Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance, 10521-10524 [2019-05396]

Download as PDF amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 55 / Thursday, March 21, 2019 / Notices to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged and must be submitted (no later than May 20, 2019) to be assured of consideration. ADDRESSES: Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice must include the OMB Control Number 1651–0077 in the subject line and the agency name. To avoid duplicate submissions, please use only one of the following methods to submit comments: (1) Email. Submit comments to: CBP_ PRA@cbp.dhs.gov. (2) Mail. Submit written comments to CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229–1177. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to Seth Renkema, Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229–1177, Telephone number (202) 325–0056 or via email CBP_PRA@cbp.dhs.gov. Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877–227–5511, (TTY) 1–800–877–8339, or CBP website at https://www.cbp .gov/. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Mar 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Overview of This Information Collection Title: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C–TPAT) and the Trusted Trader Program. OMB Number: 1651–0077. Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected. Type of Review: Extension (with no change). Affected Public: Businesses. Abstract: The C–TPAT Program is designed to safeguard the world’s trade industry from terrorists and smugglers by prescreening its participants. The C–TPAT Program applies to United States importers, customs brokers, consolidators, port and terminal operators, carriers, and foreign manufacturers. Respondents apply to participate in the Trusted Trader Program and C–TPAT using an on-line application at: https://ctpat.cbp.dhs.gov/trade-web/ index. The C–TPAT Program application requests an applicant’s contact and business information, including the number of company employees, the number of years in business, and a list of company officers. This collection of information is authorized by the SAFE Port Act (Pub. L. 109–347). The Trusted Trader Program involves a unification of supply chain security aspects of the C–TPAT Program and the internal controls of the Importer SelfAssessment (ISA) Program to integrate supply chain security and trade compliance. The Trusted Trader Program strengthens security by leveraging the C–TPAT supply chain requirements and validation, identifying low-risk trade entities for supply chain security and trade compliance, and increasing the overall efficiency of trade by segmenting risk and processing by account. The Trusted Trader Program applies to importer participants who have satisfied C–TPAT supply chain PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10521 security and trade compliance requirements. After an importer obtains Trusted Trader Program membership, the importer will be required to submit an Annual Notification Letter to CBP confirming that they are continuing to meet the requirements of the Trusted Trader Program. This letter should include: personnel changes that impact the Trusted Trader Program; organizational and procedural changes; a summary of risk assessment and selftesting results; a summary of post-entry amendments and/or disclosures made to CBP; and any importer activity changes within the last 12-month period. C–TPAT Program Application: Estimated Number of Respondents: 750. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 15,000. Trusted Trader Program Application: Estimated Number of Respondents: 50. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 100. Trusted Trader Program’s Annual Notification Letter: Estimated Number of Respondents: 50. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 100. Dated: March 14, 2019. Seth D. Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. [FR Doc. 2019–05384 Filed 3–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA–2014–0005] Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This document provides notice of the availability of the final SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21MRN1.SGM 21MRN1 10522 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 55 / Thursday, March 21, 2019 / Notices Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a notice of availability and request for comment for the proposed guidance on September 22, 2016. DATES: This policy is effective on June 1, 2019. ADDRESSES: This final guidance is available online at http:// www.regulations.gov and on FEMA’s website at http://www.fema.gov. The proposed and final guidance, all related Federal Register Notices, and all public comments received during the comment period are available at http:// www.regulations.gov under docket ID FEMA–2014–0005. You may also view a hard copy of the final guidance at the Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Room 8NE, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Millican, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (phone) 202– 212–3221 or (email) FEMA-IARegulations@fema.dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES Background Section 1109 of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 requires FEMA, in cooperation with State, local, and Tribal emergency management agencies, to review, update, and revise through rulemaking the factors found at 44 CFR 206.48(b) that FEMA uses to determine whether to recommend provision of Individual Assistance during a major disaster. On November 12, 2015, FEMA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to implement the requirements of section 1109. 80 FR 70116. On September 22, 2016, FEMA sought comment on its proposed Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance, which is intended to provide additional information to the public regarding the manner in which FEMA is proposing to evaluate a request for a major disaster declaration authorizing Individual Assistance. 