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Published

December 20, 2021

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Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:

            The undersigned organizations support H.R. 5689, the “Resilient Assistance for Mitigation for Environmentally Resilient Infrastructure and Construction by Americans Act’’ or “Resilient AMERICA Act,” and urge you to schedule consideration of this legislation, perhaps under suspension of the rules. This legislation, which was reported from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure with strong bipartisan support, would build on the resilience initiatives contained in the recent bipartisan infrastructure law and provide additional tools to reduce risks posed by a changing climate.

            For every dollar invested in resilience and predisaster mitigation, the taxpayer receives anywhere from $3.00 to $11.00 in return.[1] Such policies are good for the environment and the economy. This bill would:

·       Increase the annual spending for the new National Public Infrastructure Predisaster Mitigation fund from up to 6% to up to 15% of postdisaster funding.

·       Require unspent funds to be recaptured for mitigation and resilience projects.

·       Extend eligibility for Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program grant funding to private non-profit organizations.

·       Provide a 10% set-aside within BRIC to enforce the adoption of newer building codes.

·       Add wildfires and tsunamis, including strengthening utilities against wind, ice, and wildfire risks as eligible hazards to receive funding.

·       Establish a 10% set-aside within BRIC to fund residential resilience retrofit grants — upgrades to strengthen homes resilience and comply with consensus-based codes and standards, including wind and roof retrofits, floodproofing, and constructing saferooms.

            We strongly support H.R. 5689 and urge that it be brought to the House floor for expeditious consideration. We stand ready to assist you in this process.

Sincerely,

 

American Council of Engineering Companies

American Institute of Architects

American Planning Association

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society of Landscape Architects

Build Strong Coalition

City Parks Alliance

Ecological Restoration Business Association

Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative

National Association of Clean Water Agencies

National Association of Counties

National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

National League of Cities

National Recreation and Park Association

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Rural Community Assistance Partnership

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

[1] Research recently published by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) found that building to the current (2018) common model building code standards as opposed to the model codes from the 1990s returns an average of $11 for every dollar (11:1) invested predisaster and presents a range of other benefit-cost ratios by disaster type.