Puerto Ricans are constantly faced with events of meteorological nature at catastrophic levels which are related to climate change, weather-induced coastal erosion, and rising sea levels. In addition, the Island is prone to coastal flooding, earthquakes, and tremors caused by the shifting of tectonic plaques. Therefore, once HUD approved mitigation grant funding for Puerto Rico, PRDOH considered it necessary to create a program based on the understanding that regional risks and the impact of natural disasters are integrated due to the existing connection between critical lifeline infrastructures. A program was designed to select projects capable of fulfilling the greatest number of mitigation needs and serving as many people as possible at the most efficient cost.
The purpose of the Infrastructure Mitigation Program is to empower applicants and/or entities to identify risks and develop solutions to mitigate risk to infrastructure assets through innovative and self-sustaining solutions. Infrastructure mitigation projects must support the stability in one (1) or more of the seven (7) FEMA community lifelines to create a resilient infrastructure system for Puerto Rico. The critical service areas, or lifelines, include Safety and Security; Communications; Food, Water, and Sheltering; Transportation; Health and Medical; Hazardous Material Management; and Energy (power & fuel).
Applicants must demonstrate that CDBG-MIT activities:
Meet the definition of mitigation activities
Address the current and future risks as identified in the grantee's Mitigation Needs Assessment in the most impacted and distressed areas
Are CDBG-elegible activi9ties under title I of the HCDA or otherwise elegible pursuant to a waiver or alternative requirement
Meet a national objective, including additional criteria for mitigation activities and Covered Projects
The ultimate goal of the Program is to mitigate the most risk for the greatest amount of people in a strategic and cost-effective manner. This will be achieved by implementing transformative mitigation projects that not only address facility hardening or retrofits, but more importantly address the reduction of multiple threats to lifeline infrastructure, services, and citizens by mitigating the localized conditions that cause wide-scale destruction. The Program intends to fund projects such as:
- Strengthening the resilience of corridors within the transportation lifeline in the areas of roadways, aviation, maritime, and mass transit.
- Implementing building improvements and incorporate alternative energy technology and equipment, where appropriate, into facilities improved by mitigation dollars.
- Improving the resilience of publicly owned communications lifeline infrastructure, especially communications assets that are needed to facilitate critical response activities.
- Strengthening, modernizing, replacing, or building water/wastewater infrastructure to withstand high-risk hazardous activity that poses a threat to asset stability in a disaster event.
- Improving, expanding, or constructing healthcare and medical facilities to fortify and innovate buildings and permanent equipment.
- Improving or fortifying solid waste management infrastructure to reduce the risk of health threats associated with landfill overfill and instances of clandestine dump sites that only increase with every hazardous event.
- Improving or fortifying safety and security through flood control or lifeline infrastructure that supports law enforcement/security, fire service, search and rescue, additional community safety, etc.
The most relevant projects will be those that leverage regional solutions and partnerships, provide the more significant risk reduction benefit to critical lifelines, and benefits the most crucial number of Puerto Rico’s citizens. Smaller-scale projects that mitigate the greatest risk for specific neighborhoods, municipalities, or regions shall be considered if they are an established priority project, supported by a sound feasibility analysis and justification.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved a total of $4,566,451,166.00 for the Infrastructure Mitigation Program, distributed as follows:
Infrastructure Mitigation Program
|Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Match Set Aside||$1,000,000,000.00|
|Healthcare Facilities Set Aside||$1,000,000,000.00|
*The budget includes costs related to administration, management, project implementation and contingency.