81 FR 65369. Public Comments on the Proposed Guidance FEMA received 23 comments on the proposed Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance. The majority of the comments were duplicative of comments that were received on the NPRM and are addressed in the Factors Considered When Evaluating a Governor’s Request for Individual Assistance for a Major VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Mar 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 Disaster final rule, which is published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register. Several comments were specific to the guidance document and are discussed below. One commenter suggested that Table 2: Number of IA Requests and Granted IA Requests by ICC Ratio could be broken up from a 10–25 range into 10– 15, 15–20 and 20–25 ranges for the future. FEMA believes that the ICC ratios should not be stratified any further at this point. Any further stratification is likely to be incorrectly viewed as a threshold by the States which is not what FEMA intended ICC to be used for. FEMA is providing this information to States as a historical reference to help guide States for planning in future disaster situations. FEMA will update the table as necessary to provide trends and historic data to the States in a timely manner to guide States on what level of damage they should likely be prepared to handle on their own without supplemental Federal assistance. However, it should be noted that there are various other circumstances and factors that may impact the President’s determination of whether a major disaster declaration is necessary that are not captured in the ICC ratio. Another commenter suggested that FEMA modify Table 1: Estimated Cost of Assistance to Declaration Decision Comparative, to use a 50 percent benchmark instead of the breakdown of $7.5 million or more, $1.5 to $7.5 million, and $1.5 million or less. FEMA has also declined to use a 50 percent benchmark because we feel that the three different benchmarks are more helpful to States for planning purposes. A 50 percent benchmark may inevitably lead to certain individuals or States use that benchmark as a hard threshold which FEMA seeks to avoid. In addition, it should be noted that there are various other circumstances and factors that may impact the President’s determination of whether a major disaster declaration is necessary that are not captured in the single data point of the estimated cost of assistance. One commenter asked whether the factors were weighted differently depending on the IA program. In addition, they suggested casualties should have a higher weight for a program such as Crisis Counseling. With respect to IA programs other than IHP, FEMA has not identified a formula similar to the ICC approach described elsewhere in the guidance. Instead, FEMA considers the factors holistically to determine which IA programs would best suit the needs of a community after a disaster. In addition, there is a table PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in the guidance correlating each Individual Assistance program with the factors that FEMA will consider when evaluating a Governor’s request for a major disaster declaration authorizing such program. States may use this table to better understand how the new IA declaration factors align with the various IA programs. A commenter requested that FEMA include a statement that not all of the IA programs will be available as soon as a major disaster is declared. FEMA added a clarifying statement to the guidance that authorization of Individual Assistance programs under a major disaster declaration means that such programs are available for the State. FEMA further clarified that a State may be required to submit an additional application or additional information post major disaster declaration to determine which IA programs are necessary, the scope of each IA program, or the amount of each IA program funding. Another commenter requested that FEMA clarify that the Transportation Infrastructure and Utilities sub-factor to the Impact to Community Infrastructure factor encompasses private roads, bridges, and tunnels as well as public roads, bridges, and tunnels. The commenters felt that this clarification would address situations in rural or other areas where a private road allows individuals access to publicly owned transportation infrastructure. FEMA agrees with the commenter that this clarification was needed and made the requested change to the guidance document. A commenter proposed that FEMA should use metropolitan statistical areas or census tract-level data instead of county-level data to identify per capita income or the true impact to a local area and the communities within it. Major disasters are generally declared by the President on the county or parish level for ease of administration because county- or parish-level designations clearly delineate which areas within a State are or are not eligible for supplemental Federal assistance. Census tracts are not as well known by disaster survivors. FEMA has chosen to continue to use county-level data to match with how disasters are declared. However, a State is always welcome to provide any additional relevant information at the census tract level, or at any other level, if such information illustrates the disaster impacted local area or community in a different light than the county-level data. A commenter requested clarification of what a reasonable commuting distance from the impacted area was for E:\FR\FM\21MRN1.SGM 21MRN1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 55 / Thursday, March 21, 2019 / Notices rental resources under the State, Tribal, and Local Government; NonGovernmental Organizations (NGO); and Private Sector Activity sub-factor for the Resource Availability factor. Reasonable commuting distance is defined in regulation at 44 CFR 206.111 as a distance that does not place undue hardship on an applicant. The regulatory definition also takes into consideration the traveling time involved due to road conditions, e.g., mountainous regions or bridges out and the normal commuting patterns of the area. Another commenter stated that the Disaster Impacted Population Profile factor violates Section 308 of the Stafford Act and recommended that FEMA exclude this factor. Section 308 of the Stafford Act covers nondiscrimination in disaster assistance and states that activities shall be accomplished in an equitable and impartial manner, without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status. FEMA notes that in the current practice and regulation, FEMA considers how a disaster impacts ‘‘special populations’’ such as lowincome, the elderly, or the unemployed, and whether such populations may have a greater need for assistance. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(3). FEMA believes that it is important to consider how disasters may disproportionality have a negative impact on certain populations. For instance, a disaster may disproportionality impact individuals who are 65 years or older because they may live on a fixed income with less disposable income and therefore may have a difficult time paying for repairs to a disaster damaged home. Information on the percentage of the population that are non-English speaking assists FEMA in structuring their outreach efforts to ensure that any messaging is conducted in the appropriate language for the disaster impacted population. Another comment stated that with respect to the Impact to Community Infrastructure factor, FEMA should define what ‘‘impact’’ to community infrastructure means, and what a ‘‘significant’’ disruption is. The commenter also requested that FEMA provide additional guidance regarding how it would assess this factor. For purposes of evaluating the impact of a major disaster on a community’s infrastructure, FEMA considers any covered activity (such as search and rescue) or disruption (such as power loss) to be sufficiently significant to fall under this factor if that activity or VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Mar 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 disruption lasts for more than 72 hours. With respect to impact of the disaster on life-saving and life-sustaining services, FEMA is specifically seeking information on disruption to services such as, but not limited to, police, fire/ EMS, hospital/medical, sewage, and water treatment services because prolonged disruption may affect the viability of a community and necessitate survivor relocation. Regarding the impact of the disaster on transportation infrastructure and utilities, FEMA is seeking information on the number of roads, bridges, tunnels, and public transit closures and utility outages of water, power, sewage, and gas that last longer than 72 hours. A State is welcome to provide any additional information that highlights the impact of the disaster on the State and local community infrastructure. A commenter stated that FEMA should exclude the ‘‘casualties’’ factor or explain how it is weighted. FEMA does not believe that it is appropriate to exclude the casualties factor because it is an important factor to help determine the level of trauma that a community and State suffered from a disaster. A large amount of injured, missing, or deceased individuals can indicate a heightened need for supplemental Federal assistance because casualties are indicative of the level of trauma in the disaster affected areas. Regarding the weight given to the casualties factor, FEMA has not assigned any percentage or given weight to the factor. FEMA considers casualties holistically along with the other factors in the final rule to determine the need of supplemental Federal assistance for a State and local community. A commenter recommended that FEMA move the table that correlates each IA program to the factors considered earlier in the guidance as well as add a column with a tentative timeline for each IA program. FEMA declined to move table earlier in the document because it is important to have an understanding of the factors considered in evaluating the need for a major disaster authorizing IA before associating each factor with the applicable IA program. In addition, FEMA has declined to add a tentative timeline because the timeline of the IA programs varies from disaster to disaster based on numerous factors such as the size and scope of the recovery. A commenter asked that FEMA include in the guidance the calculations that are used to determine the estimated cost of assistance so that States can do the calculation themselves based on local and State level damage assessments to assist in their evaluation PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10523 of whether or not to request a joint FEMA-State preliminary damage assessment. Currently, the estimated cost of assistance is calculated by FEMA during completion of the joint FEMAState preliminary damage assessment. Previously, FEMA was not consistent in sharing the results of the estimated cost of assistance with the affected States. FEMA clarified in the guidance that it would provide the estimated cost of assistance to the State during and after the preliminary damage assessment. Regarding the calculations, that is beyond the scope of the Individual Assistance Declarations Factors guidance and is more appropriately considered in any potential future updates to the preliminary damage assessment guidance and materials. A commenter to the proposed guidance recommended that FEMA include in the regulation and guidance sub-factors related to the number of rental units impacted, the degree of damage, the percent of disaster impacted rental units occupied by persons of low and moderate income, and other similar data. FEMA has declined to include this sub-factor because during the disaster response phase it may be hard to capture this granularity of detail especially the percent of disaster impacted rental units occupied by persons of low and moderate income. If a State is able to collect this level of detailed data during the preliminary damage assessment phase they are welcome to provide this information and FEMA will consider it when evaluating the State’s request for supplemental Federal assistance. Changes to the Proposed Guidance FEMA made four changes to the proposed guidance based on comments received on both the NPRM and the proposed guidance. First, as discussed above, FEMA added a clarifying statement that a major disaster declaration merely authorizes Individual