Solicitation for Comments Regarding Current Procedures To Request Emergency and Major Disaster Declarations, 15026-15030 [2013-05391]

Download as PDF 15026 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 46 / Friday, March 8, 2013 / Notices comments should be received by May 7, 2013. Summer King, Statistician. [FR Doc. 2013–05350 Filed 3–7–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162–20–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA–2013–0006] Solicitation for Comments Regarding Current Procedures To Request Emergency and Major Disaster Declarations Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, President Obama signed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, which includes a provision amending the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to provide federally recognized Indian tribal governments the option to make a request directly to the President for a Federal emergency or major disaster declaration, or to seek assistance, as they do presently, under a declaration for a State. In support of preliminary implementation of this provision, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is engaging in a comprehensive consultation effort with federally recognized Indian tribal governments. To initiate that consultation, FEMA is soliciting comments regarding FEMA procedures for declaration requests from Indian tribal governments. DATES: Comments must be received by April 22, 2013. ADDRESSES: Comments must be identified by docket ID FEMA–2013– 0006 and may be submitted by one of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Room 835, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472–3100. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jessica Stewart, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, 202–646–3888. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:44 Mar 07, 2013 Jkt 229001 I. Public Participation Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket ID. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice, which can be viewed by clicking on the ‘‘Privacy Notice’’ link in the footer of http:// www.regulations.gov. You may submit your comments and material by the methods specified in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Please submit your comments and any supporting material by only one means to avoid the receipt and review of duplicate submissions. Docket: A copy of this notice is available in docket ID FEMA–2013– 0006. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, click on ‘‘Advanced Search,’’ then enter ‘‘FEMA–2013–0006’’ in the ‘‘By Docket ID’’ box, then select ‘‘FEMA’’ under ‘‘By Agency,’’ and then click ‘‘Search.’’ Submitted comments may also be inspected at FEMA, Office of Chief Counsel, Regulatory Affairs Division, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472–3100. II. Background The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) authorizes the President to make certain Federal assistance available to support State, tribal, and local efforts to respond to and recover from a disaster. The President makes disaster assistance available after he declares that an emergency or major disaster has occurred and that Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local government resources. In the past, the Stafford Act allowed only the Governor of a State to make a request for a declaration by the President for an emergency or major disaster. On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, President Obama signed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, that included a provision amending the Stafford Act to provide Federally recognized Indian tribal governments the option to choose whether to make a request directly to the President for a Federal emergency or major disaster declaration, or to seek assistance, as they do presently, under a declaration for a State. PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Specifically, the amendment permits the ‘‘Chief Executive’’ of an ‘‘affected Indian tribal government’’ to submit a request for a declaration to the President that a major disaster or emergency exists consistent with the requirements listed in Stafford Act section 401 (major disasters) and 501 (emergencies). The amendment also stipulates that an Indian tribal government may be eligible to receive assistance through a declaration made by the President at the request of a State, so long as the Indian tribal government does not receive a separate declaration from the President for the same incident. FEMA plans to establish a pilot program for managing requests from Indian tribal governments; during development of this pilot program, FEMA will engage in a comprehensive consultation effort with Indian tribal governments. III. Current Requirements and Processes for State Declaration Requests Below you will find an explanation of the current regulatory requirements (located in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations) for a Governor’s request for an emergency or major disaster declaration and the factors FEMA uses to make a recommendation to the President about whether supplemental Federal assistance is needed. These regulations are currently framed with respect to States. As an initial step in consultation with Indian tribal governments and outreach to other stakeholders, FEMA asks Indian tribal governments for their thoughts and comments on how these requirements and factors may or may not be appropriate as applied to requests from Indian tribal governments during the pilot program. The input provided will inform the development of the pilot program to process declaration requests from Indian tribal governments. FEMA welcomes comments on any or all of the topics addressed in this Notice. Comments are also welcomed on any other issues that may not be covered in the below topics. Types of Declarations and Assistance Stafford Act assistance is intended to supplement State and local resources. States must establish in their requests that the event is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments. (42 U.S.C. 5121(2)) Emergency Declarations: Emergency Declarations are to supplement efforts in providing short-term emergency services, such as the protection of lives, E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 46 / Friday, March 8, 2013 / Notices property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe. (42 U.S.C. 5191) Major Disaster Declaration: A major disaster declaration may provide a wide range of Federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work. (42 U.S.C. 5170) Types of FEMA disaster assistance that may be made available by major disaster declarations: • Individual Assistance—Assistance to individuals and households. (More information can be found at: https:// www.fema.gov/individual-assistanceprogram-tools) (42 U.S.C. 5174); • Public Assistance—Assistance to State, Indian tribal and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. (More information can be found at: https:// www.fema.gov/public-assistance-localstate-tribal-and-non-profit) (42 U.S.C. 5170b and 5172); and • Hazard Mitigation Assistance— Assistance to State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards. (More information can be found at https://www.fema.gov/hazardmitigation-assistance) (42 U.S.C. 5170c). mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Preliminary Damage Assessments In support of requests for a major disaster declaration, Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) are conducted to estimate the extent of the disaster and its impact on individuals and public facilities. A PDA is not required for an emergency declaration request. The PDA team may be comprised of personnel from FEMA, the State’s emergency management agency, Territorial, Indian tribal and affected local government officials and other Federal agencies (e.g., the U.S. Small Business Administration). The team’s work begins with assessing the emergency costs incurred by the units of government, the uninsured damage to public facilities, and the impacts on individuals’ lives, homes and businesses. This information is included in the Governor’s request to the President. Requirements for Submitting Declaration Requests Governors submit declaration requests to the President through the appropriate FEMA Regional Administrator. The Stafford Act requires a Governor of an affected State to base his/her declaration