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Special DWSRF Funding for Sandy Recovery in New York & New Jersey Considered by Congress

As this week’s national headlines have stated, the House has passed HR 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, to provide funds to support New York and New Jersey efforts to restore essential services destroyed during Superstorm Sandy.  The measure is now awaiting action in the Senate.

The $50 billion bill is based in an original $17 billion proposal offered by Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) that provided $1.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, $3.9 billion for community development grants, $5.4 billion for transit repairs and another $5.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund.  That proposal was amended by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) to add another $33 billion in relief funds.

Included in the Frelinghuysen amendment is a $600 million appropriation for state revolving loan funds.  Of that total, $100 million would be directed to the DWSRFs in New York and New Jersey “…for drinking water treatment works and facilities impacted by Hurricane Sandy…provided that…each state shall use not less than 20 percent but not more than 30 percent…to provide additional subsidization to eligible recipients in the form of forgiveness of principal, negative interest loans or grants or any combination of these…and…shall only be used for any eligible facilities under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”  Of the $600 million, EPA may retain up to $1 million of the appropriated funds for management and oversight.