Natural Resources Defense Council Issues Public Comment on FEMA Notice
Targeted News Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 -- The Natural Resources Defense Council has issued a public comment on the Federal Emergency Management Agency notice entitled "Request for Information on FEMA Programs, Regulations, and Policies". The comment was written on July 21, 2021, and posted on July 22, 2021:
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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is pleased to respond to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Request for Information ("FEMA RFI") to help "FEMA ensure that its programs, regulations, and policies contain necessary, properly tailored, and up-to-date requirements to ... [advance] equity for all, including those in underserved communities, [bolster] resilience from the impacts of climate change, particularly for those disproportionately impacted by climate change, and environmental justice."/1
NRDC is an international, non-profit environmental and public health membership organization with more than three million members and online activists. NRDC advocates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, increase the resilience of communities to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, safeguard human health, and ensure safe drinking water for all. NRDC believes unequivocally in the universal right to a safe and healthy planet, with the recognition that not everyone faces the same barriers to those rights. Communities that are already marginalized consistently emerge as the most vulnerable to the health and economic harms of environmental hazards, from polluted drinking water to extreme weather.
Our responses below largely focus on FEMA's hazard mitigation and flood insurance programs. We are also attaching a selected bibliography of research articles, reports, and white papers that identify equity- and/or adaptation-related challenges for FEMA and propose policy or research recommendations.
1. Are there FEMA programs, regulations, and/or policies that perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and/or other underserved groups as defined in
Executive Order 13985 and, if so, what are they? How can those programs, regulations, and/or policies be modified, expanded, streamlined, or repealed to deliver resources and benefits more equitably? / 3. Are there FEMA programs, regulations, and/or policies that do not promote environmental justice? How can those programs, regulations, and/or policies be modified, expanded, streamlined, or repealed to promote environmental justice?
Disasters (and our nation's responses to them) disproportionately harm low-income people, people of color, those with disabilities, and other groups marginalized by U.S. society. Our country's disaster policies and programs, intended to assist vulnerable people, in fact not only leave behind those with fewer resources but actually widen racial wealth gaps2 and contribute to gentrification-driven displacement./3
Research, anecdotal evidence, and lived experience all demonstrate that the United States' existing disaster policies perpetuate systemic inequalities.
In general, we echo the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC) November 2020 report, which states, "...it is within the role of FEMA to recognize [systemic] inequities (and the disparities caused by them) and ensure that existing or new FEMA programs, policies, and practices do not exacerbate them."/4
Beyond ensuring that its programs do not exacerbate existing inequities, we also believe FEMA has a responsibility to ensure both that it does not create new inequities and that it is actively contributing to the reduction of underlying social and environmental risks that leave some communities more vulnerable. FEMA has a statutory mandate to act in an "equitable and impartial" manner, as required under the Stafford Act's nondiscrimination provision./5
The provision's legislative history demonstrates that this equity mandate far exceeds FEMA's obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. By including the provision in the 1970 Disaster Relief Act, the 91st Congress intended for FEMA and other federal, state, and private disaster agencies to not only address explicit instances of intentional discrimination, but also unintended impacts that disparately affect groups depending on their race, nationality, ethnicity, sex, age, ability, or economic status./6
Furthermore, were FEMA to implement these recommendations via regulation or policy, FEMA would not be subjected to additional liability, as these actions are not mandated under law, and thus would be discretionary acts shielded from judicial review by the Stafford Act's discretionary function exception./7
We urge FEMA to implement these recommendations to fulfill its Congressional mandate and ensure federal disaster relief truly serves the most vulnerable and does not continue to exacerbate preexisting inequities.
Disaster programs in the United States are fundamentally modeled around the concept of reimbursement and property values--providing compensation equal to the value of what was lost. That seems fair and objective in theory, but in practice it means that resources flow to people and places who had resources to begin with. In this way, past and present disinvestment, segregation, and discrimination lead to under-valued assets, smaller tax revenues, and lower capacity, perpetuating and even worsening inequities among both individuals and communities. Consistent with the November 2020 NAC report, "preparedness and mitigation resources should be targeted to communities that are most in need of federal funding to build resilience in those communities."/8
FEMA should ensure that its funding programs reflect the actual needs of vulnerable people and communities and substantially increase support for capacity building.
