A federal judge heard Tuesday from 10 states and 43 parishes as the Pelican State and others try to stop a new flood risk map that could hit homeowners in the pocketbook.
The hearing was in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in front of U.S. District Court Judge Darrel J. Papillion. The plaintiffs, led by the state of Louisiana, are seeking an injunction to prevent FEMA from enacting the maps and prevent the agency from kicking grandfathered policies out of the program. The lawsuit was brought by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry on June 1.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Risk Rating 2.0, unveiled in April 2021, will change how premiums are calculated under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill, who led oral arguments for the plaintiffs in the case, told The Center Square that she was incredulous when attorneys for the federal government argued that “affordability wasn’t a statutory” requirement for the flood insurance program.
Previously, the maps were calculated using historical floods as a reference. The new model uses an algorithm that, according to Murrill, remains a “black box” in that FEMA attorneys didn’t provide much information about the inputs into the models.