[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 248 (Thursday, December 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78486-78493]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30867]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Notice of Funding Availability for Resilience Projects in 
Response to Hurricane Sandy

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of funding availability (NOFA).

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
availability of approximately $3 billion in funds under the Public 
Transportation Emergency Relief Program and the Disaster Relief 
Appropriations Act of 2013 for States, local governmental authorities, 
tribal governments and other FTA recipients impacted by Hurricane 
Sandy, which affected mid-Atlantic and northeastern states in October 
2012. This announcement solicits proposals for resilience projects, 
defined as those projects designed and built to address current and 
future vulnerabilities to a public transportation facility or system 
due to future occurrence or recurrence of emergencies or major 
disasters that are likely to occur in the geographic area in which the 
public transportation system is located; or projected changes in 
development patterns, demographics, or climate change and extreme 
weather patterns. For the purposes of this notice, ``public 
transportation'' may include consideration of intercity passenger rail 
service. This resilience funding is intended to protect public 
transportation infrastructure that has been repaired or rebuilt after 
Hurricane Sandy or that is at risk of being damaged or destroyed by a 
future natural disaster. These investments reduce the likelihood that 
U.S. taxpayers are asked to repair the same infrastructure after a 
future major storm or natural disaster. Furthermore, the activities 
funded under this notice will help strengthen and build more resilient 
communities to better withstand future disasters.
    The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 was enacted on 
January 29, 2013, and provided $10.9 billion for FTA's Emergency Relief 
Program for recovery, relief and resilience efforts in areas affected 
by Hurricane Sandy with approximately $10.4 billion still available 
after implementation of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit 
Control Act of 2011. FTA has previously allocated $5.7 billion for 
recovery and resilience projects to public transportation agencies 
impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, the Disaster Relief 
Appropriations Act of 2013 permits the Secretary to transfer up to 
$5.383 billion to other agencies to fund programs authorized under 
titles 23 and 49, United States Code, in order to carry out resilience 
projects in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Under this authority, 
DOT transferred $185 million to the Federal Railroad Administration 
(FRA).
    The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) 
authorized the Emergency Relief Program at 49 U.S.C. 5324. With the 
authorization of this program, Congress provided FTA with primary 
responsibility for Federal reimbursements for emergency response and 
recovery costs after an emergency or major disaster that affects public 
transportation systems. The Emergency Relief Program allows FTA to make 
grants for eligible public transportation capital and operating costs 
in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, that affects a 
wide area, including projects to protect public transportation assets 
from damage. Beginning in late October 2012, President Obama issued 
major disaster declarations for specified counties in the following 
States: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, 
New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and 
West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia as a result of the 
impacts Hurricane Sandy and its remnants. Providers of public 
transportation in the affected areas as defined by these Presidential 
declarations are eligible to apply for funding for public 
transportation resilience projects.
    This notice includes a description of eligible projects, the 
criteria FTA will use to identify projects for funding, and a 
description of how to apply for funding. This announcement is available 
on the FTA Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. A synopsis of the 
funding opportunity will be posted in the FIND module of the 
government-wide electronic grants Web site at http://www.GRANTS.GOV. 
FTA will announce final allocations in a Federal Register notice and on 
the FTA Web site.

DATES: In January 2014, FTA will host a webinar to answer questions 
about the NOFA and will conduct training, specifically for the Hazard 
Mitigation Cost Effectiveness methodology. Prospective applicants must 
participate in the training. Dates and times of these offerings will be 
posted to FTA's Web site.
    Complete proposals must be submitted no later than Friday, March 
28, 2014 by 11:59 p.m. EST. All proposals must be submitted 
electronically through the GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function. Any 
prospective applicant intending to submit a proposal should initiate 
the process of registering on the GRANTS.GOV site immediately to ensure 
completion of registration before the submission deadline. Instructions 
for submitting a proposal can be found on FTA's Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov and in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: the appropriate FTA Regional Office 
found at http://www.fta.dot.gov for application-specific information 
and other assistance needed in preparing a complete proposal. For 
program-specific questions about applying for the funds as outlined in 
this notice, please contact Adam Schildge, Office of Program 
Management, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, phone: 
(202) 366-0778, or email, FTASandyResilience@dot.gov. For legal 
questions, Bonnie Graves, Office of Chief Counsel, same address, phone: 
(202) 366-4011, or email, Bonnie.Graves@dot.gov. For questions about 
direct transfers (outside of the competitive process and this Notice) 
to other modes within the Department of Transportation, please contact 
Peter Gould, Office of Policy, Office of the Secretary, same address, 
phone: (202) 366-6321, or email, Peter.Gould@dot.gov; or Sahar Shirazi, 
Office of Policy, Office of the Secretary, same address, phone: (202) 
366-4114, or email, sahar.shirazi@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Overview of FTA Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program
    A. Authority
    B. Disaster Relief Funding
    C. Policy Priorities
II. Public Transportation Resilience Grants for Areas Affected by 
Sandy
    A. Description and Purpose
    B. Eligibility Information
    C. Evaluation Criteria, Review and Selection
III. Application and Submission Information for This Notice
    A. Proposal Content
    B. Application Submission Instructions
IV. Award Administration
    A. Pre-award Authority
    B. Grant Requirements
    C. Reporting Requirements


[[Page 78487]]