The following are some specific areas where FEMA programs, regulations, or policies can improve to achieve more equitable outcomes (focusing primarily on hazard mitigation and flood protection). While we recognize that fully addressing some of these issues will require Congressional action, we feel it is still important to raise them and to explore ways in which FEMA's authorities allow it to respond.
* Benefit-cost analysis (BCA): Hazard mitigation projects funded by FEMA must be "cost effective," i.e., with a benefit-cost ratio greater than one. While traditional approaches to BCA may appear to be objective and neutral, many experts agree that their use perpetuates economic, environmental, racial, and social disparities./9
Reliance on BCA as a way to select projects for funding drives resources toward projects addressing higher-valued land, buildings, or infrastructure and away from projects in disinvested, under-valued, and/or rural areas or that create benefits that are difficult to quantify./10
In short, traditional BCA methods value property over people and thus further reinforce the devaluing of certain communities.
In the short term, FEMA should continue to pursue opportunities to incorporate nontraditional benefits (e.g., related to environmental benefits, racial or economic equity, addressing environmental injustice, and/or promoting public health outcomes) into its BCA methodology in a way that is streamlined and accessible to applicants. FEMA could also apply distributional weights to its assessment of costs and benefits./11
More broadly, FEMA should pursue alternatives to BCA, such as by using a social risk index, alternatives analysis, or multi-factor analysis approach.
FEMA's current requirements for BCA calculations and documentation also pose a burden to funding applicants, particularly those in low-income or low-capacity communities, meaning these communities may have less control over these processes. See our response to Question 4, below, for some specific recommendations on reducing the burden of complying with FEMA's current requirements.
* Cost-share requirements: FEMA hazard mitigation grants typically require a cost share or match, with the cost share reduced or eliminated in certain circumstances (e.g., for mitigation of severe repetitive loss properties under the Flood Mitigation Assistance program). Small, low-income, and/or low-capacity communities can struggle to secure or document match payments, especially as state contributions vary across the country. Many of these communities do not meet the strict population requirements for "small, impoverished community" status and therefore do not qualify for a reduced cost share. FEMA should pursue opportunities to alleviate this burden for low-income communities and communities of color. Specifically, FEMA should seek statutory changes to the Stafford Act to give a larger proportion of communities preferential cost share.
* Emphasis on single-family homeowners: The residential activities commonly covered by FEMA hazard mitigation grants (e.g., elevations, buyouts) primarily accrue benefits to owners of single-family homes. As of July 2021, over 90% of the residential properties mitigated by FEMA hazard mitigation grants are single-family homes,/12 and damage assessments after disasters assume homeownership. Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence indicates a lack of familiarity with Uniform Relocation Act requirements among practitioners who implement FEMA-funded projects; the added complexity means that many projects do not include rental properties, the residents of rental units, or tribal communities. This is primarily due to the emphasis on resolving the risk faced by property rather than understanding the social dynamics that put people in harm's way by reliance on risk-prone properties. Considering the barriers to homeownership for low-income people and people of color, this has clear equity implications. FEMA should investigate how to more effectively fund hazard mitigation projects that serve tenants (including those who once owned their own homes but were displaced in part due to disasters), residents of multi-family homes, owners of heirs' property, and people experiencing homelessness.
2. Are there FEMA programs, regulations, and/or policies that do not bolster resilience to impacts of climate change, particularly for those disproportionately impacted by climate change, and, if so, what are they? How can those programs, regulations, and/or policies be modified, expanded, streamlined, or repealed to bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change?
In order to improve the capacity of communities and their residents to cope with climate change impacts, maintain essential functions, and allow for adaptation, FEMA should broaden the targets or metrics by which it determines program allocations and defines success to include such measures as: reductions in the numbers of people at risk or affected by extreme weather events including reduced mortality; reduce the direct economic and labor hours lost to extreme weather, reduce the number of houses that lose access to public services such as schooling, health care, utility and communications services due to extreme weather; increase the number of localities with regularly updated disaster risk and resilience strategies; and use those strategies to help determine federal support levels and allocations to ensure the quality of strategies and access to multi-risk early warning and recovery resources.
