Association of State Flood Plain Managers Association of State Flood Plain Managers
Upcoming Events
Association of State Flood Plain Managers

What's New
Association of State Flood Plain Managers

Association of State Flood Plain Managers Association of State Flood Plain Managers
Association of State Flood Plain Managers

Share

What's New

<< Back to News List            Funding for National Flood Mapping Program Threatened >>

Draft NFIP Nationwide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Published
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Draft NFIP Nationwide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Published

FEMA published a draft NFIP Nationwide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement April 7 for public comment. The EIS process is required by the National Environmental Policy Act to thoroughly address the environmental consequences of major federal actions that could significantly affect the environment. The draft would update the original EIS for the NFIP developed in 1976.

ASFPM has previously submitted comments to the Federal Register early in the process when FEMA was seeking feedback on the process including the scope, purpose and need. ASFPM submitted comments for the hearing record this past fall when the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was examining the relationships among the NFIP, Endangered Species Act and land use regulations. Both ASFPM documents have several recommendations related to improving the process and outcomes.

In participating in one of FEMA's early webinars on this NPEIS release and based on a cursory review of the document by ASFPM leadership, two early concerns have arisen.

The NPEIS does not include any commentary or analysis on one of the more significant controversies in recent years – lawsuits against FEMA for inadequate consultation on the Endangered Species Act. In response to lawsuits brought under the ESA, FEMA has been required, either by the courts or through settlement agreements, to undertake consultations under the ESA on the implementation of the NFIP in particular communities or regions. In consultations undertaken in Monroe County, Florida, the Puget Sound region of Washington, and in Oregon, the services have found that the implementation of the NFIP in those areas was likely to jeopardize the continued existence of threatened and endangered species and adversely modify designated critical habitat. It would seem a primary purpose and need for the NPEIS that should be identified is to more properly address ESA coordination issues that have been identified in these lawsuits and judgements (or at a minimum, describe why FEMA thinks these are not relevant).

FEMA concludes that a) Everything that happens in the SFHA is purely a private property decision between the landowner and local community, and b) the NFIP minimum standards are strictly performance standards, which means FEMA doesn’t tell communities how to meet them. Perhaps as a result of this logic, FEMA has chosen as the "preferred alternative" that requires communities, on a development by development basis, to maintain documentation of ESA compliance through permitting and for Letter of Map Change requests. It is concerning there was no consideration of alternatives that would change basic NFIP standards of 44CFR60.3 on a programmatic level so that through consultation with the appropriate federal agencies, basic floodplain management standards could address ESA concerns at a regional or state level, versus burdening communities on a per development basis.

The deadline to submit comments online to the Federal Register is June 6, 2017. To submit comments, go towww.federalregister.govand use the search function to lookup Docket ID: FEMA-2012-0012. From there you can download or view a copy of the PEIS (605 pages) or shorter 15 page Executive Summary. ASFPM will be submitting comments, which are being coordinated by ASFPM's Natural and Beneficial Functions Committee. If you would like to submit comments to be considered as part of ASFPM's comments, please email ASFPM NBF Committee Co-chair Rebecca Pfeiffer at rebecca.pfeiffer@vermont.gov by COB Friday, May 26, 2017.

FEMA will conduct public meetings and webinars on the draft NPEIS.




Association of State Flood Plain Managers
575 D'Onofrio Drive, Suite 200  |  Madison, WI 53719  |  Phone: 608-828-3000  |  Fax: 608-828-6319  |  Email Us

Terms and Conditions  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us
Association of State Floodplain Managers ®  Copyright © . All Rights Reserved.