Assistance; additional applications or additional information are required to determine the program scope or program funding amount. Second, also as discussed above, FEMA clarified that it will evaluate the impact of the disaster on both private and public roads under the ‘‘Transportation Infrastructure and Utilities’’ sub-factor in the ‘‘Impact to Community Infrastructure’’ factor. Third, as discussed the in the final rule preamble, FEMA removed the ‘‘Planning After Prior Disasters’’ and the ‘‘State Services’’ sub-factors in the ‘‘Resource Availability’’ factor based on comments received on the NPRM. Fourth, as discussed above in the Public E:\FR\FM\21MRN1.SGM 21MRN1 10524 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 55 / Thursday, March 21, 2019 / Notices Comments on the Proposed Guidance section FEMA clarified that it would provide the estimated cost of assistance to the State during and after the Preliminary Damage Assessment. Finally, FEMA also made changes to the two tables that are found in the guidance document based on an updated data set that was used in the final rule. The final guidance does not have the force or effect of law. Authority: Pub. L. 113–2. Peter Gaynor, Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2019–05396 Filed 3–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–23–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No.: DHS–2018–0073] Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: 60-Day notice of information collection; request for comment. (Extension of a currently approved collection, 1640–0015). AGENCY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) invites the general public to comment on updated data collection forms for DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Project 25 (P25) Compliance Assessment Program (CAP): Supplier’s Declaration of Compliance (SDoC) (DHS Form 10044 (6/08)) and an accompanying Summary Test Report (STR) (DHS Form 10056 (9/ 08)). The collections are posted on the dhs.gov website (https://www.dhs.gov/ science-and-technology/p25-cap). The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the destruction of Hurricane Katrina made apparent the need for emergency response radio systems that can interoperate, regardless of which organization manufactured the equipment. Per congressional direction, DHS and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed the P25 CAP to improve the emergency response community’s confidence in purchasing land mobile radio (LMR) equipment built to P25 LMR standards. Equipment suppliers provide the information to publicly attest to their products’ compliance with a specific set of P25 standards. The SDoC, and its STR, which substantiates the declaration, constitutes a company’s formal, public attestation of compliance amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Mar 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 with the standards for the equipment. In turn, first responders at local, tribal, state, and federal levels across multiple disciplines including law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services personnel, will use this information to identify P25 compliant communications system products. The P25 CAP Program Manager performs a simple administrative review to ensure the documentation is complete and accurate in accordance with the current P25 CAP processes. DATES: Comments are encouraged and accepted until May 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS– 2018–0073, at: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail and hand delivery or commercial delivery: Science and Technology Directorate, ATTN: Chief Information Office—Mary Cantey, 245 Murray Drive, Mail Stop 0202, Washington, DC 20528. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number DHS–2018–0073. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DHS/S&T System Owner: Sridhar Kowdley, Sridhar.kowdley@ HQ.DHS.GOV, (202) 254–8804 (Not a toll free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DHS, in accordance with the PRA (6 U.S.C. 193), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collection of information. DHS is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Homeland Security is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collections: Project 25 (P25) Compliance Assessment Program (CAP): Supplier’s Declaration of Compliance (SDoC) (DHS Form 10044 (6/08) and Summary Test Report (STR) (DHS Form 10056 (9/08)). Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Federal, State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Frequency of Collections: The SDOC is once per month and the STR is once annually. Average Burden per Response: 60 minutes. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 156. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 156. Dated: March 6, 2019. Rick Stevens, Chief Information Officer, Science and Technology Directorate. [FR Doc. 2019–05395 Filed 3–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–9F–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration Intent To Request Approval From OMB of One New Public Collection of Information: Surface Transportation Stakeholder Survey Transportation Security Administration, DHS. ACTION: 60-Day notice. AGENCY: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) invites public comment on a new Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The collection involves the submission of information via a survey regarding resource challenges, including the availability of Federal funding, associated with securing surface transportation assets. DATES: Send your comments by May 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: Comments may be emailed to TSAPRA@tsa.dhs.gov or delivered to the TSA PRA Officer, Information Technology (IT), TSA–11, Transportation Security Administration, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21MRN1.SGM 21MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 55 (Thursday, March 21, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10521-10524]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-05396]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Docket ID FEMA-2014-0005]


Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document provides notice of the availability of the final

[[Page 10522]]

Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance. The Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a notice of availability 
and request for comment for the proposed guidance on September 22, 
2016.

DATES: This policy is effective on June 1, 2019.

ADDRESSES: This final guidance is available online at http://www.regulations.gov and on FEMA's website at http://www.fema.gov. The 
proposed and final guidance, all related Federal Register Notices, and 
all public comments received during the comment period are available at 
http://www.regulations.gov under docket ID FEMA-2014-0005. You may also 
view a hard copy of the final guidance at the Office of Chief Counsel, 
Federal Emergency Management Agency, Room 8NE, 500 C Street SW, 
Washington, DC 20472.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Millican, Federal Emergency 
Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (phone) 202-
212-3221 or (email) FEMA-IA-Regulations@fema.dhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 1109 of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 requires 
FEMA, in cooperation with State, local, and Tribal emergency management 
agencies, to review, update, and revise through rulemaking the factors 
found at 44 CFR 206.48(b) that FEMA uses to determine whether to 
recommend provision of Individual Assistance during a major disaster. 
On November 12, 2015, FEMA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) proposing to implement the requirements of section 1109. 80 FR 
70116. On September 22, 2016, FEMA sought comment on its proposed 
Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Guidance, which is intended 
to provide additional information to the public regarding the manner in 
which FEMA is proposing to evaluate a request for a major disaster 
declaration authorizing Individual Assistance. 81 FR 65369.

Public Comments on the Proposed Guidance

    FEMA received 23 comments on the proposed Individual Assistance 
Declarations Factors Guidance. The majority of the comments were 
duplicative of comments that were received on the NPRM and are 
addressed in the Factors Considered When Evaluating a Governor's 
Request for Individual Assistance for a Major Disaster final rule, 
which is published elsewhere in today's Federal Register. Several 
comments were specific to the guidance document and are discussed 
below.
    One commenter suggested that Table 2: Number of IA Requests and 
Granted IA Requests by ICC Ratio could be broken up from a 10-25 range 
into 10-15, 15-20 and 20-25 ranges for the future. FEMA believes that 
the ICC ratios should not be stratified any further at this point. Any 
further stratification is likely to be incorrectly viewed as a 
threshold by the States which is not what FEMA intended ICC to be used 
for. FEMA is providing this information to States as a historical 
reference to help guide States for planning in future disaster 
situations. FEMA will update the table as necessary to provide trends 
and historic data to the States in a timely manner to guide States on 
what level of damage they should likely be prepared to handle on their 
own without supplemental Federal assistance. However, it should be 
noted that there are various other circumstances and factors that may 
impact the President's determination of whether a major disaster 
declaration is necessary that are not captured in the ICC ratio.
    Another commenter suggested that FEMA modify Table 1: Estimated 
Cost of Assistance to Declaration Decision Comparative, to use a 50 
percent benchmark instead of the breakdown of $7.5 million or more, 
$1.5 to $7.5 million, and $1.5 million or less. FEMA has also declined 
to use a 50 percent benchmark because we feel that the three different 
benchmarks are more helpful to States for planning purposes. A 50 
percent benchmark may inevitably lead to certain individuals or States 
use that benchmark as a hard threshold which FEMA seeks to avoid. In 
addition, it should be noted that there are various other circumstances 
and factors that may impact the President's determination of whether a 
major disaster declaration is necessary that are not captured in the 
single data point of the estimated cost of assistance.
    One commenter asked whether the factors were weighted differently 
depending on the IA program. In addition, they suggested casualties 
should have a higher weight for a program such as Crisis Counseling. 
With respect to IA programs other than IHP, FEMA has not identified a 
formula similar to the ICC approach described elsewhere in the 
guidance. Instead, FEMA considers the factors holistically to determine 
which IA programs would best suit the needs of a community after a 
disaster. In addition, there is a table in the guidance correlating 
each Individual Assistance program with the factors that FEMA will 
consider when evaluating a Governor's request for a major disaster 
declaration authorizing such program. States may use this table to 
better understand how the new IA declaration factors align with the 
various IA programs.
    A commenter requested that FEMA include a statement that not all of 
the IA programs will be available as soon as a major disaster is 
declared. FEMA added a clarifying statement to the guidance that 
authorization of Individual Assistance programs under a major disaster 
declaration means that such programs are available for the State. FEMA 
further clarified that a State may be required to submit an additional 
application or additional information post major disaster declaration 
to determine which IA programs are necessary, the scope of each IA 
program, or the amount of each IA program funding.
    Another commenter requested that FEMA clarify that the 
Transportation Infrastructure and Utilities sub-factor to the Impact to 
Community Infrastructure factor encompasses private roads, bridges, and 
tunnels as well as public roads, bridges, and tunnels. The commenters 
felt that this clarification would address situations in rural or other 
areas where a private road allows individuals access to publicly owned 
transportation infrastructure. FEMA agrees with the commenter that this 
clarification was needed and made the requested change to the guidance 
document.
    A commenter proposed that FEMA should use metropolitan statistical 
areas or census tract-level data instead of county-level data to 
identify per capita income or the true impact to a local area and the 
communities within it. Major disasters are generally declared by the 
President on the county or parish level for ease of administration 
because county- or parish-level designations clearly delineate which 
areas within a State are or are not eligible for supplemental Federal 
assistance. Census tracts are not as well known by disaster survivors. 
FEMA has chosen to continue to use county-level data to match with how 
disasters are declared. However, a State is always welcome to provide 
any additional relevant information at the census tract level, or at 
any other level, if such information illustrates the disaster impacted 
local area or community in a different light than the county-level 
data.
    A commenter requested clarification of what a reasonable commuting 
distance from the impacted area was for

