[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 95 (Wednesday, May 16, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28786-28788]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11669]



44 CFR Part 206

[Docket ID FEMA-2010-0064]
RIN 1660-AA23

Disaster Assistance; Crisis Counseling Regular Program; Amendment 
to Regulation

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: Under the authority of Section 416 of the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended, the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides grants for crisis 
counseling and treatment assistance to individuals after a 
Presidentially-declared major disaster. This rule finalizes, without 
change, current interim regulations which establish the requirements 
and procedures for FEMA's Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training 

DATES: This rule is effective June 15, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Randall Kinder, Individual Assistance 
Division, Recovery Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, 
Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 
20472-3100, 202-212-1000; (email) [email protected].


I. Background

    The Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) is 
funded by FEMA under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), 42 U.S.C. 5121-
5207. The Stafford Act was designed to supplement the efforts and 
available resources of State, Tribal and local governments in 
alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused by a 
Presidentially-declared disaster. Specifically, section 416 of the 
Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5183) authorizes FEMA to provide supplemental 
funding for short-term mental health assistance and training activities 
for eligible victims of a Presidentially-declared major disaster.
    Three entities are eligible to apply for and receive CCP funding: 
States, U.S. Territories, and Federally-recognized Indian Tribes. There 
are two separate grant programs that can be funded: The Immediate 
Services Program (ISP), which provides eligible costs for up to 60 days 
after the date of the disaster declaration; and the Regular Services 
Program (RSP) which provides 9 months of crisis counseling, community 
outreach and consultation and education services. FEMA may extend the 
period of the RSP beyond 9 months in limited circumstances for major 
disasters with catastrophic impact.
    On March 21, 1989, FEMA published an interim rule (54 FR 11610) 
which reorganized its crisis counseling regulations for the reader's 
convenience, and made three substantive changes to the program. The 
first of those changes established a 60-day period for the State to 
appeal FEMA's decision regarding reconsiderations and termination of 
assistance for both the ISP and RSP portions of the crisis counseling 
program. Second, the rule clarified that an application for the ISP 
must be submitted within 14 days of the declaration date. Finally, the 
rule allowed documented eligible expenses to be reimbursable from the 
incident date, rather than the declaration date, as specified in 
section 424 of the Stafford Act.
    On March 3, 2003, FEMA published another interim rule (68 FR 9899) 
which amended the 1989 interim rule to allow FEMA greater flexibility 
to extend the program period for the RSP. Prior to the 2003 interim 
rule, the program period for the RSP was 9 months, and could be 
extended by FEMA for an additional 90 days. Under the 2003 interim 
rule, FEMA may extend the program period beyond the initial 9 months, 
and the additional 90 days, in limited circumstances for major 
disasters with catastrophic impact. This change was made retroactive to 
apply to the major disasters declared in New York and Virginia as a 
result of the events of September 11, 2001.

II. Discussion of the Public Comments Received

    FEMA solicited public comment on both the 1989 and 2003 interim 
regulations, and received one comment. The commenter wrote in response 
to the 2003 interim rule and requested that the benefits of this 
program be extended to the ``War on Terror'' so that all Americans 
could receive counseling or support. The commenter specifically 
requested assistance for families of soldiers in Iraq.
    FEMA's authority to provide crisis counseling assistance is limited 
in duration and limited in scope to only those areas in which the 
President has declared a major disaster. FEMA is unable to grant the 
commenter's request. However, there are many other counseling and 
assistance programs that are available to individuals who are grieving 
or troubled. Individuals may choose to contact the Department of Health 
and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration (SAMHSA) treatment locater service, which offers 
assistance in finding local mental health and substance abuse 
treatment. They are available at http://samhsa.gov/treatment/index.aspx 
or by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
Other services may be provided by Mental Health America at 
www.mentalhealthamerica.net. In many areas of the country, referrals to 
essential service providers can be made through the local 2-1-1 
hotline; more information about that program is available at: http://211us.org. In addition, the individuals can call the National Suicide 
Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or via the Web at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Callers are routed to a suicide 
prevention call center near them based on the area code from which they 
are calling. Lastly, States often have additional crisis hotlines that 
are listed in the Blue Pages.
    For those who are in or who have family in the military, The Army 
Family Assistance Hotline is 1-800-833-6622. The Marine Corps Community 
Service Centers may be contacted at 1-800-253-1624 (west of the 
Mississippi) and 1-800-336-4663 (east of the Mississippi). Information 
for Air Force families may be found at http://ra.defense.gov/documents/

[[Page 28787]]

familyReadinessEdge.pdf. The Coast Guard's Work-Life branch may be 
found at www.uscg.mil/worklife/default.asp. Information about the 
Navy's Fleet and Family Support Services may be found at 
www.cnic.navy.mil/CNIC_HQ_Site/WhatWeDo/FleetAndFamilySupportServices/index.htm. The U.S. Department of Veteran 
Affairs Web site also contains information that may also be of use for 
grieving families. Their Web site may be found at www.va.gov. 
Additionally, the National Military Family Association provides 
information at www.militaryfamily.org.