I. Overview of FTA Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program

A. Authority

    MAP-21 authorized FTA's Emergency Relief Program under Section 5324 
of title 49, United States Code as follows:

    General authority.--The Secretary may make grants and enter into 
contracts and other agreements (including agreements with 
departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government) 
for--
    (1) capital projects to protect, repair, reconstruct, or replace 
equipment and facilities of a public transportation system operating 
in the United States or on an Indian reservation that the Secretary 
determines is in danger of suffering serious damage, or has suffered 
serious damage, as a result of an emergency; and
    (2) eligible operating costs of public transportation equipment 
and facilities in an area directly affected by an emergency during--
    (A) the 1-year period beginning on the date of a declaration 
described in subsection (a)(2); or
    (B) if the Secretary determines there is a compelling need, the 
2-year period beginning on the date of a declaration described in 
subsection (a)(2).
    In addition, Section 5324(a)(2) defines an ``emergency'' as 
follows:
    The term `emergency' means a natural disaster affecting a wide 
area (such as a flood, hurricane, tidal wave, earthquake, severe 
storm, or landslide) or a catastrophic failure from any external 
cause, as a result of which--
    (A) the Governor of a State has declared an emergency and the 
Secretary has concurred; or
    (B) the President has declared a major disaster under section 
401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170).

    In addition, Section 5324(d) provides that a grant awarded under 
section 5324 shall be subject to the terms and conditions the Secretary 
determines are necessary.

B. Disaster Relief Funding

    As a result of Hurricane Sandy, and in accordance with the Stafford 
Act, President Obama declared a major disaster in late 2012 for twelve 
states and the District of Columbia affected by Hurricane Sandy, making 
public transportation agencies in specified counties in those States 
eligible for financial assistance under FTA's Public Transportation 
Emergency Relief Program.
    The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 113-2) provides 
$10.9 billion for FTA's Emergency Relief Program for recovery, relief 
and resilience efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, with 
approximately $10.4 billion still available after implementation of the 
Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 2011 (Pub. L. 112-
25). FTA is allocating the remaining $10.4 billion in multiple tiers 
for response, recovery and rebuilding, for locally-prioritized 
resilience projects, and for competitively selected resilience 
projects.
    On March 29, 2013 and May 29, 2013 FTA announced the allocation of 
$2 billion for response and recovery expenses and $3.7 billion for 
response, recovery, and local priority resilience funding respectively, 
with $5.7 billion total allocated to date. FTA allocated funding for 
locally-prioritized resilience projects to the public transportation 
agencies most affected by Hurricane Sandy. Funds were allocated based 
on a formula reflecting the distribution of damage costs among public 
transportation agencies most impacted by the storm, as outlined in the 
Federal Register Notice of Allocation dated May 29, 2013. Locally 
prioritized resilience projects require FTA review prior to incurring 
costs, and are primarily intended for resilience improvements in tandem 
with recovery and rebuilding projects where joint implementation will 
prove cost effective, and for lower cost stand-alone resilience 
improvements that can be implemented relatively quickly.
    The following chart \1\ illustrates the overall allocation of 
funding under the FTA Emergency Relief Program and the Disaster Relief 
Appropriations Act:
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    \1\ The Secretary is authorized by the Disaster Relief 
Appropriations Act to transfer emergency relief resilience funding 
to other DOT operating administrations for eligible projects.

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            Award type                      Applicants            Available funding       Eligibility criteria
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Response, Recovery & Rebuilding...  Affected FTA Recipients...  $4.4 billion.........  Damage assessments
                                                                                        submitted by affected
                                                                                        agencies and reviewed by
                                                                                        FTA, and costs incurred
                                                                                        by affected agencies.
Locally-Prioritized Resilience....  MTA, NJT, PANYNJ, NYCDOT..  $1.3 billion.........  Resilience Projects and
                                                                                        Project Components.
Competitive Resilience............  (1) States, (2) public      $3 billion...........  Described in this Notice.
                                     transportation agencies
                                     that receive funding
                                     through FTA formula
                                     programs, (3) other
                                     entities responsible for
                                     an eligible public
                                     transportation capital
                                     project that enter into a
                                     subrecipient arrangement
                                     with an existing FTA
                                     grantee, and (4) entities
                                     that provide intercity
                                     passenger rail service.
Response, Recovery & Rebuilding...  Affected FTA Recipients...  $1.1 billion (to be    Damage assessments
                                                                 announced in a         submitted by affected
                                                                 subsequent notice).    agencies and reviewed by
                                                                                        FTA, and costs incurred
                                                                                        by affected agencies.
Direct Transfer Resilience........  Eligible DOT grantees/      TBD..................  Any statutorily eligible
                                     funding recipients                                 project not readily
                                     implementing programs                              fundable through the
                                     authorized under titles                            formula distribution or
                                     23 and 49 U.S.C.                                   competitive application
                                                                                        process. For further
                                                                                        information on the
                                                                                        Direct Transfer process,
                                                                                        interested parties may
                                                                                        contact the Office of
                                                                                        the Secretary. Please
                                                                                        note that DOT's intent
                                                                                        is to allocate
                                                                                        resilience funds
                                                                                        primarily though formula
                                                                                        and competition.
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[[Page 78488]]

