FEMA Disaster Recovery Assistance & Environmental Compliance Relief

Unanticipated and severe storm events wreak havoc, destroying homes and businesses, triggering extensive power outages, and causing substantial loss and business interruption. Lewis Brisbois stands ready to advise clients as they recover from these unfortunate, catastrophic natural disasters. Our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients obtain disaster recovery assistance and address disaster-related environmental permit compliance issues.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Assistance

After major disasters, communities need help to cover their costs for damage to private property, debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and the restoration of public infrastructure. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides disaster recovery assistance to eligible individuals and families, governments, and private non-profit entities. However, the process for recovering costs is complicated and too often results in FEMA’s denying applicants’ claims, leaving individuals, local governments, and non-profits, to bear the full cost of recovery.

Lewis Brisbois attorneys understand the FEMA process, having assisted clients with filing the initial application and worksheets, as well as challenging denials through the administrative appeals process and in federal court. Our attorneys also have the rare experience of representing clients in arbitrations with FEMA, an option that Congress provided only since 2018.

Environmental Compliance Relief

In addition to assisting clients with obtaining disaster cost recovery through the FEMA process, Lewis Brisbois attorneys are well-positioned to counsel clients that face environmental permit compliance issues arising from natural disasters such as hurricanes and severe storm events. These clients include entities that maintain coastline operations, such as refineries, manufacturing facilities, and utilities, which often experience operational interruptions due to storms and other events.

Federal environmental statutes and their state counterparts include emergency powers intended to allow for waiver of regulatory requirements or exercise of enforcement discretion following natural disasters. Lewis Brisbois’ Environmental and Administrative Law attorneys are experienced in the full range of applicable environmental laws, and regularly advocate on behalf of clients pursuant to the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.