CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1525, on Wednesday, July 29, 2009, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 1525 was introduced on March 16, 2009 by Rep. Matsui (D-CA).
H.R. 1525 would amend the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to provide that FEMA should take into consideration reconstruction or improvements to a flood protection system made by a community in making them eligible for flood insurance rates under the Act.
Additionally, H.R. 1525 directs FEMA to consider a community in the process of restoring their flood protection systems, whether coastal or riverine, that had previously been taken out of consideration because they no longer provided 100 year flood protection, when the entities that own, operate or repair flood protection systems has deemed the system to be restorable. FEMA is directed to consider these projects regardless of federal involvement or participation. Currently, projects that are restored without federal agency investment or participation may not be considered.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established in 1968 to reduce the risk of catastrophic flood damage through floodplain management, improve risk assessment through flood mapping, and promote flood insurance coverage and construction standards to guard against future damages. The program provides government backed flood insurance in areas where the risk of flooding is high, making private insurance more costly. NFIP is administered by FEMA.
FEMA is in the process of issuing new Flood Insurance Rate Maps in areas not previously part of the Special Flood Hazard Areas. Many of these communities face potentially new insurance rates and want to mitigate the cost of the insurance by getting credit for improvements and reconstruction that they have made, particularly when they have locally invested in the flood protection systems without federal involvement.
A CBO score for H.R. 1525 was not yet available as of press time.