FEMA aims to get tougher on federal floodplain management standards

The White House announced today that it plans to revise the building standards set for flood-prone areas across the country—a move that as The Washington Post reports could impact south Louisiana developers. 

Two weeks after implementing new flood insurance rates, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued a request for information to guide any updates and new policies made to the National Flood Insurance Program’s floodplain management standards. Communities have to adopt these standards as a condition of eligibility for federal flood insurance subsidies, but these rules have not been changed much since 1976. 

The White House’s effort to tighten building rules comes in the face of escalating damage from floods. Tropical storms and hurricanes inflicted their heaviest damage and over the past four decades. Forty years ago, the U.S. experienced a $2 billion weather disaster roughly annually; over the past decade we’ve been averaging 10 a year.

Hurricane Ida has been the most expensive disaster this year, with initial damage estimates at $64.5 billion—making it the fifth-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Read the full story.