The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established May 11 as the end of the incident period for all COVID-19 emergency and major disaster declarations, as well as the emergency work completion date for FEMA Public Assistance projects related to COVID-19, according to FTA’s Nuria Fernandez.
“Because the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Emergency Relief Program relies on emergency and disaster declarations to extend certain flexibilities to public transportation providers during an emergency, the ability to permit Urbanized Area Formula Funding and Rural Area Formula Funding to be used for capital activities directly attributable to responding to COVID-19 at 100% Federal share will also end on May 11,” Fernandez wrote.
The ability to use the funds for operating activities that addressed COVID-19 at 100% Federal share expired after January 20, 2022. No new Section 5307 or Section 5311 grants may be made under the authorities of the Emergency Relief Program, according to Fernandez.
Impact of the Change
This change does not impact any obligated or unobligated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, or American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funding agencies may have received
It also does not impact the usage of any other existing formula funding that agencies may have, including the ability to obligate Section 5307 and 5311 grants for capital expenses related to COVID-19 at an 80% Federal share under normal program requirements.
“The end of the COVID-19 disaster declarations is a major milestone for our country and our industry,” Fernandez wrote. “I would like to personally thank each of you for your unwavering commitment to your riders and your communities throughout the pandemic. Public transportation demonstrated its resilience in the face of unprecedented obstacles, and you continued to provide service to those in need.”