[[Page 10523]]

rental resources under the State, Tribal, and Local Government; Non-
Governmental Organizations (NGO); and Private Sector Activity sub-
factor for the Resource Availability factor. Reasonable commuting 
distance is defined in regulation at 44 CFR 206.111 as a distance that 
does not place undue hardship on an applicant. The regulatory 
definition also takes into consideration the traveling time involved 
due to road conditions, e.g., mountainous regions or bridges out and 
the normal commuting patterns of the area.
    Another commenter stated that the Disaster Impacted Population 
Profile factor violates Section 308 of the Stafford Act and recommended 
that FEMA exclude this factor. Section 308 of the Stafford Act covers 
nondiscrimination in disaster assistance and states that activities 
shall be accomplished in an equitable and impartial manner, without 
discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, nationality, 
sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status. FEMA 
notes that in the current practice and regulation, FEMA considers how a 
disaster impacts ``special populations'' such as low-income, the 
elderly, or the unemployed, and whether such populations may have a 
greater need for assistance. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(3). FEMA believes that it 
is important to consider how disasters may disproportionality have a 
negative impact on certain populations. For instance, a disaster may 
disproportionality impact individuals who are 65 years or older because 
they may live on a fixed income with less disposable income and 
therefore may have a difficult time paying for repairs to a disaster 
damaged home. Information on the percentage of the population that are 
non-English speaking assists FEMA in structuring their outreach efforts 
to ensure that any messaging is conducted in the appropriate language 
for the disaster impacted population.
    Another comment stated that with respect to the Impact to Community 
Infrastructure factor, FEMA should define what ``impact'' to community 
infrastructure means, and what a ``significant'' disruption is. The 
commenter also requested that FEMA provide additional guidance 
regarding how it would assess this factor. For purposes of evaluating 
the impact of a major disaster on a community's infrastructure, FEMA 
considers any covered activity (such as search and rescue) or 
disruption (such as power loss) to be sufficiently significant to fall 
under this factor if that activity or disruption lasts for more than 72 
hours. With respect to impact of the disaster on life-saving and life-
sustaining services, FEMA is specifically seeking information on 
disruption to services such as, but not limited to, police, fire/EMS, 
hospital/medical, sewage, and water treatment services because 
prolonged disruption may affect the viability of a community and 
necessitate survivor relocation. Regarding the impact of the disaster 
on transportation infrastructure and utilities, FEMA is seeking 
information on the number of roads, bridges, tunnels, and public 
transit closures and utility outages of water, power, sewage, and gas 
that last longer than 72 hours. A State is welcome to provide any 
additional information that highlights the impact of the disaster on 
the State and local community infrastructure.
    A commenter stated that FEMA should exclude the ``casualties'' 
factor or explain how it is weighted. FEMA does not believe that it is 
appropriate to exclude the casualties factor because it is an important 
factor to help determine the level of trauma that a community and State 
suffered from a disaster. A large amount of injured, missing, or 
deceased individuals can indicate a heightened need for supplemental 
Federal assistance because casualties are indicative of the level of 
trauma in the disaster affected areas. Regarding the weight given to 
the casualties factor, FEMA has not assigned any percentage or given 
weight to the factor. FEMA considers casualties holistically along with 
the other factors in the final rule to determine the need of 
