FEMA: Recovery Progress Continues in Puerto Rico with Agreement on Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Guide

FEMA Administrator Brock Long announced today that FEMA and the Government of Puerto Rico have coordinated the guidelines for permanent work restoration in Puerto Rico.

FEMA is releasing the “Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Guide for Permanent Work (Section 428)” document specifically for permanent work projects in Puerto Rico.

Using these procedures, FEMA will develop fixed-cost project estimates in collaboration with Puerto Rico and applicants. All projects will be funded at a 90 percent federal cost share and the projects must be identified and estimates agreed to within the next 18 months.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello elected to participate in Alternative Procedures for all permanent work resulting from Hurricane Maria in order to expedite assistance and provide maximum flexibility during the recovery effort.

Applicants will have the flexibility to use funding across all eligible projects to best meet their recovery needs, and alternate projects will not be subject to cost-share reductions that occur under the traditional Public Assistance program. Additionally, applicants will be allowed to use any excess funds towards eligible mitigation projects or other activities to improve future Public Assistance operations or planning.

FEMA has already obligated nearly $1.4 billion for emergency work projects in Puerto Rico.

Alternative procedures were first implemented following Hurricane Sandy as part of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act that Congress passed in January 2013. Since then, $10.8 billion has been estimated and obligated for 259 eligible recovery projects across 28 states using the procedures.

In Puerto Rico, an independent expert panel will review all fixed estimates that are more than $5 million, or at the applicant’s request for review. Both FEMA and Puerto Rico will have representatives who serve on the independent panel.

For more information on Hurricane María recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339

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