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Corps Issues Draft Guidance to Implement New Flood Standard

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a draft engineering circular (EC) to implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).   As background, Executive Order 13690, which updated EO 11988 and established the new standard, requires the use of an expanded floodplain for federal actions.  The new EO provides that the expanded floodplain be determined by using one of the three enumerated approaches.  In the draft EC, the Corps indicates that it will utilize the Climate-informed Science Approach, and that a higher standard will be used for critical actions, as defined in the implementation guidance.

NWC’s Legislative Policy Committee will prepare comments in response to the draft EC.  Previously, NWC joined with the Floodplain Alliance for Insurance Reform (FAIR) and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) to submit comments to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking to implement the FFRMS.  The jointly filed comments express significant concerns about the proposed rule’s far-reaching outcomes for a diverse mix of water resources, transportation, and energy infrastructure needs across the United States.  Those comments can be viewed here fair-nwc-eei_fema-npr-ffrms

The Federal Register notice, including a link to the Corps’ draft EC, can be viewed here:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/16/2016-30240/implementation-of-executive-orders-on-floodplain-management-and-establishing-a-federal-flood-risk  Comments are due on January 30, 2017.