request on the finding that the disaster VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:44 Mar 07, 2013 Jkt 229001 is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. The Governor must also take appropriate response action under State law, direct execution of the State’s emergency plan, have or will commit resources to alleviate the results for the disaster, and certify that the State will comply with all cost sharing requirements. In order for FEMA to make Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation available to eligible areas, Governors must have the following agreements and/or plans: —In order to receive Public Assistance, Governors must have an approved Administrative Plan. (44 CFR 206.207). —In order to receive Public Assistance Categories C–G and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program assistance, States must have an approved or approvable State mitigation plan. (44 CFR 201.4(a)). —In order to receive Other Needs Assistance under the Individual and Household Program, Governors must choose an administrator to provide the assistance and, depending on the choice, have an approved Other Needs Assistance Administrative Plan. (44 CFR 206.120). Æ Within 72 hours of a disaster declaration, a State may submit modifications of the Administrative Plan. (44 CFR 206.120(e)). —States and local governments must comply with the ‘‘Uniform Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments.’’ (44 CFR Part 13). FEMA is soliciting comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent a Chief Executive of an Indian tribal government from complying with these current requirements and processes for declaration requests during the pilot program. IV. Other Needs Assistance Administrative Plan Requirement for Individuals and Households Program The Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program (IHP) (44 CFR 206.110–206.120) provides financial assistance, such as funding to repair damaged homes or replacement of household items, and if necessary, direct assistance to eligible individuals and households. IHP is intended to help disaster-impacted individuals and households who have uninsured or under-insured housing and other needs PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15027 and are unable to meet such expenses or needs through other means. Housing Assistance under IHP is administered directly by FEMA. However, the delivery of Other Needs Assistance (ONA) under IHP is contingent upon the State choosing an ONA Administrative Option. The State may either request FEMA to administer ONA or they may request a grant so they can administer ONA. Currently, most States opt to have FEMA administer ONA instead of choosing to administer it themselves. In order for eligible disaster survivors to receive assistance for clothing, personal property, transportation and other non-housing related needs, States must select an option for administering ONA. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent a Chief Executive of an Indian tribal government from selecting an ONA Administrative Option during the pilot program. In addition, FEMA welcomes comments on the ability of an Indian tribal government to administer ONA on its own. V. Mitigation Plan Requirement The Stafford Act requires Indian tribal governments to have a FEMA-approved mitigation plan as a condition of receipt of hazard mitigation assistance (42 U.S.C. 5165). Assistance programs impacted include Public Assistance Categories C–G and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The State or Tribal Mitigation Plan outlines processes for identifying the natural hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities of the area, as well as actions to reduce losses from future disasters (44 CFR 201.7). For States that do not have a FEMAapproved State Mitigation Plan, FEMA allows 30 days from the date of the declaration for the State to submit to FEMA an approved or approvable State Mitigation Plan. FEMA welcomes comments on whether 30 days is an appropriate amount of time for Indian tribal governments to submit an approved or approvable Tribal Mitigation Plan during the pilot program. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent an Indian tribal government from submitting a Tribal Mitigation Plan, or a request for an extension within this time. VI. Timelines To Submit Declaration Requests FEMA’s regulations require a Governor to submit a request for an emergency or major disaster declaration within 30 days of the date of the incident. FEMA’s regulations allow E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1 15028 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 46 / Friday, March 8, 2013 / Notices Governors to request additional time to submit emergency and major disaster declaration requests. The extension request must be submitted within 30 days after the incident and must include a reason for the additional time needed. FEMA is soliciting comments to determine whether 30 days is an appropriate amount of time for the Chief Executive of an Indian tribal government to submit a request or ask for an extension during the pilot program. FEMA welcomes comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent the Chief Executive of an Indian tribal government from submitting such a request, or a request for an extension within this time. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES VII. Public Assistance The Stafford Act recognizes that primary responsibility for emergency management is at the local level; thus, Stafford Act assistance is intended to be available only as a supplement to other governmental and non-governmental resources. The Act instructs Governors to base their declaration requests on the finding that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. The Stafford Act is not intended to provide assistance for every event that impacts a State or county, so FEMA established evaluation factors based on this principle. When Governors request that the President declare a major disaster which authorizes Public Assistance, FEMA uses the following criteria to make a recommendation to the President whether assistance is warranted. • Estimated cost of the assistance. • Localized impacts. • Insurance coverage in force. • Hazard Mitigation. • Recent multiple disasters. • Programs of other Federal assistance. Estimated Cost of the Assistance For State requests, FEMA evaluates the estimated cost of Federal and nonFederal public assistance against the statewide population, to give some measure of the per capita impact within the State. This provides a sense of proportional impact of on the population of the State. We use a figure of $1.37 per capita (FY13) as an indicator that the disaster is of such size that might warrant Federal assistance (adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index). FEMA is soliciting comments on whether the estimated cost of assistance is an appropriate factor to evaluate VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:44 Mar 07, 2013 Jkt 229001 Indian tribal government requests for Public Assistance during the pilot program. FEMA welcomes comments on whether requests should be evaluated based on per capita, and if not, how Indian tribal government population size should be considered. FEMA also welcomes comments on what considerations FEMA should evaluate in determining the appropriate damage indicators for Indian tribal government requests. FEMA has also established a minimum of $1 million in public assistance estimated damages per disaster, based on the belief that we can reasonably expect even the least populated States to cover this level of public assistance damage. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether an Indian tribal government can reasonably be expected to cover that level of public assistance damage during the pilot program. FEMA welcomes comments on whether there should be a similar, if lower, minimum threshold applied to Indian tribal government requests. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether such a minimum damage amount should depend on the population of the requesting Indian tribal government, and/or on other information. Localized Impacts For State requests, FEMA evaluates the impact of the disaster at the county and local government level, as well as the impact on American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Indian tribal government levels. This is because, at times, there are extraordinary concentrations of damages that might warrant Federal assistance, even if the statewide per capita is not met. This is particularly true in situations where critical facilities are involved, or where localized per capita impacts might be extremely high. Insurance Coverage in Force For State requests, FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage that is in force, or should have been in force, as required by law and regulation at the time of the disaster. Hazard Mitigation For State requests, FEMA also considers the extent to which State and local government measures contributed to the reduction of disaster damages for the disaster under consideration. Recent Multiple Disasters For State requests, FEMA evaluates the 12-month disaster history to better understand the overall impact on the State or locality. FEMA considers PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 declarations under the Stafford Act, as well as declarations made by the Governor, and the extent to which the State has spent its own funds on those disasters. Programs of Other Federal Assistance For State requests, FEMA also considers the programs of other Federal agencies because at times, their programs of assistance might more appropriately meet the needs created by the disaster. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether these factors (localized impacts, insurance coverage in force, hazard mitigation, recent multiple disasters, and programs of other Federal assistance) are appropriate for the evaluation of Indian tribal government requests for Public Assistance during the pilot program. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether there are additional factors that may be appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating the level of impact and tribal capability to respond to and recover from an event for Public Assistance requests from Indian tribal governments. VIII. Individual Assistance When the Governor of a State requests that the President declare a major disaster that authorizes Individual Assistance, FEMA uses the following criteria to determine whether Federal assistance is needed. • Concentration of damages. • Trauma. • Special populations. • Voluntary agency assistance. • Insurance. Concentration of Damages For State requests, FEMA evaluates the concentrations of damages to individuals. High concentrations of damages generally indicate a greater need for Federal assistance than widespread and scattered damages throughout a State. Trauma FEMA considers the degree of trauma to a State and to communities. Some of the conditions that might cause trauma are: • Large numbers of injuries or deaths; • Large scale disruption of normal community functions and services; and • Emergency needs such as extended or widespread loss of power or water. Special Populations FEMA considers whether special populations, such as low-income, the elderly, or the unemployed are affected, and whether they may have a greater need for assistance. FEMA also E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 46 / Friday, March 8, 2013 / Notices considers the effect on American Indian and Alaskan Native tribal populations in the event that there are any unique needs for people in these governmental entities. Voluntary Agency Assistance FEMA considers the extent to which voluntary agencies and State or local programs meet the needs of the disaster survivors. Insurance FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage because, by law, Federal disaster assistance cannot duplicate insurance coverage. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether these Individual Assistance factors are appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating an Indian tribal government request for Individual Assistance during the pilot program. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether there are additional factors that may be appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating Indian tribal government requests for Individual Assistance. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES IX. Designating Areas Eligible for Assistance, Definition of Tribal Lands After the President declares that an emergency or major disaster exists in a State, areas within the State are designated as eligible for assistance. FEMA’s regulatory definition of ‘‘designated area’’ eligible for assistance under each program (Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) is ‘‘any emergency or major disaster-affected portion of a State which has been determined eligible for Federal assistance.’’ (44 CFR 206.2(a)(4)) In practice, FEMA typically identifies counties, parishes, independent cities, and Indian tribal governments as ‘‘designated areas’’ eligible for assistance. FEMA is soliciting comments on how FEMA should designate Tribal areas eligible for assistance for any or each of the FEMA assistance programs (Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) and what FEMA should use as the definition of Tribal lands during the pilot program. X. Appeals When a request for an emergency or major disaster declaration is denied, the Governor may appeal the decision. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the letter denying the request. The Governor can make only one appeal. The Governor should include in the appeal additional VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:44 Mar 07, 2013 Jkt 229001 information which supports his/her request for supplemental Federal assistance. When certain areas that were requested by the Governor are not designated, the Governor or Governor’s Authorized Representative may appeal the decision. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the letter denying the request. The Governor has only one appeal. The Governor or the Governor’s Authorized Representative should include in the appeal additional information which supports his/her request. When types of assistance that are requested by the Governor are not authorized, the Governor may appeal the decision. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the letter denying the request. The Governor has only one appeal. The Governor should include in the appeal additional information which supports his/her request. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether this same appeal process would be appropriate for Tribal requests during the pilot program. XI. Cost Share Adjustments The Stafford Act directs FEMA to pay ‘‘not less than’’ 75-percent of the eligible costs for essential assistance (Stafford Act Section 403, 42 U.S.C. 5170b), repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged facilities (Stafford Act Section 406, 42 U.S.C. 5172), and debris removal (Stafford Act Section 407, 42 U.S.C. 5173). FEMA’s regulations outline the criteria FEMA uses to recommend to the President an adjustment to the Federal cost share. FEMA will recommend the President adjust the Federal cost share from 75percent to not more than 90 percent when actual Federal obligations under the Stafford Act meet or exceed $133 (2013) per capita of State population. When recommending a cost share adjustment to the President, FEMA also considers the impact of major disaster declarations in the State during the previous 12-months. If warranted by the needs of the disaster, FEMA may recommend up to 100 percent Federal funding for emergency work under section 403 of the Stafford Act (essential assistance) and section 407 of the Stafford Act (debris removal), including direct Federal assistance, for a limited time in the initial days of the disaster irrespective of the per capita impact. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether the per capita threshold used for States would be appropriate for evaluating whether to recommend a cost share adjustment for Tribal declarations PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15029 during the pilot program. FEMA also welcomes comments on what other factors may be appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating potential cost share adjustments for Tribal declarations. XII. Notification of State and Tribes Once the President has made a declaration determination (e.g., emergency, major disaster, denial), the Regional Administrator will notify the Governor as well as other Federal agencies and other interested parties. FEMA is soliciting comments on how FEMA can ensure that all interested parties, including the Governors of affected States, the Chief Executive of affected Indian tribal governments, and other Federal agencies are properly notified and informed regarding declaration requests and determinations during the pilot program. XIII. Disaster Unemployment Assistance Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) (44 CFR 206.141 and 20 CFR 625) provides unemployment benefits and reemployment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular State unemployment insurance (UI). FEMA has delegated to the Secretary of Labor the responsibility of administering the DUA program and payment of DUA benefit assistance. Under the current program regulations, applicants are required to first apply and exhaust UI through the State workforce agency. Levels of UI are based on State formulas, which may be different for each State. FEMA is soliciting comments on an Indian tribal government’s ability to administer DUA and the use of State workforce agency to apply for regular UI in the absence of a tribal equivalent of a workforce agency during the pilot program. XIV. Disaster Legal Services Disaster Legal Services (DLS) (44 CFR 206.164) provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or as a result of the disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their disaster-related needs. These services are typically provided to survivors through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. FEMA is soliciting comments on the current access to legal services during disasters, if Indian tribal governments have a relationship with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, and/or restrictions on who E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1 15030 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 46 / Friday, March 8, 2013 / Notices can provide legal advice to tribal members during the pilot program. Authority: Pub. L. 113–2. W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2013–05391 Filed 3–7–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–23–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [CIS No. 2532–13; DHS Docket No.: USCIS– 2006–0068] Introduction of the Revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is announcing the newly revised Employment Eligibility Verification form, Form I–9. Employers are required to use the Form I–9 to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of their employees. The revisions to Form I–9 contain formatting changes and the inclusion of additional data fields. This notice contains the dates that employers should begin using the newly revised Form I–9 and announces the date that employers can no longer use prior versions of the forms. Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I–9) with a revision date of ‘‘(Rev. 03/08/13) N’’ is available for use beginning March 8, 2013. Prior versions of Form I–9 (Rev. 08/07/09) Y and (Rev. 02/02/09) N can no longer be used by the public effective May 7, 2013. DATES: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Ryan, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Verification Division, 131 M Street NE., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20529. For information about the employment eligibility verification process, employers can call the Verification hotline at 888–464– 4218 (877–875–6028 for TTY) and employees can call 888–897–7781 (877– 875–6028 for TTY) for further information. The public can also email Verification at I-9Central@dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:44 Mar 07, 2013 Jkt 229001 I. Background Employers and certain agricultural recruiters and referrers for a fee (referred to collectively as ‘‘employers’’) are required to verify on Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I–9) the employment authorization and identity of each individual they hire (or recruit or refer for a fee if applicable), for employment in the United States. Form I–9 contains three sections. The purpose of Section 1 of the form is to collect, at the time of hire identifying information about the employee (and preparer or translator if used), and for the employee to attest to whether he or she is a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, lawful permanent resident, or alien authorized to work in the United States. The employee must also present documentation for review evidencing his or her identity and authorization to engage in this employment. The purpose of Section 2 of the form is to collect, within 3 business days of the employee’s hire, identifying information from the employer and information regarding the identity and employment authorization documentation presented by the employee and reviewed by the employer. The purpose of Section 3 of the form is to collect information regarding the continued employment authorization of the employee. This section, if applicable, is completed at the time that the employee’s employment authorization and/or employment authorization documentation recorded in either Section 1 or Section 2 of the form expires. This section may also be used if the employee is rehired within 3 years of the date of the initial execution of the form and to record a name change if Section 3 is otherwise completed. Employers are required to maintain Forms I–9 for as long as an individual works for the employer and for the required retention period for the termination of an individual’s employment [either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later]. Also, employers are required to make their employees’ Forms I–9 available for inspection upon request by officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, and the Department of Labor. Failure of an employer to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I–9 may subject the employer to civil money penalties, and, in some cases, criminal penalties. On March 27, 2012, USCIS published a 60-day information collection notice PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in the Federal Register at 77 FR 18256 inviting the public to comment on USCIS’s proposed revisions to Form I– 9 and renewal request of the information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. USCIS received comments from over 6,200 commenters on the 60day notice. On August 22, 2012, USCIS published a second notice at 77 FR 50710 inviting the public to comment for a 30-day period. Thereafter, USCIS issued two correction notices. On September 10, 2012, USCIS issued a correction notice at 77 FR 55486 to inform the public that comments should be submitted to OMB. On September 14, 2012, USCIS issued a notice at 77 FR 56856, to correct the eDocket number. The comment period on the 30-day notice was extended to October 15, 2012. On March 8, 2013 OMB approved the revised Form I–9. See OMB No. 1615–0047 at www.reginfo.gov. II. Changes to Form I–9 The newly revised Form I–9 makes several improvements designed to minimize errors in form completion. The key revisions to Form I–9 include: • Adding data fields, including the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone and email addresses. • Improving the form’s instructions. • Revising the layout of the form, expanding the form from one to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents). III. Use of the Revised Form I–9 In this notice, USCIS is announcing that employers should begin using Form I–9 with a revision date of ‘‘(Rev. 03/08/ 13)N’’ to comply with their employment eligibility verification responsibilities. The revision date is located in the bottom right-hand corner of the form. After May 7, 2013, all prior versions of Form I–9 can no longer be used by the public. The public can download the new Form I–9 at www.uscis.gov. After May 7, 2013, employers who fail to use Form I–9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and DOJ. Employers must use the new Form I– 9 immediately; however, USCIS recognizes that some employers may need additional time in order to make necessary updates to their business processes to allow for use of the new Form I–9. USCIS recognizes that modifications to electronic systems may E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 46 (Friday, March 8, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15026-15030]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05391]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Docket ID FEMA-2013-0006]