supplemental Federal assistance for a State and local community.
    A commenter recommended that FEMA move the table that correlates 
each IA program to the factors considered earlier in the guidance as 
well as add a column with a tentative timeline for each IA program. 
FEMA declined to move table earlier in the document because it is 
important to have an understanding of the factors considered in 
evaluating the need for a major disaster authorizing IA before 
associating each factor with the applicable IA program. In addition, 
FEMA has declined to add a tentative timeline because the timeline of 
the IA programs varies from disaster to disaster based on numerous 
factors such as the size and scope of the recovery.
    A commenter asked that FEMA include in the guidance the 
calculations that are used to determine the estimated cost of 
assistance so that States can do the calculation themselves based on 
local and State level damage assessments to assist in their evaluation 
of whether or not to request a joint FEMA-State preliminary damage 
assessment. Currently, the estimated cost of assistance is calculated 
by FEMA during completion of the joint FEMA-State preliminary damage 
assessment. Previously, FEMA was not consistent in sharing the results 
of the estimated cost of assistance with the affected States. FEMA 
clarified in the guidance that it would provide the estimated cost of 
assistance to the State during and after the preliminary damage 
assessment. Regarding the calculations, that is beyond the scope of the 
Individual Assistance Declarations Factors guidance and is more 
appropriately considered in any potential future updates to the 
preliminary damage assessment guidance and materials.
    A commenter to the proposed guidance recommended that FEMA include 
in the regulation and guidance sub-factors related to the number of 
rental units impacted, the degree of damage, the percent of disaster 
impacted rental units occupied by persons of low and moderate income, 
and other similar data. FEMA has declined to include this sub-factor 
because during the disaster response phase it may be hard to capture 
this granularity of detail especially the percent of disaster impacted 
rental units occupied by persons of low and moderate income. If a State 
is able to collect this level of detailed data during the preliminary 
damage assessment phase they are welcome to provide this information 
and FEMA will consider it when evaluating the State's request for 
supplemental Federal assistance.

Changes to the Proposed Guidance

    FEMA made four changes to the proposed guidance based on comments 
received on both the NPRM and the proposed guidance. First, as 
discussed above, FEMA added a clarifying statement that a major 
disaster declaration merely authorizes Individual Assistance; 
additional applications or additional information are required to 
determine the program scope or program funding amount. Second, also as 
discussed above, FEMA clarified that it will evaluate the impact of the 
disaster on both private and public roads under the ``Transportation 
Infrastructure and Utilities'' sub-factor in the ``Impact to Community 
Infrastructure'' factor. Third, as discussed the in the final rule 
preamble, FEMA removed the ``Planning After Prior Disasters'' and the 
``State Services'' sub-factors in the ``Resource Availability'' factor 
based on comments received on the NPRM. Fourth, as discussed above in 
the Public

[[Page 10524]]

Comments on the Proposed Guidance section FEMA clarified that it would 
provide the estimated cost of assistance to the State during and after 
the Preliminary Damage Assessment. Finally, FEMA also made changes to 
the two tables that are found in the guidance document based on an 
updated data set that was used in the final rule.
    The final guidance does not have the force or effect of law.

    Authority: Pub. L. 113-2.

Peter Gaynor,
Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2019-05396 Filed 3-20-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-23-P