EPA, FEMA Sign Agreement to Speed Recovery Dollars

(June 11, 2019) – EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding last week to streamline coordination between FEMA and the EPA-funded State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, allowing the SRFs to help restore vital water infrastructure more rapidly during times of disaster.

Key highlights of the agreement include:

  • Encouraging local governments to access a no-interest or low-interest loan from its state revolving fund to help pay for the restoration of vital drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Allowing for loan repayments, state match, and interest earnings that are state funds to be reimbursed by FEMA.
  • Allowing SRFs to act as cost-sharing financing sources for a municipality applying for FEMA disaster assistance grant funding.
  • Encouraging Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs to provide non-federal funds for the purposes of FEMA Cost Share or Interim Loans. 

NACWA has been advocating for greater coordination between EPA and FEMA to improve disaster response for clean water utilities, especially in light of the many natural disasters from floods to storms to fires that have impacted the sector in recent years, and is pleased with this development.  The Association will continue its engagement with EPA and FEMA on this important issue and keep the membership updated.