In addition, FEMA should transition away from promoting and supporting "hard" infrastructure, where possible, and instead promote the use of natural infrastructure and/or nature-based solutions to protect against flooding, sea level rise, and related hazards. Natural infrastructure can provide a more cost-effective solution for managing climate risk in communities. For example, NOAA estimates that natural infrastructure solutions provide more than $23 billion in storm protection services every year./13
A key example is levees. Levees are costly, must be frequently upgraded to reflect the increasing frequency and severity of large storm events under climate change, and even when properly maintained are still susceptible to failure./14
When they do fail, levees can worsen the impacts from a disaster by raising water levels and enticing people to build in a flood zone, falsely believing that they are "safe" behind a levee./15
Under-resourced communities are likely to experience a higher rate of levee failure given the high cost of maintenance and upgrades./16
A far more resilient and economical flood protection system relies on floodplains, riparian corridors, and wetlands to divert the flows from large storm events away from critical infrastructure and to absorb those flows for beneficial uses (including providing essential habitat, replenishing groundwater aquifers, and sequestering carbon)./17
Many of FEMA's policies could be modified to better incentivize and support investment in social protections for high-risk communities and individuals while discouraging a singular emphasis on hard infrastructure. We identify a few key programs here:
* Create a Set-aside in the BRIC Program for Building Hazard Mitigation Capacity of State and Local Governments: "Support[ing] state and local governments, tribes, and territories through capability and capacity building to enable them to identify nature-based mitigation actions and implement projects that reduce risks posed by natural hazards" is a guiding principle of the proposed BRIC policy. FEMA should create within BRIC a set-aside for capacity building assistance for low-income communities, communities of color, and Tribal and rural communities. In addition, the administration should seek statutory changes to the Stafford Act to give these communities preferential cost share for BRIC.
* Require State and Local Hazard Mitigation Plans to Fully Consider Climate Change Impacts and Other Future Conditions, and to Select Appropriate Mitigation Strategies and Priorities Based on Addressing Those Conditions. FEMA approval of hazard mitigation plans is a prerequisite for access to certain federal hazard mitigation funds. Many of these plans' risk assessments fail to consider that future disasters are projected to occur with greater frequency and severity due to climate change. State plans are required to assess future conditions to receive FEMA approval, but the agency has, in practice, established a low bar in applying this standard. Local governments are not currently required to assess future conditions. FEMA should: (1) update its hazard mitigation planning guidance to give more specific guidelines on how future climate impacts are to be addressed in the risk and vulnerability assessments for each individual hazard; (2) require that jurisdictions make plans available for public comment; and (3) amend its regulations to allow FEMA approval of hazard mitigation plans to be subject to third-party administrative appeal.
* Revise FEMA's BCA Toolkit to remove structural barriers and expand eligibility and competitiveness of nature-based solutions for hazard mitigation, including by lowering the OMB Discount Rate used for FEMA's BCA of nature-based solutions from 7% to 1 or 2%. (See responses to Questions 1/3 and 4 for further comments on BCA.)
* Develop Future Conditions Flood Maps: More accurate and forward-looking flood maps would help deter development in at-risk areas and play an important role in protecting wetlands and currently undeveloped natural areas. Flood maps are central to the NFIP and critical for a wide array of decisions related to local development; floodplain management; emergency management; and project design, planning, and engineering.
By law, FEMA must include (i) "relevant information or data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [(NOAA)] and the United States Geological Survey [(USGS)] relating to the best available science regarding future changes in sea levels, precipitation, and hurricane intensity" and (ii) "any future risk assessment" issued by the Technical Mapping Advisory Council [(TMAC)] whenever FEMA revises and updates an NFIP floodplain map./18
As such, FEMA must incorporate multiple future conditions flood elevations as advisory layers onto Flood Insurance Rate Maps. For coastal areas, FEMA should use NOAA's most recent global mean sea level rise scenarios and regional variations to determine future coastal flood hazard estimates out to the year 2100. As noted above, NOAA has produced extensive data on sea level rise projections. FEMA should incorporate sea level rise directly into process modeling (i.e., surge wave setup, wave runup, overtopping, and erosion) for regions where additional sea level is determined to impact the BFE nonlinearly. For regions with linear impacts to the BFE, FEMA should add sea level to the final calculated total water level and redefine the BFE. For riverine areas, FEMA should take the impacts of future development and land use change on future conditions hydrology into account when computing future conditions for riverine areas. Future development and land use should assume built-out floodplain fringe, considering the decrease of storage and increase in discharge
* Increase Funding for Audits and Cooperative Enforcement of National Flood Insurance Program standards: Non-compliance with the floodplain and floodway protection measure of the NFIP leads to unwise and oftentimes, unchecked, development by local governments. FEMA does not have the capacity to conduct compliance audits or ensure enforcement of provisions of the NFIP. This leads to noncompliant development, more damages paid by the NFIP, and more people living in harm's way. FEMA and communities are also failing to enforce the substantial damage requirements of the NFIP that require homes to be rebuilt to modern codes when heavily damaged. FEMA leadership should request increased funding to allow the Agency to conduct audits at least every five years for high-risk communities and work cooperatively with states to ensure consistent enforcement.