Solicitation for Comments Regarding Current Procedures To Request 
Emergency and Major Disaster Declarations

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, President Obama signed the Sandy 
Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, which includes a provision amending 
the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to 
provide federally recognized Indian tribal governments the option to 
make a request directly to the President for a Federal emergency or 
major disaster declaration, or to seek assistance, as they do 
presently, under a declaration for a State. In support of preliminary 
implementation of this provision, the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency (FEMA) is engaging in a comprehensive consultation effort with 
federally recognized Indian tribal governments. To initiate that 
consultation, FEMA is soliciting comments regarding FEMA procedures for 
declaration requests from Indian tribal governments.

DATES: Comments must be received by April 22, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Comments must be identified by docket ID FEMA-2013-0006 and 
may be submitted by one of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail: Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal 
Emergency Management Agency, Room 835, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 
20472-3100.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jessica Stewart, Federal Emergency 
Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, 202-646-
3888.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

I. Public Participation

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket ID. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or 
material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will 
include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting 
this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act 
notice, which can be viewed by clicking on the ``Privacy Notice'' link 
in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.
    You may submit your comments and material by the methods specified 
in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Please submit your comments 
and any supporting material by only one means to avoid the receipt and 
review of duplicate submissions.
    Docket: A copy of this notice is available in docket ID FEMA-2013-
0006. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments 
received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, click on ``Advanced Search,'' then enter ``FEMA-
2013-0006'' in the ``By Docket ID'' box, then select ``FEMA'' under 
``By Agency,'' and then click ``Search.'' Submitted comments may also 
be inspected at FEMA, Office of Chief Counsel, Regulatory Affairs 
Division, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472-3100.

II. Background

    The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act 
(Stafford Act) authorizes the President to make certain Federal 
assistance available to support State, tribal, and local efforts to 
respond to and recover from a disaster. The President makes disaster 
assistance available after he declares that an emergency or major 
disaster has occurred and that Federal assistance is needed to 
supplement State and local government resources. In the past, the 
Stafford Act allowed only the Governor of a State to make a request for 
a declaration by the President for an emergency or major disaster.
    On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, President Obama signed the Sandy 
Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, that included a provision amending 
the Stafford Act to provide Federally recognized Indian tribal 
governments the option to choose whether to make a request directly to 
the President for a Federal emergency or major disaster declaration, or 
to seek assistance, as they do presently, under a declaration for a 
State.
    Specifically, the amendment permits the ``Chief Executive'' of an 
``affected Indian tribal government'' to submit a request for a 
declaration to the President that a major disaster or emergency exists 
consistent with the requirements listed in Stafford Act section 401 
(major disasters) and 501 (emergencies). The amendment also stipulates 
that an Indian tribal government may be eligible to receive assistance 
through a declaration made by the President at the request of a State, 
so long as the Indian tribal government does not receive a separate 
declaration from the President for the same incident.
    FEMA plans to establish a pilot program for managing requests from 
Indian tribal governments; during development of this pilot program, 
FEMA will engage in a comprehensive consultation effort with Indian 
tribal governments.

III. Current Requirements and Processes for State Declaration Requests

    Below you will find an explanation of the current regulatory 
requirements (located in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations) 
for a Governor's request for an emergency or major disaster declaration 
and the factors FEMA uses to make a recommendation to the President 
about whether supplemental Federal assistance is needed. These 
regulations are currently framed with respect to States.
    As an initial step in consultation with Indian tribal governments 
and outreach to other stakeholders, FEMA asks Indian tribal governments 
for their thoughts and comments on how these requirements and factors 
may or may not be appropriate as applied to requests from Indian tribal 
governments during the pilot program. The input provided will inform 
the development of the pilot program to process declaration requests 
from Indian tribal governments. FEMA welcomes comments on any or all of 
the topics addressed in this Notice. Comments are also welcomed on any 
other issues that may not be covered in the below topics.

