WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) and Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06) announced Thursday the introduction of H.R. 7178, the Championing Local Efforts to Advance Resilience (CLEAR) Act in the United States House of Representatives. The CLEAR Act authorizes a new grant program to empower states and tribes to create and maintain resilience offices and implement plans to address other risks and vulnerabilities.
Text of the legislation is available here.
“Residents of Southeastern North Carolina know too well the devastating impacts that natural disasters can inflict on a community,” said Rep. Rouzer. “That’s why it’s essential to have infrastructure and programs in place to proactively identify risks and vulnerabilities to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters when they inevitably occur. I’m pleased to join my colleague, Congressman Jason Crow, to introduce legislation that will support proactive resilience against powerful storms and enable stronger recoveries for all of our disaster-affected citizens and communities.”
“A lot of people talk about the climate crisis like it’s something happening in the future – but what we know in Colorado is that it’s happening now. As we navigate floods, fires, drought, and poor air quality, we are already dealing with the impacts of climate change. The CLEAR Act will provide resources and funding for states around the country to make communities more resilient,” said Rep. Crow. “This is not only something we have to do for the health and safety of our families, but it’s an economic imperative – we are spending tens of billions of dollars across America to combat the effects of the climate crisis. I’m proud to have introduced this bill on a bipartisan basis with my friend Rep. David Rouzer to make sure we’re being proactive, spending money in a smart way, and saving money on the back-end.”
“North Carolina helped lead the way by establishing a state chief resilience officer and support staff that were among the first in the nation,” said Director Laura Hogshead of the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “We are happy to work with Rep. Rouzer to share that model and support other states as they work to build community resilience.”
In the wake of Hurricane Florence, Governor Roy Cooper established the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR). The office partners with local communities and stakeholders to streamline disaster recovery and mitigation to help communities rebuild smarter and stronger. Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly extreme weather events underscore the importance of proactive community resilience. Resilient communities have infrastructure in place to prepare for and respond to disruptions, and mitigate impacts on working families. By proactively integrating resilience into policies, planning, and programs, we can position communities to better prevent, respond to, and withstand these events.
The CLEAR Act authorizes $200 million each year for six years to make 2-year grants to states and Tribes for the purposes of maintaining and operating resilience offices.
In order to be eligible, the state or Tribe must develop a resiliency framework, to be updated every five years, to identify the current and projected risks and vulnerabilities in the following areas: environment, natural hazards, economy, infrastructure, housing, and health and social services.
Grant funding can be used for:
•Establishing or maintaining a resiliency office
•Implementing resilience programming
•Developing resilience planning and analytic tools
•Providing technical assistance to local governments or state and Tribal agencies. Funds can also be subgranted to local governments.