* Restart rulemaking to implement Executive Order 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS). FEMA should immediately restart rulemaking to implement the FFRMS. Heavier rains, intensifying coastal storms, and rising seas--the impacts of climate change--are exacerbating flooding impacts across the United States. Communities already struggle to maintain aged and inadequate infrastructure. The FFRMS addresses this growing threat from flooding and sea level rise. The standard requires federally funded projects to be either be located outside of high-risk areas or, if not practicable, to be protected against a higher level of flooding than traditionally required. Ensuring that infrastructure, like federally financed housing or disaster recovery projects, are sited, designed, and built based on expected future conditions will reduce exposure and vulnerability. Therefore, quickly restarting the implementation process is critically important. FEMA should use the 2016 proposed rule, Updates to Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands Regulations to Implement Executive Order 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, as its baseline and issue a proposed rule for comment by Dec. 31, 2021.
* Through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), FEMA should set stronger standards to protect people and property against increased flood risk: Smart policy and the law both mandate that FEMA revise the NFIP-implementing regulations to adequately account for the increasing risk of flooding due to climate change. Safer and stronger construction and land-use standards provide communities the opportunity to anticipate and reduce flood risk, saving lives and protecting property. Per the January 5, 2021 petition submitted to FEMA by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and NRDC,/19 FEMA should:
- For non-critical structures in A-zones, FEMA should adopt a higher freeboard standard, requiring, at minimum, 2 feet of freeboard above the BFE for new construction and for substantial damage or improvements to existing structures. Multiple states and NFIP-participating communities have already adopted a freeboard standard requiring structures be elevated 2 feet above the height of the 100-year flood, which demonstrates feasibility. In addition, cost-benefit analysis conducted by National Institute of Building Sciences and FEMA have shown such a standard in riverine areas provides significant cost savings in avoided flood damages.
- For non-critical structures in V zones, FEMA should require a higher freeboard standard of 4 feet above the non-sea level rise adjusted BFE for new construction and for substantial damage or improvements to existing structures. Per FEMA's study, 2008 Supplement to the 2006 Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program'sBuilding Standards, 4 feet of freeboard was found to be highly cost-effective. The additional cost to elevate to 4 feet above the 100-year flood was significantly outweighed by the amount saved in reduced flood damages. Further, FEMA has acknowledged some local jurisdictions have already adopted up to 4 feet of freeboard and FEMA has recommended it for maximum insurance savings.
* Alternatively, FEMA should require communities with V-Zones to adopt an estimate of the anticipated sea level rise that is at least as high as NOAA's "intermediate-high" projection for 2100 to establish the BFE on their FIRM. Non-critical structures must be elevated to the height of that sea level rise adjusted BFE. As noted above, FEMA already provides credit through the Community Rating System to communities that adopt such a practice.
- For critical infrastructure, FEMA should:
* Prohibit new critical infrastructure, where feasible, from the 0.2 percent annual chance floodplain.
* Require redeveloped, substantially improved, or new critical infrastructure (location outside of the 0.2 percent annual chance. floodplain is not feasible) to be elevated (flood-proofed) to the 0.2 percent chance flood elevation, plus freeboard to account for future conditions, or the historical flood of record, whichever is greater.
* Ensure access to and operability of the critical infrastructure during the 0.2 percent annual chance flood event, and where that is not feasible, require a viable continuity of operations plan (COOP).
- For the regulatory floodway, FEMA should:
* Amend the definition to, "means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation (0.00 feet)."
* Amend Sec. 60.3(10) by striking "more than one foot at any point within the community" and insert "(0.00 feet)" after "without increasing the water surface elevation."
