COR3, FEMA lay down plan to expedite projects under Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Representatives from the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3, in Spanish) recently participated in the Hazard Mitigation Sprint Meeting to establish a joint plan with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “expedite and maximize” the use of some $4 billion earmarked for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
“During the past months, COR3 has presented to FEMA proposals under the HMGP that total $2.5 billion. So far, the federal agency approved several projects with an associated cost of $1.1 billion,” COR3 Executive Director Manuel Laboy said.
“Through the execution of the projects presented under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program through Section 404 of the Stafford Act, we guarantee compliance with…public policy to address situations that affect our people, such as flood control, mitigation of the effects of climate change, mitigation of coral reefs and coastal erosion, renewable energy, repair of structures that suffered earthquake-related damage and landslides, among others,” Laboy said.
The work plan that was established during the meeting was divided into topics according to the phases of the program, among which are: prioritization and eligibility of projects; proposal development and evaluation; and training.
The agency is working — along with the Puerto Rico Housing Department, the Reconstruction Council, agencies, municipal governments and nonprofits — to submit all proposals by the Oct. 31, 2021 deadline.
“This with the goal of reaching the obligation of all the funds assigned to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for damages caused by Hurricane María. That said, we continue to evaluate the letters of intent previously submitted to COR3 to identify additional projects aligned with public policy,” he said.