Category: Floodplain Management

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Federal Funding Panel Shared Interesting Perspectives at Annual FMA Conference

At last week’s Floodplain Management Association meeting in Reno, Nevada, the two of us planned and participated in a panel discussion on federal funding for flood control projects under the Trump administration.  Attendees enjoyed a discussion on federal funding options for local entities that are ready to carry out a flood control project (or any water infrastructure … Continue Reading

National Waterways Conference Requests More Time on Draft 408 Policy

The National Waterways Conference has submitted a letter in response to the notice published in the Federal Register on February 5, 2018, seeking comment on the draft Engineering Circular (EC) on 408 permissions. According to the notice, comments must be submitted by March 7, 2018. 83 Fed. Reg. 5075.  The National Waterways Conference requests that … Continue Reading

The President Is Pushing Infrastructure, But Not So Much Through the Corps’ Civil Works Program

Today the Administration released its FY19 budget proposal. As you likely know, the budget proposal signifies the starting point for the annual appropriations cycle which will play out in Congress over the course of the calendar year. Large portions of the budget proposal will be deemed “dead on arrival” by Congress, but it’s important to … Continue Reading

Technical Problems with First USACE 408 Webinar; Tune in Tomorrow for Second

Unfortunately, USACE has audio technical problems with its first webinar on the draft 408 policy.  For those that are interested in downloading the Powerpoint, you can find it here. Also, here is the draft guidance.  Remember, comments should be due on March 7 (30 days after Feb 5 if our math is correct). Finally, here … Continue Reading

Draft 408 Guidance imminent; USACE Webinars Scheduled

Happy New Year!!!!!!  Yes, it is actually February, but it is a new year for this blog as we turn our attention to a world full of flood risk reduction actions in the second year of the Trump Administration. We are hearing that on February 6 the Corps will be releasing draft guidance for 33 … Continue Reading

Will the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) be reauthorized, extended, or what?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire at the end of the month. For anyone that has read the newspaper lately, this is a lousy time for the program to expire with two hurricanes bearing down on the Eastern seaboard, and Texas’ largest city recovering from a 100-year storm. But politically, it is a … Continue Reading

How Should the Flood Management Community Deal with the Uncertainty of Climate Change?

Despite reticence in Washington, D.C. about the term “climate change” (see yesterday’s blog post on this topic), there is plenty of discussion in the media and in scientific circles about whether intense, off-the-charts storms like Hurricane Harvey are the result of, or are associated with, climate change. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to see a widely agreed-upon … Continue Reading

Trump Executive Order Issued on Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and Regulatory Reform

August 15, 2017 was a busy day for the Trump Administration. While interacting with the press and other politicians regarding the protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the White House was also issuing an Executive Order with potentially far-reaching effects on flood management.… Continue Reading

Update on Oroville Dam, Concerns about Fish and a Related Snow Survey

Things have appeared relatively quiet at Oroville Dam for the past couple of weeks, but a lot has been happening.  DWR has been clearing debris from the diversion pool and has successfully started up releases through the Hyatt Powerplant, but the drawdown had some negative impacts downstream.  Here is our latest update. As always, if … Continue Reading

The Governor Writes a Letter, and Roundup on Flooding Issues Around the State

Here’s our Saturday morning update on flood control issues in the Central Valley and beyond. Things have been quieter this week at Oroville Dam, but there’s plenty to report on from around the state. As always, if you find this blog helpful or interesting, please feel free to share it with others who may be … Continue Reading

Part II – Our Thoughts on FEMA’s New Draft Regulations

This is a follow-up to our blog post last week, “FEMA Issues Draft Regulatory Amendments To Implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13690 And The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard; Comments Due By October 21, 2016.” FEMA’s Approach to Amending Its Regulations Many of the proposed amendments to the regulations focus on the details for the … Continue Reading

FEMA Issues Draft Regulatory Amendments to Implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard; Comments Due by October 21, 2016

Introduction Executive Order 11988 (EO 11988) requires Federal agencies to avoid, to the extent possible, the long- and short-term adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of floodplains where there is a practicable alternative. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now proposing to amend its regulations (found in 44 CFR Part 9) which … Continue Reading

Inverse Condemnation Flooding Case Moves Forward in Texas

A recent Texas Supreme Court case on inverse condemnation has opened the door for a group of homeowners to continue in a lawsuit against their county and flood control district over property damage that was allegedly a known possibility when the government entities approved the housing development.  These cases are rare, so it’s an unusual … Continue Reading

2016 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Passed by House Committee, Possible FFRMS Implications

The House Appropriations Committee has passed the fiscal year 2016 Energy and Water Appropriations bill this last week. That bill, which does not yet have the authority of law, includes the following content regarding the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. If the bill passes the House, and then the Senate, and is approved the President, … Continue Reading

Deadline Approaching for Comments on Draft Guidelines for the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS)

May 6th is the deadline for comments to be submitted on the draft guidelines for the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. While there have been further attempts at extending the comment period (see for example this letter from 33 members of the House of Representatives), it appears that the deadline will not be changing. Here … Continue Reading

Development Set to Begin Again in Sacramento’s Natomas Area

Since 2008 the Natomas area in the City of Sacramento has been under an effective moratorium on new development due to insufficient flood protection. The area is preparing to re-start development once the City receives a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that lifts a flood hazard designation that was severely limiting the … Continue Reading

The new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS): An unclimbable mountain or a modest molehill?

There is significant uncertainty as to the intent and effect of the new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, released as part of the Obama Administration’s issuance of Executive Order 13690, issued in January to amend Executive Order 11988. Based on the chatter in the flood risk management community, the FFRMS has the potential to turn … Continue Reading

FEMA Announces Four Listening Sessions on Draft Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Guidance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the first four listening sessions for the newly proposed draft guidance to implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) arising out of President Obama’s recent amendment of Executive Order 11988.  As we noted in previous blog entries, the President has amended the Carter-era Executive Order that … Continue Reading

Attacks on Obama’s Amendment of Executive Order 11988 Begin With a Letter

Eight Republican Senators have issued a letter to President Obama questioning the legality of the President’s newly issued Executive Order (EO) amending Executive Order 11988 issued by President Carter in 1997.  The letter was signed by Senators Cochran (Mississippi), Vitter (Louisiana), Cornyn (Texas), Isakson (Georgia), Wicker (Mississippi), Blunt (Missouri), Boozeman (Arkansas), and Cassidy (Louisiana) on … Continue Reading

Obama Amends Executive Order 11988; Potential for Drastic Impacts on Development in Flood-Risk Areas

President Obama recently  issued an Executive Order “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.” The Order sets forth President Obama’s administration’s floodplain management policy and significantly amends Executive Order 11988 issued by President Carter.  Downey Brand has created a redline for your reference. Background In … Continue Reading
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