Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When the Rain Comes

Flooding, development within floodplains, the efficacy and need for construction projects intended to mitigate flooding risks, and who should bear the risks of flooding are all perennial issues faced by and debated among those living and working within the Mississippi River Basin.  In a matter very much related to these issues, the House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a vote today on the Flood Insurance Reform and Priorities Act of 2010 (link to Committee schedule site is here).

The legislation (H.R. 5114) would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program intended to reduce flood risk, encourage smart floodplain management, and provide affordable flood insurance. The proposed legislation garnered significant attention during an April 21 hearing (link to hearing and testimony here), when representatives of the conservation, insurance and development communities testified regarding the impact several significant changes to the reauthorizing legislation would have on their respective interests.

A New York University School of Law Institute for Policy Integrity NFIP study and analysis can be downloaded as a PDF file here.

According to wording in the bill's finding and purposes section, the intents of the measure are to:

            (1) identify priorities essential to the reform and ongoing stable functioning of the national flood insurance program;

            (2) increase incentives for homeowners and communities to participate in the national flood insurance program and to improve oversight to ensure better accountability of the national flood insurance program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and

            (3) increase awareness of homeowners of flood risks and improve the information regarding such risks provided to homeowners.

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