C. Policy Priorities

    Both scientific evidence and recent history indicate that weather 
and climate-related disasters are a continuing threat. According to the 
``Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy'' report,\2\ in the last year 
alone there were 11 different weather and climate disaster events with 
estimated losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. 
Taken together, these 11 events resulted in more than $110 billion in 
estimated damages.
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    \2\ See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=HSRebuildingStrategy.pdf.
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    Federal investment in the improved resilience of public 
transportation systems to future disasters is necessary to reduce, 
better manage, and better prepare for the economic and social 
consequences of future disasters, regardless of their cause, including 
both the potential cost of rebuilding after the next storm and the 
social and economic consequences of suspended or inoperable public 
transportation services.
    A more resilient public transportation system will be the product 
of many efforts, including some that are outside the scope of this 
notice; including disaster preparation, risk assessments, enhanced 
response capabilities, redundant infrastructure, a more complete state 
of good repair in systems essential to transit operations, evacuation 
readiness, emergency social support systems, and other efforts. While 
these and other factors contribute to the resilience of a region and of 
a public transportation system, this Notice of Funding Availability 
(NOFA) is intended to provide funding specifically for the resilience 
activities that strengthen and protect vulnerable infrastructure that 
is essential for providing and supporting public transportation in the 
region impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In addition to projects funded 
under this notice, agencies are also responsible for disaster response 
planning and evacuation readiness.
    In accordance with FTA's definition of resilience and resilience 
project, and for the purpose of this competition, a future disaster is 
considered to be any significant event with a likelihood of occurring 
in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, and which presents a risk of 
damage from hazards similar to those associated with Hurricane Sandy, 
such as severe storm surge, flooding--including levels projected due to 
sea level rise--, heavy rain, high winds, and associated power outages. 
Further, for purposes of this competition, FTA will prioritize 
resilience projects that strengthen, protect, or otherwise increase the 
protection or resilience of existing infrastructure that was damaged or 
destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, to minimize the potential of repeated 
reinvestments to the same infrastructure due to damage from future 
similar storms. These priority investments and related outcomes will 
take precedent over new ``redundant'' investments whose primary 
objective is to increase system capacity.
    FTA is undertaking this competition in accordance with the 
recommendations issued by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, 
convened by President Obama and composed of the leaders of Federal 
agencies responsible for various aspects of the recovery. The Task 
Force issued the ``Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy'' report in 
August 2013, laying out key principles for recovery, as well as related 
recommendations to guide the implementation of federally supported 
recovery efforts.
    The Task Force recommends that Sandy-rebuilding infrastructure 
projects be designed to increase the resilience of the region and that 
they be regionally coordinated. Reflecting the Task Force's recommended 
infrastructure resilience guidelines, FTA has considered the following 
principles in the development of this competitive resilience 
solicitation:
    [cir] Comprehensive Analysis
    [cir] Transparent and Inclusive Decision Processes
    [cir] Regional Resilience
    [cir] Long-Term Efficacy and Fiscal Sustainability
    [cir] Environmentally Sustainable and Innovative Solutions
    [cir] Targeted Financial Incentives
    [cir] Adherence to Resilience Performance Standards
    All projects submitted under this competitive public transportation 
resilience notice, including any intercity passenger rail projects, 
will be evaluated based on the process and criteria described later in 
this notice. Subsequent to project selection, the Secretary may 
transfer funds and the responsibility for administering intercity 
passenger rail projects to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

II. Public Transportation Resilience Grants for Areas Affected by Sandy

A. Description and Purpose

    This notice solicits proposals for capital projects that will 
protect or otherwise increase the resilience of public transportation 
equipment and facilities from the future recurrence of hurricanes and 
similar storms in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. FTA's 
Emergency Relief rule at 49 CFR 602.5 defines ``resilience'' as the 
capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from 
significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-
being, the economy, and the environment. The rule defines ``resilience 
project'' as a project designed and built to address future 
vulnerabilities to a public transportation facility or system due to 
future recurrence of emergencies or major disasters that are likely to 
occur again in the geographic area in which the public transportation 
system is located; or projected changes in development patterns, 
demographics, or extreme weather or other climate patterns.

B. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants
    Eligible applicants must be located in or provide public 
transportation service in one of the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, 
which are defined as areas for which President Obama declared a major 
disaster under the Stafford Act in response to Hurricane Sandy. 
Eligible applicants include (1) States and Indian tribes, (2) local 
governmental authorities and public transportation agencies that 
receive funding through FTA formula programs, (3) other entities 
responsible for an eligible public transportation capital project that 
enter into a sub-recipient arrangement with an existing FTA grantee, 
and (4) entities that provide intercity passenger rail service. 
Projects that involve joint public transit and intercity passenger rail 
service will be administered under the provisions of (2) or (3) above. 
Note: Entities that provide public transportation service and are not 
current recipients of FTA funding are only eligible to receive 
Emergency Relief funding as a subrecipient of an FTA recipient. These 
entities should contact the appropriate FTA Regional Office, the 
contact information for which is available at www.fta.dot.gov, to find 
a direct FTA recipient in their area to apply on their behalf. 
Successful intercity rail projects may be transferred to the FRA for 
administration and oversight.
    For the purpose of this notice, areas affected by Hurricane Sandy 
include any of the counties designated for FEMA's Public Assistance 
program under any of the major disaster declarations issued by 
President Obama in response to Hurricane Sandy. This includes areas 
within the following States: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island,

