Governor Chris Christie announced that President Barack Obama has approved an adjustment of the federal cost share for Hurricane Sandy, from 75 percent to 100 percent, for 10 days (October 30th to November 9th) for emergency power restoration and emergency public transportation assistance, including direct federal assistance, for those areas of New Jersey within counties designated for public assistance.
The increased reimbursement authority is effective immediately. This increased level of federal assistance program pertains to those areas of New Jersey that were declared a federal disaster area, including Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties. Other forms of Category B assistance will remain at a 75% cost share unless otherwise adjusted by the federal government.
“I want to thank the President for his responsiveness to the needs and challenges of New Jersey in light of the devastation we’ve experienced from Hurricane Sandy,” said Governor Christie. “This additional and nearly unprecedented level of federal reimbursement for emergency power restoration and emergency transportation assistance will help us get our residents’ lives back to normal as quickly as we possibly can.”
Pending the issuance of business rules implementing this cost share adjustment on Friday, November 2, 2012, Federal Coordinating Officers (FCO) may use the adjustment only after personally determining that this assistance is necessary to either: (1) respond to a need identified by the State or local government to address an immediate threat to life and property that they would meet if they had the capability; or (2) facilitates the federal mission. This may include providing indirect or incidental benefits to private for-profit entities if the FCO determines that the private entity lacks the present capability to satisfy these requirements on their own and their support is essential to meeting an immediate threat to public health and safety.
Qualification of these expenses are subject to the following criteria:
· With respect to power restoration, the FCO shall determine that: (1) the power companies are unable to provide the necessary generators for power restoration themselves; (2) continued interruption/lack of power will result in an immediate threat to the health and safety of the community; and (3) provision of the generators is beyond State and local capability.
· With respect to emergency public transportation, the use of this authority for dewatering and clearing subway and roadway tunnels is permitted.
· Reimbursement of the National Guard in State Active Duty to conduct emergency power restoration, emergency public transportation, or direct essential support to these missions is eligible for the 100% cost share adjustment.
· This cost share adjustment may NOT be used for Emergency Operations Centers, management costs, overhead expenses, or safety and security overtime for State or municipal agencies (except for the National Guard in State Active Duty).
On October 29th, the Federal Government approved the Christie Administration’s request for a major disaster declaration in New Jersey. On October 30th the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of New Jersey and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Sandy. The action made federal funding available to affected individuals in Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties.
Assistance for individuals can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding has also been approved and is available for state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Individuals in affected counties can register for disaster assistance with FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-621-3362.