* Amend Sec. 60.3(d)(2) by striking "more than one foot at any point" and insert "(0.00 feet)" after "without increasing the water surface elevation."
- Subdivision requirements that are incorporated to the NFIP minimum standards neither steer development away from special flood hazard areas nor provide a significant level of protection to some of the physical infrastructure and buildings within them. As such FEMA should:
* Add a new subsection to 44 CFR Sec. 60.3 that consolidates all of the existing use and development standards for "subdivision and large-scale developments" into a new section pertaining to major subdivisions. Add a requirement that all features that convey water on a tract of land in a major subdivision have the SFHA, 500-year floodplain and floodway (where applicable) identified; prohibit the creation of new lots entirely within the floodplain unless adequate natural ground exists above the flood protection level; add a requirement that all major subdivision proposals must evaluate any dam and levee failure mapping and ensure that the development does not increase the dam's hazard classification; add a requirement that reserve studies for all owners associations that will be responsible for maintaining flood control or stormwater infrastructure include the maintenance costs including should the infrastructure be damaged by floods; add a requirement that all final plats have appropriate flood hazards identified on them; add a requirement that ensures adequate ingress and egress at the flood protection elevation; add a use restriction prohibiting critical facilities where possible in major subdivisions.
* Establish a Minimum Mandatory 20 Percent Set-aside for Natural Infrastructure Projects in the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program (BRIC): This set-aside will create incentives for projects that protect, restore, and enhance natural floodplains, wetlands, and riparian corridors. Currently, nature-based solutions are at a disadvantage for funding compared to traditional hazard mitigation projects, by virtue of how FEMA's methodology for BCA works. Creating a set aside would allow those projects to compete in their own pool of funding and make it clear to state and local governments that applications would receive a fair prioritization. By doing so, the set-aside will reduce future flood risks due to climate change and deliver other social and environmental benefits for communities. It will also help build technical and administrative capacity on using natural infrastructure approaches for reducing flood risks across all levels of government and improve understanding of the efficacy of these types of approaches.
* Through Inter-Agency partnerships and cross-institutional collaboration, increase understanding of risk factors especially for the poorest and most vulnerable and devote resources to ensuring necessary social investments to reduce risk and strengthen resilience.
- Disaster risk management and resilience needs to be based on an understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets and the hazard characteristics of the immediate environment.
- Creating resilience requires collaborative efforts across multiple sectors of government to address multi-dimensional risk and hazards. Inter-agency partnership will be a key element to successful development and implementation of a resilience strategy that will overcome heightened risk factors.
- Public and private investment in resilience through disaster risk prevention and reduction through nature based, social and hard infrastructure measures are essential to enhance the economic, social, health and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment. However, investments in social protection are the least developed and understood element of the resilience framework.
- Social protection programs geared toward the poorest and most vulnerable households, when designed appropriately, can have a transformative impact on their resilience to multi-dimensional risk factors. Through the provision of transfers and services to the poorest and most vulnerable households, adaptive social protection (ASP) directly supports their capacity to prepare for, cope with, and adapt to the shocks they face. Over the long term, by supporting these three capacities, ASP can provide a pathway to a more resilient state for households that may otherwise lack the resources to move out of chronically vulnerable situations and who could be further trapped in poverty due to impact of disaster.
4. Are there FEMA programs, regulations, and/or policies that are unnecessarily complicated or could be streamlined to achieve the objectives of equity for all (including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality), bolstering resilience to climate change, or addressing the disproportionately high and adverse climate-related impacts on disadvantaged communities in more efficient ways? If so, what are they and how can they be made less complicated and/or streamlined?
The following recommendations aim to streamline FEMA programs/requirements to reduce barriers to access and achieve more equitable distribution of resources:
* Simplify BCA requirements: FEMA requires grant applicants/sub-applicants to use its BCA Toolkit to calculate a benefit-cost ratio, which is then used in determining project eligibility. This process requires extensive documentation and many sub-applicants rely on external consultants to complete the work, disadvantaging lower-income and lower-capacity communities. Anecdotal evidence also indicates that, in addition to serving as a barrier to accessing funds, it also stifles innovation as communities find it too risky to go through the costly BCA process for projects that might not be funded. Even FEMA's BCA Toolkit guidance is challenging to understand, not to mention, over a decade old; the current BCA reference guide (dated 2009) is 108 pages long and has a 130-page supplement (dated 2011). This is supplemented by a nine-unit training course, a dedicated helpline (which is currently offline), and a support email address./20
We urge FEMA to simplify its BCA requirements, develop pre-calculated benefits for additional project/benefit types, and provide additional support to low-capacity communities. Specifically, FEMA should:
- Act on the recommendations of the National Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA) in improving and streamlining the BCA Toolkit. We understand that NHMA has provided FEMA with a white paper describing both programmatic and technical improvements to the BCA process.
