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Public Law 84-99

Public Law 84-99PL 84-99 Overview VideoPublic Law 84-99, Emergency Response to Natural Disasters, is the Corps of Engineers’ basic authority to provide for emergency activities in support of State and Local governments prior to, during, and after a flood event.  The Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (FCCE) appropriation provides funding for PL 84-99 authorized activities.  Under PL 84-99, the Corps can provide both emergency technical and direct assistance in response to flood and coastal storms, such as hurricanes and nor’easters.  In addition, the Corps can assist if there is a flood threat from damage caused by earthquakes to flood risk management projects.  The assistance must be requested by the State and it must be supplemental to State and Local actions including resources and capabilities, as well as National Guard assets.  Under PL 84-99, USACE may undertake the following:

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Disaster Preparedness Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness consists of functions required to ensure that USACE activities are ready to respond to a broad range of disasters and emergencies.  It includes coordination, planning, training, and exercises with key local, state, Tribal and Federal stakeholders/partners under USACE statutory authorities and in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  It provides for the purchase and stockpiling of critical supplies and equipment for flood fighting efforts. Levees and other flood risk management projects are inspected to identify issues that may keep the project from providing reliable flood risk management reduction during the next flood or coastal storm.

Emergency Operations Emergency Operations

Under Emergency Operations, USACE responds to flood and storm-related disasters.  USACE will activate its Emergency Operations Centers to command and control the operation; provide liaisons to FEMA, States, Tribes, and local governments; provide technical assistance and direct assistance for flood fighting; and conduct rescue operations. Technical assistance includes advice on flood fighting methods and techniques, inundation mapping, flood modeling, and historical data.  Direct assistance includes the provision of sandbags, pumps, and other types of flood fight materials, and emergency contracting for raising and stabilizing threatened flood risk management projects.  Post Flood Response is a special authority intended to cover the gap (of up to 10 days) between the end of a disaster and the issuance of a presidential disaster declaration under FEMA Stafford Act authority, and can include actions to clear transportation routes, restore public transportation and critical public facilities, clear blocked water courses, and provide technical assistance. 

The Rehabilitation Program The Rehabilitation Program

The Rehabilitation Program provides for the inspection (during the Preparedness phase) and rehabilitation of Federal and non-Federal flood risk management projects damaged or destroyed by floods and coastal storms.  There are approximately 9500 miles of levees in the Rehabilitation Program, and all projects must meet certain standards in order to be eligible for rehabilitation assistance.

The Restoration Program   The Restoration Program 

The Restoration Program provides for the inspection (during the Preparedness phase) and restoration of Federal Coastal Storm Risk Management projects damaged or destroyed by floods and coastal storms.  All projects must meet certain standards in order to be eligible for restoration assistance.

Advance Measures Advance Measures

Advance Measures assistance may be provided in order to prevent or reduce damages when there is an imminent threat of unusual flooding.  Technical Assistance may be provided when there is a significant potential that an imminent threat of unusual flooding will develop and is provided to Tribes and States to help them prepare for the threat.  Advance Measures projects are temporary projects that provide measures necessary to prevent or reduce impacts of floods that (1) pose a significant threat to life and/or improved property, and (2) are beyond the capability of Tribe/State/local interests to perform in a timely manner.  Advance Measures projects must be engineeringly feasible and capable of being constructed in time to meet the anticipated threat.

Drought Assistance Drought Assistance

Drought Assistance may be provided to drought distressed areas.  Drought assistance includes technical assistance, well drilling in limited circumstances, and transportation (but not purchase) of water to drought distressed areas to make up for inadequate supplies of water.

  Emergency Water Assistance Due to Contaminated Water Source Emergency Water Assistance Due to Contaminated Water Source

Emergency Water Assistance may be provided when a locality is confronted with a source of contaminated water causing or likely to cause a substantial threat to the public health and welfare of the local inhabitants.  Emergency Water Assistance includes technical assistance, purchase of water, transport of water to local water points, delivery of bulk or bottled water to community-level distribution points, temporary connection of a new water supply to the existing distribution system, installation of temporary filtration

Updating Federal Regulation 33 CFR Part 203

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is updating 33 CFR Part 203, the Federal Regulation outlining how USACE implements its emergency authority provided in Public Law 84-99 for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The regulation was last revised in 2003. Since that time, there have been amendments to Public Law 84-99 through multiple Water Resource Development Acts passed by Congress. Additionally, USACE programs have evolved to implement lessons learned from events over the last 20 years. USACE will update the CFR to reflect these changes.

These proposed changes support the agency’s strategic direction to advance risk-informed decision making, increase risk awareness communications, improve relationships with public sponsors and enhance long-term sustainability and resiliency of flood risk management projects.

The CFR was posted to the Federal Register November 2022 and concluded in February 2023. Simultaneous outreach included 9 onsite sessions throughout the U.S. and consultation with two Tribal Nations. Final changes will be published in the Federal Register upon completion of interagency review.

If you are interested in learning more about the PL 84-99 Program and/or your opportunities to provide input to changes to this program, please contact Willem.H.Helms@usace.army.mil.