Broward Applauds Proposed Federal Flood Standard Requirements

February 10, 2015

Broward Applauds Proposed Federal Flood Standard Requirements

DATE: February 10, 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: Jason Liechty, Environmental Projects Coordinator Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division, Broward County

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Broward officials welcome the Obama Administration’s recent announcement that buildings, roads, and other infrastructure built with federal funds be required to meet significantly higher standards for flood protection.

The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, outlined in the executive order issued by President Obama, allows federal agencies and entities receiving federal funds to choose among three approaches: use the best available climate science to determine the most appropriate minimum flood protection level; build two feet above the 100-year flood level (three feet for critical infrastructure); or build above the 500-year flood level. The rule will apply to new structures and facilities and those undergoing significant repair or reconstruction, but it will not affect the standards or rates of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Tim Ryan, Mayor of Broward County, expressed support for the new rules. “Resiliency of our infrastructure is an ever-pressing concern, with sea level rise and extreme weather posing notable risks to our transportation, water treatment, flood control systems, and other public infrastructure, both inland and coastal.” Mayor Ryan added, “By building federal projects to higher flood protection standards, the federal government is taking a big step toward making our communities more resistant to climate change impacts, and I applaud their efforts.”

The new standards also align with risk-reduction and resilient-infrastructure recommendations of the Regional Climate Action Plan developed under the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (Compact). The Compact is the agreement under which Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties work together to develop regional strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to rising seas and other climate impacts. Municipalities, state and federal agencies, businesses, academics and non-profits are also key participants in the Compact efforts.

Partners in the Compact are already working to advance climate resiliency by integrating sea level rise and climate change considerations into comprehensive planning documents, land use plans, emergency management and transportation planning, and water supply plans. The flood risk standards proposed by the federal government will help to ensure that climate resiliency is better integrated in planning efforts across the broader region and state.

The proposed federal guidelines will be open for 60 days of public comment.

Read the Executive Order or the Flood Risk Management Standard for further information.