwork requirements and presumptively grant the funding due to the widespread infrastructure damage in New York. FEMA aid for public entities was previously limited to debris removal and emergency protective measures.

"The full array of federal support was clearly necessary given the damage Super Storm Sandy caused, and I am pleased that FEMA agreed with me that New York's recovery workers should be out doing their jobs and helping people, not filling out paperwork," Bishop said.

Bishop's letter calling for the expedited expansion of aid is available here: http://timbishop.house.gov/uploads/Bishop_Fugate11.1.12.pdf

FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program is divided into seven categories, A through G. Assistance was previously limited to Category A: Debris removal and Category B: Emergency protective measures. The assistance has now been expanded to categories C-G: Category C: Road systems and bridges; Category D: Water control facilities; Category E: Public buildings and contents; Category F: Public utilities; Category G: Parks, recreational, and other

Supplementary funding under the PA program is directed to the state and its agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations. Under the program, the federal share of a project's expenses typically cannot be less than 75 percent of eligible costs.

"The additional federal infrastructure funding is intended to help New York's hard-hit communities recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy," said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael F. Byrne, who is tasked with administering all federal recovery aid for the state.

"Recovery from this devastating storm will require cooperation and coordination at all levels of government, and the expedited approval of federal funding for infrastructure repairs shows the federal government is ready to do its part for our communities," said Bishop.


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