Navigating the National Flood Insurance Program and Floodplain Regulations-Panelist 1

Year: 2022
Presenter/s: Ted Perkins
Symposium Session: 2022 - 03 Navigating the National Flood Insurance Program and Floodplain Regulations
Topics covered: fish-salmon, floodplain, hydraulics, modeling, permits, and stream


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 to provide federally backed flood insurance to communities in response to major floods in the Mississippi basin and is administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and participating local communities. To participate in the NFIP, local communities must adhere to minimum floodplain regulations that are intended to discourage and reduce risks of development within the floodplain. Aimed at easing the burden for communities advancing restoration actions within regulated floodways and in support of Threatened and Endangered salmonids, the previous 1999 FEMA Region X policy and 2013 clarification allowed fish enhancement projects that have minimal impacts to be permitted if a qualified professional could provide a hydraulic analysis and certify that the project was designed to keep any rise in 100-year floodway levels as close to zero as possible and that no structures would be impacted by a potential rise. This policy was initiated out of recognition that no-rise analysis requirements would likely exceed the cost of enhancement projects, unduly impeding these projects. The August 2020 rescindment of this policy means that all such restoration projects within a designated floodway will now require either a “no-rise” analysis and certification or Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) and Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), increasing the time, cost and expertise needed to advance many fish enhancement projects.