Van Hollen Secures Provisions to Help Flooding in Ellicott City, Western Maryland in Transportation Funding Bill
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen announced the inclusion of several provisions to help communities devastated by flooding, including Ellicott City and those in Western Maryland, in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill. As Senator Van Hollen noted during the Committee markup, he is actively working to secure a Federal disaster declaration for Ellicott City that will give the City access to additional mitigation and recovery funds.
“Providing communities in Maryland with the resources they need to recover from flooding – and combat future flooding – is crucial to the infrastructure and economy of our state,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I’ve seen the damage done in Ellicott City firsthand, and I know that it will require federal, state, and local efforts to rebuild. This is an important first step as we work on separate emergency funding. I’m fighting every day to make sure Maryland has the resources it needs to strengthen our infrastructure.”
Within this legislation, Senator Van Hollen secured:
· A provision to encourage the research, demonstration, and deployment of permeable pavement to achieve flood mitigation, pollutant reduction, stormwater runoff reduction and environmental conservation in areas that have been hard hit by flooding. Permeable pavement has been cited as a possible solution to flooding concerns in Ellicott City. This provision will encourage the Department of Transportation to test and refine this technology in the places that need it most and will provide important insight on how to we can use permeable pavement to address flooding and stormwater.
· A provision that directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to stand up the Office of Disaster and Emergency Management, which will help coordinate recovery and preparedness efforts to implement sustainable and resilient housing solutions for disaster-affected areas. The Office was established as part of the National Disaster Recovery Framework, but has not been fully operationalized.
· A provision that directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to make sure that Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery grants are disbursed in a timely manner and spent in accordance with federal procurement standards to make sure that every dollar is spent responsibly. While Maryland continues to prepare its application for a federal disaster declaration, Howard County may ultimately qualify for CDBG Disaster Recovery funds.
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