[[Page 78489]]

Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia. Areas 
affected by Hurricane Sandy are defined by the presidential declaration 
of major disaster for that State. See http://www.fema.gov/disasters/.
2. Eligible Projects
    Eligible projects are capital projects that reduce the risk of 
damage to public transportation assets as a result of future natural 
disasters. FTA expects the project sponsor to demonstrate, as part of 
an overall system plan, how steps are being taken to first ensure 
protection and increased resilience of existing assets before redundant 
(new) infrastructure is contemplated. This must be demonstrated in the 
applicant's response to the evaluation criteria for ``Protection of 
Most Essential and Vulnerable Infrastructure,'' as described in section 
C.2 of this notice. If such a case is made, then projects that involve 
the construction or installation of new equipment or facilities for the 
purpose of providing redundancy to reduce the vulnerability of the 
existing public transportation system may be considered. All project 
proposals will be evaluated based on the criteria identified in the 
next section.
    Sample resilience projects may include elevating or relocating 
assets that are located in a special flood hazard area (SFHA), 
protecting assets vulnerable to high winds, installing mitigation 
measures that prevent the intrusion of floodwaters into underground 
segments of a public transportation system, strengthening systems that 
remove rainwater from public transportation facilities, and other 
projects that address identified vulnerabilities.
    FTA encourages innovative proposals; however, all projects must 
consist of technologies that can be demonstrated to be effective. The 
functionality of innovative proposals must be adequately documented and 
justified. Innovative proposals may include remotely controlled or 
other below-grade subway vent closures, modular flood prevention 
barriers, use of green infrastructure to control storm water, or other 
new technologies or applications.
    Recognizing that risk continuously changes and is expected to 
increase in many areas, resilience projects must be designed to be 
resilient to at least 1 foot above the best available base flood 
elevations released by FEMA to ensure long term resilience of 
communities. State and local governments are encouraged to review their 
local conditions and needs and, where appropriate, build to an even 
higher standard where they are planning key infrastructure projects 
and/or where future conditions indicate higher risk. Resilience 
projects under this competition may be designed to withstand a higher 
base flood elevation if required by local or State building codes or 
standards. Projects designed to meet the above standard may include the 
relocation of infrastructure from the floodplain, physical elevation of 
the infrastructure, or other appropriate mitigation measures depending 
on the circumstances of the proposed project. This requirement is 
addressed further under section C.1.a. of this notice, ``Special Note 
Regarding FEMA's Best Available Flood Hazard Information.''
    FTA recognizes that, in the course of making an asset more 
resilient, a resilience project may also involve activities or elements 
that concurrently serve to bring an asset up to a state of good repair. 
For example, a resilience project may involve the replacement of older 
features with new features, the incorporation of current design 
standards, the replacement of a vulnerable facility at a new location 
when a cost-effective mitigation is not practical or feasible at the 
existing location, or other required mitigation measures resulting from 
the NEPA process or required for compliance with applicable Federal 
environmental requirements.
3. Cost Sharing and Matching
    Section 5324 of title 49, United States Code, provides that the 
Government share for FTA emergency relief projects shall be not more 
than 80 percent of the net project cost. Consistent with FEMA's Hazard 
Mitigation Grant Program, resilience projects solicited by this notice 
are eligible for a Federal cost share of no more than 75 percent of the 
total project cost. Project sponsors will be required to identify a 
source of eligible non-Federal match representing no less than 25 
percent of the total project cost. The local share may be provided from 
an undistributed cash surplus, a replacement or depreciation cash fund 
or reserve, or new capital. In addition to local and state funds, non-
Federal match may include the use of Community Development Block Grant 
(CDBG) funds, including CDBG Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds that are 
available for transportation purposes.\3\ Project sponsors may propose 
the use of non-Federal funds in excess of 25 percent of the project 
cost. FTA may consider the planned commitment of additional non-Federal 
match as a part of project selection.
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    \3\ See the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 
Federal Register dated November 18, 2013 (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-18/pdf/2013-27506.pdf) for more information on CDBG-
DR funds.
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C. Evaluation Criteria, Review and Selection

    All projects must meet minimum application requirements in order to 
qualify for further consideration. Qualified projects will then be 
evaluated based on the factors outlined below.
1. Minimum Application Requirements
    Minimum requirements include the following:
     Applicant is a current FTA recipient, or, if not a current 
FTA recipient, has provided a support letter from a current FTA 
recipient stating that it is willing to partner on the project, or is 
an entity that provides intercity passenger rail service.
     Applicant has identified the source for the required non-
Federal cost share, which may include CDBG funding.
     Applicant certifies that the project will be designed and 
built to be resilient to the best available FEMA flood hazard 
information as of February 1, 2014, plus one foot, as defined in this 
notice.
     Applicant has participated in an FTA training session (one 
of two offerings) on Hazard Mitigation Cost Effectiveness (HMCE). FTA 
will schedule two training sessions in January 2014. Applicants may 
participate either in person or through the web. Instructions and 
requirements regarding the HMCE process will be provided at these 
training sessions.
a. Special Note Regarding FEMA's Best Available Flood Hazard 
Information
    In certain situations, notably where a project or activity is 
located within a SFHA, use of FTA funds will require that a project and 
activity be designed and constructed in accordance with elevated 
minimums for project elevations (i.e. the best available FEMA flood 
hazard information plus one foot), in order to adequately enhance long-
term structural resilience, and mitigate against the recurrence of 
flood-related damages.
    Accordingly, resilience projects intended to protect against 
flooding and that are located within the SFHA must be designed and 
elevated or otherwise flood-proofed to the best available Base Flood 
Elevation (BFE) elevation released by FEMA plus one foot. The best 
available SFHA and BFE can be determined by comparing the SFHA and BFE 
on the current effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood 
Insurance Study (FIS) report with alternative flood hazard information 
released by FEMA, if available. FEMA's

