Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance

New Executive Order Establishes a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

February 5, 2015

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President Obama signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input, on January 30, 2015.

The new E.O. amends E.O. 11988, "Floodplain Management" (1977), and, among other things, provides 3 approaches that federal agencies can use now to establish the flood elevation and hazard area for consideration in their decisionmaking: climate-informed science approach, adding 2-3 feet of elevation to the 100-year floodplain, and using the 500-year floodplain.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) simultaneously published the draft “Revised Guidelines for Implementing Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management,” which, in part, emphasizes integration with NEPA, for public review.

The public review period for the draft revised guidelines that was scheduled to end on April 6, 2015 has been extended to May 6, 2015. Comments received during the public review period, including those made during public meetings, will be considered in finalizing the revised guidelines.

Within 30 days of the closing of the public review period on the draft revised guidelines, each agency is to submit an implementation plan that contains milestones and a timeline. Agencies shall not issue or amend existing regulations and procedures until after the Water Resources Council has issued the final revised guidelines.

E.O. 13690 is posted in the Federal Register.
The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard is posted on the DOE NEPA Website and FEMA Website.
The draft revised guidelines are posted on the DOE NEPA Website and FEMA Website.
Federal Register extension notice is at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-26/pdf/2015-06879.pdf