Pew Commends Historic Investment in Flood-Ready Infrastructure

Billions in new funding would help communities prepare for rising waters

WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts applauds key provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that aim to make the nation more flood-ready. The bipartisan legislation, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed today, would provide states and communities with new resources and guidance to help them better prepare for increasingly frequent and intense natural disasters.

The flood-ready provisions in the bill include the creation of the first-of-its-kind Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) grant program, with $8.7 billion in funding to support state and local jurisdictions that incorporate resilience in transportation plans and projects. Another $1 billion would be dedicated to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program. And the FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance program would receive a substantial increase of funding, totaling $3.5 billion, for use in mitigation efforts such as buying out repeatedly flooded properties.

Forbes Tompkins, a manager with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ flood-prepared communities project, issued the following statement:

“This bill represents a fundamental shift in the nation’s approach to flooding disasters—spending to prepare before disaster strikes rather than after the fact. This infusion of federal dollars will help communities across the country stem the increasing costs and impact of flooding, while modernizing their critical infrastructure.

“The legislation also puts nature to work, ensuring that states and localities will consider proven mitigation strategies, such as restoring wetlands, enhancing culverts, and creating green space. These nature-based solutions can serve economic, community, and environmental needs while reducing the impacts of flooding.

“By committing billions of dollars to resilience, the bill provides communities across the nation with much-needed resources to proactively lower disaster risk and recovery costs.”

More information on the legislation’s key provisions for flood resilience and mitigation is available here.

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