[[Page 78490]]

alternative flood hazard information may include Advisory Base Flood 
Elevations (ABFEs) and ABFE Maps; Preliminary Work Maps; \4\ and 
Preliminary FIRMs and the FIS report. The best available SFHA is the 
widest geographic area indicated by FEMA's FIRM, FIS, or alternative 
flood hazard information. The best available BFE is the highest base 
flood elevation indicated by FEMA's FIRM, FIS, or alternative flood 
hazard information for the project's location. For purposes of this 
notice, FTA will consider best available information to be information 
released by FEMA as of February 1, 2014.
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    \4\ FEMA's preliminary work maps are an interim product created 
by FEMA in the development of preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps 
(FIRMs) for certain communities in New York and New Jersey. This 
information will replace the Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) 
maps as the most recent data available from FEMA.
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    Following Hurricane Sandy, FEMA produced ABFE maps for coastal 
counties in New Jersey and New York. These advisory maps can be found 
at http://184.72.33.183/best. If FEMA's alternative flood hazard 
information is not available, such as in many areas outside of New York 
and New Jersey, resilience projects must be designed and elevated or 
otherwise flood-proofed to the elevation identified on the effective 
FIRM and in the FIS report plus one foot. The Preliminary and effective 
FIRMs and FIS reports can be found on FEMA's Web site at: http://msc.fema.gov.
    Elevations required by either State or locally adopted building 
codes or standards that are higher than the best available FEMA flood 
hazard information plus one foot will apply.
    This standard does not necessarily mean that public transportation 
agencies will be required to move existing facilities or build new 
facilities at a higher elevation; however, in order to minimize 
potential harm within the floodplain in accordance with Executive Order 
11988, when relocation or elevation is not possible, resilience 
projects funded under this notice must include updated design features 
or added protective features in order to reduce the risk of damage from 
future flooding.
    A base flood elevation from an ABFE map, preliminary work map, or 
preliminary FIRM and FIS report or non-FEMA source cannot be used if it 
is lower than the effective FIRM and FIS report plus one foot. 
Recipients may also consider the best available data on sea-level rise, 
storm surge, scouring and erosion before rebuilding. In all instances, 
FTA retains the authority to award funds in direct alignment with 
recipient acceptance of and continued compliance with Federal 
determinations regarding increased standards for floodplain management.
b. Project Scalability
    Projects are considered scalable if they incorporate multiple 
activities or elements that have separate and independent benefits and 
which can be undertaken independently of one another. FTA may at times 
choose to fund less than the full requested amount of a proposal, 
consistent with the project's scalability.
    To facilitate this approach, and to allow for partial funding when 
full funding of a project is not possible, all project proposals must 
identify whether a project is scalable and, if so, must identify 
potential scopes and funding amounts for the scalable project 
components, including a separate cost-effectiveness evaluation for 
potential scaled projects, if appropriate. If the project is not 
scalable, the project sponsor must indicate the minimum amount of 
Section 5324 funds necessary to implement the full scope of the 
project, including a discussion of alternative funding sources for the 
unfunded portion.
2. Project Evaluation Factors
    Projects that meet the minimum requirements will be evaluated based 
on the factors listed below:
Hazard Mitigation Cost Effectiveness
    For each project, applicants are required to submit information, 
both quantitative and qualitative, that FTA will use to evaluate the 
cost-effectiveness of the proposed project in reducing an asset's and 
the public transportation system's vulnerabilities to future disasters. 
Consistent with OMB Circular A-94 and Executive Order 12893, selection 
of projects for funding will be based in part on a systematic analysis 
of benefits and costs. This analysis will incorporate methodologies 
developed by FEMA for its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. When 
determining the cost and benefit, FTA will evaluate both quantitative 
measures such as the probability of occurrence of future disasters, the 
potential cost to repair, the historic or projected cost of emergency 
response and temporary service, the number of transit passengers 
affected if the asset were damaged, potential or observed travel time 
delays, and other quantitative factors required by the Hazard 
Mitigation Cost Effectiveness (HMCE) process or identified by the 
applicant; as well as qualitative information, for example the regional 
importance of a subway line to overall system performance. Recipients 
are encouraged to submit narrative explanations and supporting 
documentation accompanying the quantitative and qualitative information 
provided.
    Consistent with FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Benefit Cost Analysis 
approach, analyses of benefits and costs (or cost-effectiveness) must 
distinguish clearly between a baseline case--what is likely to occur if 
the proposed project is not built--and the ``project'' or ``build'' 
case--what is likely to occur if the project is built. The analysis 
should assess the likelihood of future disasters of various severities, 
the likely costs (in both the baseline and build cases) of loss of 
public transportation service and other costs while the damage is being 
repaired, and the costs (in both the baseline and build cases) of 
repairing the damage. This information is especially important in order 
to explain the basis of the estimates of losses in the two cases and in 
order to compare clearly the estimated losses from potential future 
events both with and without the proposed resilience project.
    Quantitative information that applicants must submit in order to 
conduct the analysis described above include the estimated damage and 
losses from specifically identified hazards (e.g. the cost to repair), 
the probabilities of these hazards occurring at certain magnitudes 
(e.g. 100-year recurrence) both now and throughout the effective 
lifetime of the project, and the reduction in the anticipated losses 
after such an event as a result of the proposed project. FTA will 
review and evaluate the explanations and justifications provided by the 
applicants, as well as the source of the information.
    For all projects, applicants must provide the following information 
including relevant source documents:
     The public transportation asset(s) to be protected by the 
proposed resilience project;
     The useful life of the investment; and the current 
remaining or projected useful life of the asset(s) to be protected;
     A list of hazards likely to impact the asset(s), including 
the frequency or probability of the primary identified hazard to be 
addressed by the project and any secondary hazards occurring at various 
levels of severity, both now and throughout the expected project life;
     The estimated cost to repair the asset if any of these 
primary identified hazard events occur. Estimated repair costs for 
historic damage events must be supported by damage assessments, 
itemized statements of force account

