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Bill Could Reform FEMA for Sandy Victims

By Nicholas Rizzi | September 10, 2015 3:48pm
 Rep. Dan Donovan introduced his first bill aimed at reforming aspects of FEMA for residents dealing with them after storms.
Rep. Dan Donovan introduced his first bill aimed at reforming aspects of FEMA for residents dealing with them after storms.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND — Rep. Dan Donovan introduced his first bill in Congress on Wednesday in an effort to fix problems with FEMA that homeowners encountered after Hurricane Sandy.

The bill, called Flood Insurance Mitigation and Policyholder Protection Act, targets three aspects of FEMA: false engineering claims made after Sandy, appeals to flood insurance decisions and a deadline for the agency to issue its report on flood-mitigation options for homes.

"I’ve met too many homeowners trying in vain to navigate a flawed bureaucracy. Piece by piece, we can work to lessen the burden for those still going through this nightmare and to apply lessons learned to future disasters," Donovan said in a statement.

"There are countless other problems plaguing FEMA and it will take time to untangle them," he added.

The first part of the bill would require engineering reports of the damage to homes to pass through multiple reviewers before the final approval or rejection. Following Sandy, it was reported fraudulent claims that minimized damaged were submitted, Donovan said.

The other sections would increase the amount of time given to file a lawsuit with FEMA to appeal flood insurance claim decisions and give the agency 60 days to produce a report on flood-mitigation options for homes aside from elevation, Donovan said.

The bill's next stop will be the House Committee on Financial Services, Donovan said.