Types of Declarations and Assistance

    Stafford Act assistance is intended to supplement State and local 
resources. States must establish in their requests that the event is of 
such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the 
capabilities of the State and the affected local governments. (42 
U.S.C. 5121(2))
    Emergency Declarations: Emergency Declarations are to supplement 
efforts in providing short-term emergency services, such as the 
protection of lives,

[[Page 15027]]

property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat 
of a catastrophe. (42 U.S.C. 5191)
    Major Disaster Declaration: A major disaster declaration may 
provide a wide range of Federal assistance programs for individuals and 
public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent 
work. (42 U.S.C. 5170)
    Types of FEMA disaster assistance that may be made available by 
major disaster declarations:
     Individual Assistance--Assistance to individuals and 
households. (More information can be found at: https://www.fema.gov/individual-assistance-program-tools) (42 U.S.C. 5174);
     Public Assistance--Assistance to State, Indian tribal and 
local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for 
emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged 
facilities. (More information can be found at: https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit) (42 U.S.C. 5170b 
and 5172); and
     Hazard Mitigation Assistance--Assistance to State and 
local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for 
actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property 
from natural hazards. (More information can be found at https://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance) (42 U.S.C. 5170c).

Preliminary Damage Assessments

    In support of requests for a major disaster declaration, 
Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) are conducted to estimate the 
extent of the disaster and its impact on individuals and public 
facilities. A PDA is not required for an emergency declaration request. 
The PDA team may be comprised of personnel from FEMA, the State's 
emergency management agency, Territorial, Indian tribal and affected 
local government officials and other Federal agencies (e.g., the U.S. 
Small Business Administration). The team's work begins with assessing 
the emergency costs incurred by the units of government, the uninsured 
damage to public facilities, and the impacts on individuals' lives, 
homes and businesses. This information is included in the Governor's 
request to the President.

Requirements for Submitting Declaration Requests

    Governors submit declaration requests to the President through the 
appropriate FEMA Regional Administrator. The Stafford Act requires a 
Governor of an affected State to base his/her declaration request on 
the finding that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that 
effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the 
affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. 
The Governor must also take appropriate response action under State 
law, direct execution of the State's emergency plan, have or will 
commit resources to alleviate the results for the disaster, and certify 
that the State will comply with all cost sharing requirements.
    In order for FEMA to make Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, 
and Hazard Mitigation available to eligible areas, Governors must have 
the following agreements and/or plans:

--In order to receive Public Assistance, Governors must have an 
approved Administrative Plan. (44 CFR 206.207).
--In order to receive Public Assistance Categories C-G and Hazard 
Mitigation Grant Program assistance, States must have an approved or 
approvable State mitigation plan. (44 CFR 201.4(a)).
--In order to receive Other Needs Assistance under the Individual and 
Household Program, Governors must choose an administrator to provide 
the assistance and, depending on the choice, have an approved Other 
Needs Assistance Administrative Plan. (44 CFR 206.120).
     [cir] Within 72 hours of a disaster declaration, a State may 
submit modifications of the Administrative Plan. (44 CFR 206.120(e)).

--States and local governments must comply with the ``Uniform 
Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local 
Governments.'' (44 CFR Part 13).

    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether there are circumstances that 
may prevent a Chief Executive of an Indian tribal government from 
complying with these current requirements and processes for declaration 
requests during the pilot program.

IV. Other Needs Assistance Administrative Plan Requirement for 
Individuals and Households Program

    The Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program (IHP) 
(44 CFR 206.110-206.120) provides financial assistance, such as funding 
to repair damaged homes or replacement of household items, and if 
necessary, direct assistance to eligible individuals and households. 
IHP is intended to help disaster-impacted individuals and households 
who have uninsured or under-insured housing and other needs and are 
unable to meet such expenses or needs through other means.
    Housing Assistance under IHP is administered directly by FEMA. 
However, the delivery of Other Needs Assistance (ONA) under IHP is 
contingent upon the State choosing an ONA Administrative Option. The 
State may either request FEMA to administer ONA or they may request a 
grant so they can administer ONA. Currently, most States opt to have 
FEMA administer ONA instead of choosing to administer it themselves. In 
order for eligible disaster survivors to receive assistance for 
clothing, personal property, transportation and other non-housing 
related needs, States must select an option for administering ONA.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether there are circumstances that 
may prevent a Chief Executive of an Indian tribal government from 
selecting an ONA Administrative Option during the pilot program. In 
addition, FEMA welcomes comments on the ability of an Indian tribal 
government to administer ONA on its own.

V. Mitigation Plan Requirement

    The Stafford Act requires Indian tribal governments to have a FEMA-
approved mitigation plan as a condition of receipt of hazard mitigation 
assistance (42 U.S.C. 5165). Assistance programs impacted include 
Public Assistance Categories C-G and the Hazard Mitigation Grant 
Program. The State or Tribal Mitigation Plan outlines processes for 
identifying the natural hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities of the 
area, as well as actions to reduce losses from future disasters (44 CFR 
201.7).
    For States that do not have a FEMA-approved State Mitigation Plan, 
FEMA allows 30 days from the date of the declaration for the State to 
submit to FEMA an approved or approvable State Mitigation Plan.
    FEMA welcomes comments on whether 30 days is an appropriate amount 
of time for Indian tribal governments to submit an approved or 
approvable Tribal Mitigation Plan during the pilot program. FEMA also 
welcomes comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent 
an Indian tribal government from submitting a Tribal Mitigation Plan, 
or a request for an extension within this time.