III. Statutory and Regulatory Review

A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and Executive 
Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review)

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. This rule has not been designated a ``significant 
regulatory action,'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. 
Accordingly, the rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management 
and Budget.
    This rule finalizes two interim rules without change and merely 
codifies current practice since 2003. Under the first interim rule (54 
FR 11610) in 1989, eligible expenses are reimbursable from the incident 
date, rather than the declaration date. This change increased the CCP 
assistance amounts because the incident date starts before the 
declaration date for almost all disasters. Under the second interim 
rule (68 FR 9899) in 2003, FEMA may extend the program period for the 
RSP beyond the initial 9 months and the additional 90 days, in limited 
circumstances for major disasters with catastrophic impact. This 
provision increased the CCP assistance amounts because grantees (State 
mental health authorities) are provided more funding for the extended 
program period. However, this provision has been used only on rare 
occasions. The second interim rule stated that this provision applied 
retroactively to the major disasters declared in New York and Virginia 
as a result of the events of September 11, 2001. From 2005 to 2009, the 
only disasters that exceeded the initial nine-month and the additional 
90-day period were Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana, Hurricane Rita in 
Louisiana, and Hurricane Katrina in Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, and 

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), requires Federal agencies to consider the 
potential impact of regulations on small businesses, small governmental 
jurisdictions, and small organizations during the development of their 
rules. This rule merely codifies current practice since 2003 and is not 
expected to impose any direct compliance cost on small entities. FEMA 
certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public 
Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), as amended, an agency may not 
conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a 
collection of information unless the collection of information displays 
a valid OMB control number.
    Although this final rule will not result in a new collection of 
information affected by the PRA, the collection of information for the 
Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program--Immediate Services 
Program has been assigned OMB control number 1660-0085, and is approved 
through March 31, 2013.

D. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism (64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999), if it has a substantial direct 
effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law 
or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. FEMA has 
analyzed this rule under that Order and determined that it does not 
have implications for federalism.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Public Law 104-4, 109 
Stat. 48 (Mar. 22, 1995) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), requires Federal 
agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory 
actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or Tribal 
government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 
(adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. The Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act, however, does not apply to regulations that provide for 
emergency assistance or relief at the request of any State, local, or 
Tribal government or any official of a State, local, or Tribal 
government (2 U.S.C. 1503). Because the crisis counseling program 
provides emergency assistance grants from FEMA at the request of a 
State, Tribe or territory, the requirements of this Act do not apply.

F. Executive Order 12630, Taking of Private Property

    This rule will not affect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental 
Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property 
Rights (53 FR 8859, Mar. 18, 1988).

G. Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice

    Under Executive Order 12898, as amended, Federal Actions to Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations (59 FR 7629, Feb. 16, 1994), FEMA has undertaken to 
incorporate environmental justice into its policies and programs. 
Executive Order 12898 requires each Federal agency to conduct its 
programs, policies, and activities that substantially affect human 
health or the environment, in a manner that ensures that those 
programs, policies, and activities do not have the effect of excluding 
persons from participation in, denying persons the benefit of, or 
subjecting persons to discrimination because of their race, color, or 
national origin or income level.
    No action that FEMA can anticipate under this rule will have a 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effect on any segment of the population. Accordingly, the requirements 
of Executive Order 12898 do not apply to this final rule.

H. Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform (61 FR 4729, Feb. 7, 
1996), to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

I. Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 
13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 

[[Page 28788]]

67249, Nov. 9, 2000), because it does not have a substantial direct 
effect on one or more Indian Tribes, on the relationship between the 
Federal Government and Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes.

J. Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This rule will not create environmental health risks or safety 
risks for children under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children 
From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, Apr. 23, 

K. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule is not a major agency action, nor will it affect the 
quality of the environment. This rule will not require the preparation 
of either an environmental assessment or an environmental impact 
statement as defined by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 
Public Law 91-190, 83 Stat. 852 (Jan. 1, 1970) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.), as amended.

L. Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking

    FEMA has sent this final rule to the Congress and to the Government 
Accountability Office under the Congressional Review of Agency 
Rulemaking Act, (``Congressional Review Act''), Public Law 104-121, 110 
Stat. 873 (Mar. 29, 1996) (5 U.S.C. 804). This rule is not a ``major 
rule'' within the meaning of the Congressional Review Act.

List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 206

    Administrative practice and procedure, Coastal zone, Community 
facilities, Disaster assistance, Fire prevention, Grant programs--
housing and community development, Housing, Insurance, 
Intergovernmental relations, Loan programs--housing and community 
development, Natural resources, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping 


Accordingly, 44 CFR 206.171 of the interim rule published on March 21, 
1989 (54 FR 11610), with the amendment to 206.171(g)(4)(i) published on 
March 3, 2003 (68 FR 9899), is adopted as a final rule without change.

W. Craig Fugate,
Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2012-11669 Filed 5-15-12; 8:45 am]