[[Page 78491]]

labor and materials, contractor invoices, insurance claims, and/or 
similar documentation. Estimated repair costs for expected damage 
events must be supported by engineering reports, transit studies 
supported by engineering analysis, and/or similar documentation;
     If a loss of an asset is likely to occur as a result of a 
primary identified hazard, the anticipated societal impacts of loss of 
the asset (e.g. a narrative description of the significance of the 
asset to the operations of the system and the impacts of lost service 
to riders and the community);
     The anticipated reduction in expected losses from a 
primary identified hazard as a result of the proposed resilience 
project;
     The total cost of the resilience project, including the 
additional annualized marginal operating and maintenance costs over the 
life of the proposed project.
    Resilience projects that protect the system as a whole, such as a 
project to provide a back-up power supply, do not need to include 
information for a specific asset to be protected, and will be evaluated 
instead based on the proposed benefits of the project to the system as 
a whole. FTA will provide technical assistance for determining the 
probability of those hazards occurring for which resilience funding is 
being sought, and will provide guidance on the calculation of project 
benefits.
    Data required for the Hazard Mitigation Cost Effectiveness 
evaluation can be derived from various sources, which may include the 
comprehensive risk data collected as part of the Rebuild by Design 
(RBD) Initiative. Project sponsors are encouraged to consider that 
initiative as appropriate to their project.
    Applicants may also submit additional supporting information or 
analyses. While FTA will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each 
project based on the information described above, including both 
quantitative and qualitative factors, additional information may be 
considered on a case-by-case basis, such as if an applicant believes 
that the information requested above does not adequately measure the 
proposed benefits of a project.
    FTA will provide training to applicants in January 2014 (specific 
dates, times, and locations will be posted to FTA's Web site) on how to 
compile and submit the information required to complete a benefit cost 
analysis. This training must be completed in order to submit a complete 
application. Applicants will have no less than 60 days from the 
required training to submit an application. All applications must be 
submitted no later than Friday, March 28, 2014.
Project Implementation Strategy
    For each project, applicants must provide a proposed timeline for 
project implementation. This timeline must include proposed dates for 
key milestones, including but not limited to NEPA compliance, project 
engineering and design, construction, and project completion. The 
project implementation strategy must identify any critical dependencies 
that may affect the timeline or strategy for accomplishing the project 
(e.g. availability of matching funds, site construction approvals, or 
any major unresolved design or engineering considerations). The project 
implementation strategy must also identify any potential for 
variability in project costs, propose an appropriate contingency as 
part of the funding request, and identify the availability of funds for 
these contingencies. Projects will be evaluated based on the 
completeness of this timeline, and on the readiness of the project to 
proceed consistent with the proposed timeline if funds are allocated 
for the project.
Protection of Most Essential and Vulnerable Infrastructure
    FTA will prioritize resilience projects that strengthen the 
protection of a public transportation system's assets that are most 
immediately vulnerable to future damage from hazards associated with 
severe storms. Applicants should identify those projects that are key 
to ensuring continued public transportation service. For example, 
applicants may demonstrate the importance of a transit asset by 
documenting the ridership that would be affected by projected damage to 
or loss of the asset or by quantifying the projected loss of fare 
revenue as a result of damage to or loss of the asset.
    This evaluation factor includes both the likelihood that an asset 
will be damaged as well as the importance of the asset to the 
operations of the system. Particular attention will be paid to data and 
information that illustrates how the protection of an existing asset--
either individually or working synergistically with other proposed 
asset improvements--serves to protect functionality of the public 
transportation system as a whole from damage of future storm events, 
compared to discrete localized impacts. Projects will be evaluated 
based on the vulnerability of the asset to be protected, the 
criticality of the asset to existing public transportation service, and 
on the process or methodology used to prioritize assets for resilience 
improvements.
Local and Regional Planning Collaboration and Coordination
    Applicants must provide documentation to show that proposed 
projects are the result of local or regional planning efforts. To 
demonstrate regional collaboration, applicants should coordinate, as 
appropriate, with one or more of the following: Hurricane Sandy 
recovery plans, including those developed for the use of CDBG-DR funds, 
local governments, other transportation operators, relevant 
metropolitan planning organizations, the general public, including 
representatives of vulnerable communities, and other affected 
stakeholders. Ideally, such plans should reinforce and support a 
project sponsor's consideration of, and priority assigned to, the 
protection of the existing infrastructure--for example, the 
incorporation of resilience improvements with transit asset management 
strategies addressing rehabilitation and replacement of assets. FTA 
recognizes that many of the resilience projects are being planned in 
direct response to actual damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy, so 
they may not be in an area's long range transportation plans, or an 
agency's current capital improvement program. However, FTA expects 
proposals to describe the local and regional collaboration and 
coordination efforts that have been undertaken to plan for the 
resilience project by the time of project application. For those 
applicants whose proposed projects are located in states where the 
Rebuild by Design competition initiative has been conducted, 
consideration of data analyses conducted as part of that competition is 
encouraged, particularly any assessments that address regional 
infrastructure interdependencies. Such information may be site specific 
and therefore targeted to particular portions of the region affected by 
Hurricane Sandy; further information can be found at http://www.rebuildbydesign.org.
    FTA is also interested in projects that have a potentially 
significant impact on the region's public transportation ridership; for 
instance those projects whose physical or functional boundaries cross 
jurisdictional lines, and are critical to the connected travel of 
public transportation customers in the region. Scope and connectivity 
must be demonstrated as the number of daily riders affected by the 
proposed improvements, or by the extent of the affected service area, 
including connecting service to or within other

