6 U.S. Code § 579. Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program

(a) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program to make grants to States to carry out initiatives to improve local, tribal, statewide, regional, national and, where appropriate, international interoperable emergency communications, including communications in collective response to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

(b) PolicyThe Assistant Director for Emergency Communications shall ensure that a grant awarded to a State under this section is consistent with the policies established pursuant to the responsibilities and authorities of the Emergency Communications Division under this subchapter, including ensuring that activities funded by the grant—
(1)
comply with the statewide plan for that State required by section 194(f) of this title; and
(2)
comply with the National Emergency Communications Plan under section 572 of this title, when completed.
(c) Administration
(1) In general

The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall administer the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program pursuant to the responsibilities and authorities of the Administrator under subchapter V.

(2) Guidance

In administering the grant program, the Administrator shall ensure that the use of grants is consistent with guidance established by the Assistant Director for Emergency Communications pursuant to section 194(a)(1)(H) of this title.

(d) Use of funds

A State that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant to implement that State’s Statewide Interoperability Plan required under section 194(f) of this title and approved under subsection (e), and to assist with activities determined by the Secretary to be integral to interoperable emergency communications.

(e) Approval of plans
(1) Approval as condition of grant

Before a State may receive a grant under this section, the Assistant Director for Emergency Communications shall approve the State’s Statewide Interoperable Communications Plan required under section 194(f) of this title.

(2) Plan requirementsIn approving a plan under this subsection, the Assistant Director for Emergency Communications shall ensure that the plan
(A)
is designed to improve interoperability at the city, county, regional, State and interstate level;
(B)
considers any applicable local or regional plan; and
(C)
complies, to the maximum extent practicable, with the National Emergency Communications Plan under section 572 of this title.
(3) Approval of revisions

The Assistant Director for Emergency Communications may approve revisions to a State’s plan if the Assistant Director determines that doing so is likely to further interoperability.

(f) Limitations on uses of funds
(1) In generalThe recipient of a grant under this section may not use the grant—
(A)
to supplant State or local funds;
(B)
for any State or local government cost-sharing contribution; or
(C)
for recreational or social purposes.
(2) Penalties

In addition to other remedies currently available, the Secretary may take such actions as necessary to ensure that recipients of grant funds are using the funds for the purpose for which they were intended.

(g) Limitations on award of grants
(1) National emergency communications plan required

The Secretary may not award a grant under this section before the date on which the Secretary completes and submits to Congress the National Emergency Communications Plan required under section 572 of this title.

(2) Voluntary consensus standards

The Secretary may not award a grant to a State under this section for the purchase of equipment that does not meet applicable voluntary consensus standards, unless the State demonstrates that there are compelling reasons for such purchase.

(h) Award of grantsIn approving applications and awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall consider—
(1) the risk posed to each State by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other manmade disasters, including—
(A)
the likely need of a jurisdiction within the State to respond to such risk in nearby jurisdictions;
(B)
the degree of threat, vulnerability, and consequences related to critical infrastructure (from all critical infrastructure sectors) or key resources identified by the Administrator or the State homeland security and emergency management plans, including threats to, vulnerabilities of, and consequences from damage to critical infrastructure and key resources in nearby jurisdictions;
(C)
the size of the population and density of the population of the State, including appropriate consideration of military, tourist, and commuter populations;
(D)
whether the State is on or near an international border;
(E)
whether the State encompasses an economically significant border crossing; and
(F)
whether the State has a coastline bordering an ocean, a major waterway used for interstate commerce, or international waters; and
(2)
the anticipated effectiveness of the State’s proposed use of grant funds to improve interoperability.
(i) Opportunity to amend applications

In considering applications for grants under this section, the Administrator shall provide applicants with a reasonable opportunity to correct defects in the application, if any, before making final awards.

(j) Minimum grant amounts
(1) StatesIn awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that for each fiscal year, except as provided in paragraph (2), no State receives a grant in an amount that is less than the following percentage of the total amount appropriated for grants under this section for that fiscal year:
(A)
For fiscal year 2008, 0.50 percent.
(B)
For fiscal year 2009, 0.50 percent.
(C)
For fiscal year 2010, 0.45 percent.
(D)
For fiscal year 2011, 0.40 percent.
(E)
For fiscal year 2012 and each subsequent fiscal year, 0.35 percent.
(2) Territories and possessions

In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that for each fiscal year, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Virgin Islands each receive grants in amounts that are not less than 0.08 percent of the total amount appropriated for grants under this section for that fiscal year.

(k) Certification

Each State that receives a grant under this section shall certify that the grant is used for the purpose for which the funds were intended and in compliance with the State’s approved Statewide Interoperable Communications Plan.

(l) State responsibilities
(1) Availability of funds to local and tribal governmentsNot later than 45 days after receiving grant funds, any State that receives a grant under this section shall obligate or otherwise make available to local and tribal governments
(A)
not less than 80 percent of the grant funds;
(B)
with the consent of local and tribal governments, eligible expenditures having a value of not less than 80 percent of the amount of the grant; or
(C)
grant funds combined with other eligible expenditures having a total value of not less than 80 percent of the amount of the grant.
(2) Allocation of funds

A State that receives a grant under this section shall allocate grant funds to tribal governments in the State to assist tribal communities in improving interoperable communications, in a manner consistent with the Statewide Interoperable Communications Plan. A State may not impose unreasonable or unduly burdensome requirements on a tribal government as a condition of providing grant funds or resources to the tribal government.

(3) Penalties

If a State violates the requirements of this subsection, in addition to other remedies available to the Secretary, the Secretary may terminate or reduce the amount of the grant awarded to that State or transfer grant funds previously awarded to the State directly to the appropriate local or tribal government.

(m) Reports
(1) Annual reports by State grant recipients

A State that receives a grant under this section shall annually submit to the Assistant Director for Emergency Communications a report on the progress of the State in implementing that State’s Statewide Interoperable Communications Plans required under section 194(f) of this title and achieving interoperability at the city, county, regional, State, and interstate levels. The Assistant Director shall make the reports publicly available, including by making them available on the Internet website of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, subject to any redactions that the Assistant Director determines are necessary to protect classified or other sensitive information.

(2) Annual reports to Congress

At least once each year, the Assistant Director for Emergency Communications shall submit to Congress a report on the use of grants awarded under this section and any progress in implementing Statewide Interoperable Communications Plans and improving interoperability at the city, county, regional, State, and interstate level, as a result of the award of such grants.

(n) Rule of construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted to preclude a State from using a grant awarded under this section for interim or long-term Internet Protocol-based interoperable solutions.

(o) Authorization of appropriationsThere are authorized to be appropriated for grants under this section—
(1)
for fiscal year 2008, such sums as may be necessary;
(2)
for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2012, $400,000,000; and
(3)
for each subsequent fiscal year, such sums as may be necessary.
Amendments

2018—Pub. L. 115–278, § 2(g)(6)(C)(i), substituted “Assistant Director for Emergency Communications” for “Director of Emergency Communications” wherever appearing.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 115–278, § 2(g)(6)(C)(ii), substituted “Assistant Director for Emergency Communications” for “Director for Emergency Communications” and “Emergency Communications Division” for “Office of Emergency Communications” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 115–278, § 2(g)(6)(C)(iii), substituted “the Assistant Director” for “the Director”.

Subsec. (m)(1). Pub. L. 115–278, § 2(g)(6)(C)(iv), substituted “The Assistant Director” for “the Director”, “Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency” for “Office of Emergency Communications”, and “the Assistant Director determines” for “the Director determines”.