Washington, DC—Today, Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-05) applauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s announcement that federal funds for October wildfire debris removal were authorized at 90 percent of total eligible costs:
“Our communities are fighting to remain financially solvent as they deal with the enormous costs of recovering from the October wild fires,” said Rep. Mike Thompson. “Without additional assistance from the federal government for the cost of debris removal, I am told by local leaders that our fire communities could go into a financial tail spin. I am proud that our California delegation came together in a bipartisan manner to ensure that our communities have the additional resources they need to recover and rebuild.”
On October 10, 2017, the President issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of California triggering the release of Federal funds to help people and communities recover from Wildfires that occurred October 8-31, 2017. Pursuant to this declaration, the federal government’s cost-share for debris removal was 75 percent, with the state and local responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
At the urging of local leaders, Reps. Thompson and Huffman worked with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Interior Appropriations Chair Ken Calvert to increase the federal cost share for debris removal from the October wildfires from 75 percent to 90 percent as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act that was signed into law on February 9, 2018. The adjustment to the Federal share applies to assistance provided before, on, or after the date of enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act.
“This is good news for Lake County,” said Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown. “The costs to rebuild and recover from the October fires are tremendous. This increased federal funding for debris removal will not only help to mitigate those costs, but also help us to focus our resources on additional recovery and resiliency needs.
The debris-removal program, conducted chiefly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has completed debris removal on 3,584 properties. There are 4,885 approved properties in the program.