[[Page 78492]]

jurisdictions or public transportation systems.
    In addition to local and regional plans that recognize the need for 
investments in such projects, resilience proposals that geographically 
span multiple jurisdictions or that require implementation actions, 
including financial contributions, from multiple parties should provide 
appropriate documentation from all affected parties demonstrating 
support for the project, its priority relative to other needs, and 
concurrence to provide supporting actions necessary to implement the 
proposed project.
    Projects will be evaluated both on (i) the extent of local and 
regional planning, collaboration and coordination with local, state, 
and other Federal agencies that has influenced the identification and 
prioritization of the project, and (ii) on the connectivity of the 
project with other public transportation systems in the region, as 
evidenced by both planning efforts and the potential impact of the 
project on public transportation ridership in the region.
Interdependency of the Public Transportation Resilience Project
    Applications should discuss the interdependencies of the proposed 
public transportation project's resilience with other supporting 
infrastructure elements (e.g. flood management projects, power station 
improvements, etc.). This should include analysis on how a project will 
not shift risk to other infrastructure elements. FTA will take into 
account any coordinated efforts with other local or regional 
infrastructure resilience plans or infrastructure investment 
priorities.
Local Financial Commitment
    FTA will evaluate applications in part on the viability and 
completeness of the project's financing proposal (assuming the 
availability of the requested resilience discretionary grant funds), 
including evidence of stable and reliable capital and (as appropriate) 
operating fund commitments and specific sources of funds sufficient to 
cover estimated costs; the availability of contingency reserves should 
planned capital or operating revenue sources not materialize; evidence 
of the financial condition of the project sponsor; and evidence of the 
grant recipient's ability to manage grants. Applicants must include a 
detailed project budget in their application, including a detailed 
breakdown of how the funds will be spent on each activity. If the 
project will be completed in individual segments or phases, a budget 
for each individual segment or phase must be included. Budget spending 
categories must be broken down between FTA discretionary resilience 
funding and other federal and non-federal sources, and applicants must 
identify how each funding source will be applied to the project. 
Additionally, applicants must identify any other sources of Federal 
funding included in the proposed project.
Technical Capacity
    FTA will evaluate applications in part on the applicant's 
demonstrated technical capacity to undertake the proposed project, 
which may include the applicant's experience undertaking projects of a 
similar scale or scope in the past.
Other Factors
    FTA may consider geographic diversity in the selection of projects. 
FTA may also consider diversity among project types, including the type 
of public transportation service protected by the resilience project 
(e.g. bus, rail, ferry). Applications must clearly identify the 
location of the project and the types of public transportation services 
affected by the project.

III. Application and Submission Information for this Notice

A. Proposal Content

    FTA will evaluate applications based on the information requested 
above. FTA encourages applicants to demonstrate the responsiveness of 
their application with the most relevant information the applicant can 
provide, regardless of whether FTA has specifically requested such 
information in this notice.
    Applicants may submit one application which can include multiple 
projects. For each project, the applicant must submit all of the 
information necessary to evaluate the project, as described in Section 
II of this notice. FTA will provide training to potential applicants 
within 30 days of the publication of this notice on how to compile and 
submit this information. Each project proposal must include all 
required attachments.
    Information such as the applicant name, Federal amount requested, 
non-Federal match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be 
requested in varying degrees of detail on both the SF 424 form and 
supplemental form. All fields are required unless stated otherwise on 
the forms. Use both the ``Check Package for Errors'' and the ``Validate 
Form'' validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields on 
the forms. Ensure that the Federal and non-Federal amounts specified 
are consistent.

