Today, the House and Senate passed resolutions urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reverse its decision regarding the eligibility requirements that must be met by Iowa’s rural electronic cooperatives (RECs) and municipal utilities. These new requirements set by FEMA are unachievable by Iowa’s utilities and would require new testing that has never been required before.
In 2009, FEMA allowed Municipal Utilities to receive storm recovery funding. Soon FEMA retracted their recovery funds and created new unachievable standards, many RECs and municipal utilities are at risk of not being able to recover costs incurred by natural disasters, which caused millions of dollars in damage to electrical lines in Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux Counties
The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management have filed an appeal with FEMA at the end of December regarding the change in policy which denied recovery funds for an April 9, 2013. As a result of the extensive damage caused by this storm, a Presidential Disaster Declaration was issued on May 6, 2013.