Peters Passed Law to Create Program and Secured Initial Federal Funding to Help Communities Address Flooding, Shoreline Erosion & other Natural Hazards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced today that Michigan will receive $5.1 million from the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program to help communities invest in projects that will protect against severe flooding, rising water levels, coastal erosion, and other natural hazards. The program was created by Senator Peters’ Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act, which was signed into law in 2021. As a part of the bipartisan infrastructure law, Peters secured the first federal funding to help kick start the program.
“Communities across Michigan have faced catastrophic challenges from recent severe storms and floods, and these types of disasters will only continue to increase. I passed the law creating the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program to ensure that Michigan communities will have more support to protect their infrastructure, residents and small businesses from these threats,” said Senator Peters. “Today’s announcement is an exciting step towards getting these federal dollars into the hands of local communities so they can invest in infrastructure upgrades to address storm and flood damage and make our state more resilient for the future.”
“Senator Peters worked hard with President Biden to pass the historic legislation that created this powerful new financing tool as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This capability will allow communities to leverage federal capital to build resilient infrastructure and tackle increasingly frequent and severe climate-fueled disasters,” said Ali Zaidi, White House National Climate Advisor.
“The Biden-Harris Administration, with bipartisan support in Congress, has made billions of dollars available to help build resilience nationwide, but economically disadvantaged communities can still face barriers when it comes to financing their own mitigation projects,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “This innovative, new program, made possible by the President’s Investing in America Agenda and Senator Peters’ leadership in Congress, will allow states to provide low-interest loans to help communities in Michigan and beyond secure the additional capital needed to fund these projects.”
“Critical federal funding from the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program will help communities across Michigan invest in resilient infrastructure, protect families from flooding, and ensure swift recovery efforts,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I want to thank Senator Peters for his efforts to secure these federal resources and to the Michigan State Police and Emergency Management and Homeland Security team for fighting hard to get this done. Because of their leadership, Michigan has more resources to prepare for and recover from extreme weather events. Together, we will make communities across our state better and safer places to live, work, and invest.”
“Just last month, we were reminded of how important it is to plan, prepare, and strengthen our infrastructure when severe storms, including seven tornadoes, caused significant damage and flooding across the state of Michigan,” said Captain Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and commander of the Michigan State Police (MSP) Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (EMHSD). “The Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program brings new resources to the state as we work to ensure our communities stay strong well into the future.”
Severe storms, extreme flooding, rising water levels and high winds – exacerbated by climate change – are causing more destructive and costly natural hazards than ever before. Communities in Michigan and across the country are facing serious flooding, coastal erosion and high water level challenges that have destroyed homes and beaches and have even forced residents to relocate. The Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program provides capitalization grants to states to fund low-cost loans to support local disaster mitigation and resilience projects in a cost-effective way. Studies have shown that resilience and mitigation spending saves taxpayers an average of $6 for every $1 invested.
As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led efforts to ensure our nation has the resources to foster greater community resilience to minimize disaster vulnerability and suffering induced by climate change. Senator Peters’ bill to extend critical employment protections to FEMA Reservists to ensure they will be able to keep their full-time civilian employment when they are called to assist in disaster response efforts was signed into law. Peters’ bipartisan bills to modernize contracting requirements for contractors managing our nation’s federal disaster response, protect pets and other animals during and in the aftermath of natural disasters, and help at-risk communities by utilizing the National Risk Index to designate community disaster resilience zones that are the most at risk to natural hazards have also been signed into law.