- Act on the recommendations of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to develop pre-calculated benefits for additional project and benefit types./21
FEMA currently provides pre-calculated benefits for acquisitions and elevations in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), hurricane wind retrofits, individual tornado safe rooms, and certain wildfire mitigation actions. Anecdotal evidence from floodplain managers and hazard mitigation practitioners indicates that these pre-calculated benefits make grant applications more accessible and shorten project timelines.
- Provide simplified, up-to-date guidance and technical assistance designed to meet the needs of communities who have traditionally found the BCA process inaccessible. To start, FEMA should conduct additional outreach to ensure potential (sub)applicants are aware of the pre-calculated benefits and understand how to use them. For example, we have heard from practitioners who are not aware that pre-calculated benefits exist or that locality multipliers can be used to adjust the pre-calculated amounts allowed for SFHA acquisitions and elevations./22
* Streamline and standardize the grant application process: Currently, each hazard mitigation grant program requires a different application with different requirements. As reported by GAO, "Officials from 10 of the 12 state and local jurisdictions we met with told us they experienced challenges with the complexity of FEMA's application processes" and "some officials stated that the applications were cumbersome, required excessive documentation, that different programs used different grants systems, and that the applications went through multiple rounds of review with different reviewers."/23
Overly complex requirements clearly disadvantage communities that do not have the capacity to navigate the process. We urge FEMA to implement GAO's recommendations, for example by creating a universal, standardized grant application.
Combining multiple funding sources with different requirements (e.g., using Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds to meet FEMA cost-share requirements) can also pose challenges. To the extent possible, FEMA should coordinate with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies that provide hazard mitigation assistance to standardize definitions and grant requirements. Specifically, this can include a coordination of buyout processes and timelines with housing developments, ensuring that new developments are not completed independently of the other. In addition, FEMA should work with HUD to ensure that housing is intended for those that participate in buyout areas, in addition to preserving affordable housing options in rapidly gentrifying areas.
Current hazard mitigation grants also involve multiple reviews across federal, state, and local governments, leading to long timeframes and uncertain outcomes. This disadvantages individuals and households who cannot afford to wait, such as families who want a buyout of their flood-prone home but are stuck waiting while their home may be uninhabitable, and they continue to face the risk of flooding. In some cases, this waiting time could be alleviated by providing funding directly through the National Flood Insurance Program (e.g., via Increased Cost of Compliance coverage)./24,/25
9. Are there existing sources of data that FEMA can use to evaluate the post-promulgation effects of regulations over time? Or are there sources of data that FEMA can use to evaluate the effects of FEMA policies or regulations on equity for all, including individuals who belong to underserved communities?
Please see the attached bibliography for selected research articles, reports, and white papers that address issues of equity in hazard mitigation.
3/ Eric Joseph van Holm and Christopher K. Wyczalkowski, "Gentrification in the wake of a hurricane: New Orleans after Katrina," Urban Studies 56, no. 13 (October 2019): 2763-2778, https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098018800445.
4/ FEMA National Advisory Council, Report to the FEMA Administrator, p. 11.
5/ 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5151(a)
6/ Hannah Perls and Dane Underwood, "Equitable Disaster Relief: An Analysis of FEMA'sLegal Authority to Integrate Equity under the Stafford Act," Harvard Environmental and Energy Law Program (forthcoming August 2021).
7/ 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5148
8/ FEMA National Advisory Council, Report to the FEMA Administrator, p. 14.
16/ See, e.g., William C.C. Kemp-Neal, "Environmental Racism: Using Environmental Planning to Lift People Out of Poverty, and Re-shape the Effects of Climate Change & Pollution in Communities of Color," Fordham Environmental Law Review 32, no. 3 (2021): 318-19, https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/elr/vol32/iss3/1.
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