VI. Timelines To Submit Declaration Requests

    FEMA's regulations require a Governor to submit a request for an 
emergency or major disaster declaration within 30 days of the date of 
the incident. FEMA's regulations allow

[[Page 15028]]

Governors to request additional time to submit emergency and major 
disaster declaration requests. The extension request must be submitted 
within 30 days after the incident and must include a reason for the 
additional time needed.
    FEMA is soliciting comments to determine whether 30 days is an 
appropriate amount of time for the Chief Executive of an Indian tribal 
government to submit a request or ask for an extension during the pilot 
program. FEMA welcomes comments on whether there are circumstances that 
may prevent the Chief Executive of an Indian tribal government from 
submitting such a request, or a request for an extension within this 
time.

VII. Public Assistance

    The Stafford Act recognizes that primary responsibility for 
emergency management is at the local level; thus, Stafford Act 
assistance is intended to be available only as a supplement to other 
governmental and non-governmental resources. The Act instructs 
Governors to base their declaration requests on the finding that the 
disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is 
beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments 
and that Federal assistance is necessary. The Stafford Act is not 
intended to provide assistance for every event that impacts a State or 
county, so FEMA established evaluation factors based on this principle.
    When Governors request that the President declare a major disaster 
which authorizes Public Assistance, FEMA uses the following criteria to 
make a recommendation to the President whether assistance is warranted.
     Estimated cost of the assistance.
     Localized impacts.
     Insurance coverage in force.
     Hazard Mitigation.
     Recent multiple disasters.
     Programs of other Federal assistance.

Estimated Cost of the Assistance

    For State requests, FEMA evaluates the estimated cost of Federal 
and non-Federal public assistance against the statewide population, to 
give some measure of the per capita impact within the State. This 
provides a sense of proportional impact of on the population of the 
State. We use a figure of $1.37 per capita (FY13) as an indicator that 
the disaster is of such size that might warrant Federal assistance 
(adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index).
    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether the estimated cost of 
assistance is an appropriate factor to evaluate Indian tribal 
government requests for Public Assistance during the pilot program. 
FEMA welcomes comments on whether requests should be evaluated based on 
per capita, and if not, how Indian tribal government population size 
should be considered. FEMA also welcomes comments on what 
considerations FEMA should evaluate in determining the appropriate 
damage indicators for Indian tribal government requests.
    FEMA has also established a minimum of $1 million in public 
assistance estimated damages per disaster, based on the belief that we 
can reasonably expect even the least populated States to cover this 
level of public assistance damage.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether an Indian tribal government 
can reasonably be expected to cover that level of public assistance 
damage during the pilot program. FEMA welcomes comments on whether 
there should be a similar, if lower, minimum threshold applied to 
Indian tribal government requests. FEMA also welcomes comments on 
whether such a minimum damage amount should depend on the population of 
the requesting Indian tribal government, and/or on other information.

Localized Impacts

    For State requests, FEMA evaluates the impact of the disaster at 
the county and local government level, as well as the impact on 
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Indian tribal government levels. 
This is because, at times, there are extraordinary concentrations of 
damages that might warrant Federal assistance, even if the statewide 
per capita is not met. This is particularly true in situations where 
critical facilities are involved, or where localized per capita impacts 
might be extremely high.

Insurance Coverage in Force

    For State requests, FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage 
that is in force, or should have been in force, as required by law and 
regulation at the time of the disaster.

Hazard Mitigation

    For State requests, FEMA also considers the extent to which State 
and local government measures contributed to the reduction of disaster 
damages for the disaster under consideration.

Recent Multiple Disasters

    For State requests, FEMA evaluates the 12-month disaster history to 
better understand the overall impact on the State or locality. FEMA 
considers declarations under the Stafford Act, as well as declarations 
made by the Governor, and the extent to which the State has spent its 
own funds on those disasters.

Programs of Other Federal Assistance

    For State requests, FEMA also considers the programs of other 
Federal agencies because at times, their programs of assistance might 
more appropriately meet the needs created by the disaster.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether these factors (localized 
impacts, insurance coverage in force, hazard mitigation, recent 
multiple disasters, and programs of other Federal assistance) are 
appropriate for the evaluation of Indian tribal government requests for 
Public Assistance during the pilot program. FEMA also welcomes comments 
on whether there are additional factors that may be appropriate for 
FEMA to consider when evaluating the level of impact and tribal 
capability to respond to and recover from an event for Public 
Assistance requests from Indian tribal governments.

VIII. Individual Assistance

    When the Governor of a State requests that the President declare a 
major disaster that authorizes Individual Assistance, FEMA uses the 
following criteria to determine whether Federal assistance is needed.
     Concentration of damages.
     Trauma.
     Special populations.
     Voluntary agency assistance.
     Insurance.

Concentration of Damages

    For State requests, FEMA evaluates the concentrations of damages to 
individuals. High concentrations of damages generally indicate a 
greater need for Federal assistance than widespread and scattered 
damages throughout a State.

Trauma

    FEMA considers the degree of trauma to a State and to communities. 
Some of the conditions that might cause trauma are:
     Large numbers of injuries or deaths;
     Large scale disruption of normal community functions and 
services; and
     Emergency needs such as extended or widespread loss of 
power or water.

Special Populations

    FEMA considers whether special populations, such as low-income, the 
elderly, or the unemployed are affected, and whether they may have a 
greater need for assistance. FEMA also

[[Page 15029]]

considers the effect on American Indian and Alaskan Native tribal 
populations in the event that there are any unique needs for people in 
these governmental entities.