B. Application Submission Instructions

    Applications must be submitted electronically through http://www.GRANTS.GOV by Friday, March 28, 2014, by 11:59 p.m. EST. Mail and 
fax submissions will not be accepted.
    A complete proposal submission will consist of at least two files: 
(1) The SF 424 Mandatory form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) and (2) the 
Hurricane Sandy-specific supplemental form found on the FTA Web site: 
http://www.fta.dot.gov/emergencyrelief. The supplemental form provides 
guidance and a consistent format for applicants to respond to the 
information required as outlined in this notice. Once completed, the 
supplemental form must be placed in the attachments section of the SF 
424 Mandatory form.
    Applicants must attach the Hurricane Sandy-specific supplemental 
form to their submission in GRANTS.GOV to successfully complete the 
application process. A proposal submission may contain additional 
supporting documentation as attachments. Within 24-48 hours after 
submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive 
three email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) Confirmation of successful 
transmission to GRANTS.GOV, (2) confirmation of successful validation 
by GRANTS.GOV and (3) confirmation of successful validation by FTA. If 
an applicant does not receive confirmations of successful validation 
and receives a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials, the 
applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as 
described in the notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. 
If making a resubmission for any reason, include all original 
attachments regardless of which attachments were updated. Complete 
instructions on the application process can be found on FTA's Web site 
at http://www.fta.dot.gov/emergencyrelief. FTA urges applicants to 
submit their applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to 
allow time to receive the validation message and to correct any 
problems that may have caused a rejection notification. GRANTS.GOV 
scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV 
Web site http://www.GRANTS.GOV. Deadlines will not be extended due to 
scheduled maintenance or outages.

IV. Award Administration

    Once FTA allocates Emergency Relief funds to a recipient, the 
recipient will

[[Page 78493]]

be required to submit a grant application electronically via FTA's 
Transportation Electronic Award Management system (TEAM). Recipients 
should work with their FTA Regional Office to develop and submit their 
application in TEAM so that funds can be obligated expeditiously. Grant 
applications in TEAM may only include eligible activities under the 
Emergency Relief program. Upon award, payments to recipients will be 
made by electronic transfer to the recipient's financial institution 
through FTA's Electronic Clearing House Operation (ECHO) system. 
Successful intercity rail projects may be transferred to the FRA for 
administration and oversight.

A. Pre-award Authority

    Pre-award authority allows affected FTA recipients to incur certain 
project costs before grant approval and retain the eligibility of those 
costs for subsequent reimbursement after grant approval. FTA has 
provided blanket pre-award authority for environmental work (to comply 
with NEPA) and design costs for resilience projects seeking funding 
under this NOFA, permitting them to be eligible for reimbursement OR 
count towards the local match if the competitive resilience project is 
selected. Applicants may not use other FTA Disaster Relief allocations 
for these expenses.
    Pre-award authority is not a legal or implied commitment that the 
subject project will be approved for FTA assistance or that FTA will 
obligate Federal funds. Furthermore, it is not a legal or implied 
commitment that all items undertaken by the applicant will be eligible 
for inclusion in the project.
    The conditions under which pre-award authority may be used are 
specified below:
    (i) All FTA statutory, procedural, and contractual requirements 
must be met.
    (ii) The recipient must take no action that prejudices the legal 
and administrative findings that the Federal Transit Administrator must 
make in order to approve a project.
    (iii) When a grant for the project is subsequently awarded, the 
Financial Status Report in TEAM-Web must indicate the use of pre-award 
authority.
    In addition to the pre-award authority described above, affected 
recipients are permitted to submit grant amendments for existing 
section 5307 and 5311 grants in order to use available unexpended 
balances for eligible disaster-related project costs. Use of formula 
funds for these purposes is at the discretion of the affected 
recipient. Section 5307 and 5311 funds may not be used as local match 
for awards under the Section 5324 Public Transportation Emergency 
Relief Program. Section 5324 funds may not be used to replenish formula 
funds spent in response to an emergency.

B. Grant Requirements

    Emergency Relief funds may only be used for eligible purposes as 
defined under 49 U.S.C. 5324 and as described in the Emergency Relief 
Program Rule (49 CFR part 602).
    Recipients of section 5324 funds must comply with all applicable 
Federal requirements, including FTA's Master Agreement. Each grant for 
section 5324 funds will include special grant conditions, including but 
not limited to specific requirements of the Disaster Relief 
Appropriations Act of 2013, Federal share, and enhanced oversight.
    Proposals that receive competitive funding allocations must provide 
evidence of continued progress toward key project milestones, which 
will be determined cooperatively by FTA and the awardee within six 
months of the announcement of allocations. Projects that cease to make 
progress towards these milestones within a reasonable timeframe may 
have their funding allocations deobligated or rescinded.
    Recipients are advised that FTA is implementing an enhanced 
oversight process for Disaster Relief Appropriation Act funds awarded 
under the Emergency Relief Program. FTA intends to undertake a risk 
analysis of each recipient and grant to determine the appropriate level 
of oversight.
    Successful intercity passenger rail projects may be transferred to 
the FRA for administration and oversight, and will be subject to FRA 
program requirements.

C. Reporting Requirements

    Post-award reporting requirements include submission of the Federal 
Financial Report and Milestone Progress Reports in FTA's electronic 
grant management system consistent with FTA's grants management 
Circular 5010.1D, as well as any other reporting requirements FTA 
determines are necessary.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 19th day of December 2013.
Peter Rogoff,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-30867 Filed 12-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P