NAR members and staff attended and participated in a FEMA sponsored Listening Session on the recently released Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. The Standard directs federal agencies who build new construction and other activities in floodplains to conduct this activity to a higher flood protective standard.
Primary Takeaway: While FEMA specifically stated during the overview presentation that the Standard does not apply to private investments nor affect the NFIP or any federally assisted mortgages, FEMA got the message loud and clear that REALTORS® believe there is ambiguity in the language of the Standard that needs to be addressed and clarified in writing by FEMA before implementation of the Standard begins.
More info: The sessions began with a 20-minute overview presented by FEMA of the Floodplain Management Standard, then broke out into four breakout sessions covering the following themes:
- Climate Science Data and Methods
- Flood Elevation and Floodplain Standards
- Natural and Beneficial Functions
- Critical Actions
Following the breakout sessions, the entire audience reconvened to hear report-backs from each of the breakout sessions. The concerns voiced by the facilitators included the scope of the EO, ambiguity in the language of the EO, how federal agencies will choose to define the “floodplain,” and what “science” will be used to define the “floodplain”.
Finally, individuals were given the opportunity to take the microphone to provide two minutes of oral testimony, and REALTORS® used that opportunity to raise similar concerns during this period.
Additional Listening Sessions and a webinar are scheduled for Washington, DC on March 25.