Voluntary Agency Assistance

    FEMA considers the extent to which voluntary agencies and State or 
local programs meet the needs of the disaster survivors.

Insurance

    FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage because, by law, 
Federal disaster assistance cannot duplicate insurance coverage.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether these Individual Assistance 
factors are appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating an Indian 
tribal government request for Individual Assistance during the pilot 
program. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether there are additional 
factors that may be appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating 
Indian tribal government requests for Individual Assistance.

IX. Designating Areas Eligible for Assistance, Definition of Tribal 
Lands

    After the President declares that an emergency or major disaster 
exists in a State, areas within the State are designated as eligible 
for assistance. FEMA's regulatory definition of ``designated area'' 
eligible for assistance under each program (Public Assistance, 
Individual Assistance, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) is 
``any emergency or major disaster-affected portion of a State which has 
been determined eligible for Federal assistance.'' (44 CFR 206.2(a)(4)) 
In practice, FEMA typically identifies counties, parishes, independent 
cities, and Indian tribal governments as ``designated areas'' eligible 
for assistance.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on how FEMA should designate Tribal 
areas eligible for assistance for any or each of the FEMA assistance 
programs (Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and the Hazard 
Mitigation Grant Program) and what FEMA should use as the definition of 
Tribal lands during the pilot program.

X. Appeals

    When a request for an emergency or major disaster declaration is 
denied, the Governor may appeal the decision. The appeal must be 
submitted within 30 days of the date of the letter denying the request. 
The Governor can make only one appeal. The Governor should include in 
the appeal additional information which supports his/her request for 
supplemental Federal assistance.
    When certain areas that were requested by the Governor are not 
designated, the Governor or Governor's Authorized Representative may 
appeal the decision. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days of the 
date of the letter denying the request. The Governor has only one 
appeal. The Governor or the Governor's Authorized Representative should 
include in the appeal additional information which supports his/her 
request.
    When types of assistance that are requested by the Governor are not 
authorized, the Governor may appeal the decision. The appeal must be 
submitted within 30 days of the date of the letter denying the request. 
The Governor has only one appeal. The Governor should include in the 
appeal additional information which supports his/her request.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether this same appeal process 
would be appropriate for Tribal requests during the pilot program.

XI. Cost Share Adjustments

    The Stafford Act directs FEMA to pay ``not less than'' 75-percent 
of the eligible costs for essential assistance (Stafford Act Section 
403, 42 U.S.C. 5170b), repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged 
facilities (Stafford Act Section 406, 42 U.S.C. 5172), and debris 
removal (Stafford Act Section 407, 42 U.S.C. 5173). FEMA's regulations 
outline the criteria FEMA uses to recommend to the President an 
adjustment to the Federal cost share.
    FEMA will recommend the President adjust the Federal cost share 
from 75-percent to not more than 90 percent when actual Federal 
obligations under the Stafford Act meet or exceed $133 (2013) per 
capita of State population. When recommending a cost share adjustment 
to the President, FEMA also considers the impact of major disaster 
declarations in the State during the previous 12-months.
    If warranted by the needs of the disaster, FEMA may recommend up to 
100 percent Federal funding for emergency work under section 403 of the 
Stafford Act (essential assistance) and section 407 of the Stafford Act 
(debris removal), including direct Federal assistance, for a limited 
time in the initial days of the disaster irrespective of the per capita 
impact.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on whether the per capita threshold 
used for States would be appropriate for evaluating whether to 
recommend a cost share adjustment for Tribal declarations during the 
pilot program. FEMA also welcomes comments on what other factors may be 
appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating potential cost share 
adjustments for Tribal declarations.

XII. Notification of State and Tribes

    Once the President has made a declaration determination (e.g., 
emergency, major disaster, denial), the Regional Administrator will 
notify the Governor as well as other Federal agencies and other 
interested parties.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on how FEMA can ensure that all 
interested parties, including the Governors of affected States, the 
Chief Executive of affected Indian tribal governments, and other 
Federal agencies are properly notified and informed regarding 
declaration requests and determinations during the pilot program.

XIII. Disaster Unemployment Assistance

    Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) (44 CFR 206.141 and 20 CFR 
625) provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to 
individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster 
and who are not eligible for regular State unemployment insurance (UI). 
FEMA has delegated to the Secretary of Labor the responsibility of 
administering the DUA program and payment of DUA benefit assistance.
    Under the current program regulations, applicants are required to 
first apply and exhaust UI through the State workforce agency. Levels 
of UI are based on State formulas, which may be different for each 
State.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on an Indian tribal government's 
ability to administer DUA and the use of State workforce agency to 
apply for regular UI in the absence of a tribal equivalent of a 
workforce agency during the pilot program.

XIV. Disaster Legal Services

    Disaster Legal Services (DLS) (44 CFR 206.164) provides legal 
assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or as a result of 
the disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet 
their disaster-related needs. These services are typically provided to 
survivors through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the 
American Bar Association.
    FEMA is soliciting comments on the current access to legal services 
during disasters, if Indian tribal governments have a relationship with 
the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, and/or 
restrictions on who

[[Page 15030]]

can provide legal advice to tribal members during the pilot program.

    Authority: Pub. L. 113-2.

W. Craig Fugate,
Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2013-05391 Filed 3-7-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-23-P