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THE INSIDER Powered By Docstoc
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THE INSIDER                                                                            for Members

The Association of State Floodplain Managers
2809 Fish Hatchery Rd., Madison, WI 53713
608-274-0123 Fax: 608-274-0696

Executive Director’s Report                                      In This Issue
Larry Larson, CFM                                                Click on any of the following links, or simply
                                                                 scroll down for entire newsletter.
Another New Years Eve, another report to the
                                                                  Executive Director’s Report
membership to briefly review the activities of your
                                                                  Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves
Association in 2005 and to discuss some key issues that           Is Ohio Ready for a Flood?
will impact all of us in 2006. First of all, I hope your          NFIP Rate Changes – May 2006
2005 was successful, and that 2006 will be a safe, happy          Meritorious Achievement in FPM Award
and healthy year for all of you.                                  Mississippi State Aid Program
         For everyone in the natural hazards profession,          EPA’s 2006 Community Involvement Conf.
2005 was a seminal year. For those along America’s                Washington Legislative Report
Gulf Coast, it was a year we all had predicted, but had           News in Brief
hoped to never experience. In my report from one year             CFM Corner
ago I said ―Nations should not ignore natural disasters.          2006 National Wetlands Awards
                                                                  Restore America’s Estuaries Conference
If they do, Mother Nature will provide a wake up call---
                                                                  ASFPM is Hiring
sooner or later.” The events of 2005 were surely a loud           2006 NFIP Claims Presentation Workshops
wake up call. Did we hear it? The challenge will be to            Floodplain Manager’s Calendar
use this catastrophe to make the Gulf Coast safer and             Job Corner
more resilient to these natural disasters in the future.
This is easier to do in the abstract from afar, than it is for those at the local and state level who are trying
to help each citizen put their life and community back together.
         But the efforts to incorporate mitigation in all aspects of the rebuilding is hugely important, not
only to those living and working at risk on the coast, but to all of us who contribute to rebuilding
following disasters. As the new ―Cost savings from Mitigation‖ report shows, every dollar spent on
mitigation saves $4 in future damages and costs for the nation (see link to this report elsewhere in this
         ASFPM, as a leader in the hazards management profession has and is undertaking a number of
actions regarding the Gulf Coast disasters. First of all we worked with FEMA to help get floodplain
management professionals to the Gulf coast in the recovery phase to assist local communities prepare for
the rebuilding decisions they need to make. We are also working with Congress to provide a mechanism
to provide permit assistance to these local communities for at least the next year. Many of these
communities will be faced with handling thousands of permits for rebuilding, and many of them lost all
their records, and may have had to lay off their staff because no revenue is coming in. Without assistance
rebuilding correctly is problematic.
         During this long post-disaster recovery, ASFPM and our Chapters and members are reaching out
to provide assistance. I want to personally thank all of you who have helped in any way. Rest assured
your efforts and support are appreciated.

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On a policy level, your Chair Pam Pogue, Merrie Inderfurth in Washington DC, and I have been working
with other ASFPM leaders to provide Congress with information they need to address the problems and
issues raised from this year’s disasters. We constantly are called by Congressional offices to provide our
expert advice on proposals under consideration. We spend many hours simply explaining floodplain
management and how the federal, state and local programs work together to reduce costs and damages
from natural disasters. For more detail on the many options under consideration, see the Washington
Report elsewhere in this issue.

Some of the major policy issues we are working on:
    possible expansion of the mandatory flood insurance purchase area (behind levees, storm surge,
       and the 500 year floodplain);
    ensuring the availability of ICC in rebuilding;
    Advisory Base Flood Elevations; must tie funds for mitigation, ICC and Public Assistance, and
       for all federal program funds to rebuilding to these ABFEs;
    mitigation funding and criteria, and full range of mitigation options;
    Levee policy that does not vary standards for high risk or consequence of failure;
    Authorizing the Corps of Engineers to oversee a national inventory of levees;
    Mapping residual risk areas subject to levee and dam failure and storm surge

        While there are other policy and program issues ASFPM is working on, this gives you a flavor of
the key ones. Watch our web site for papers and discussions for more information. Also note there is a
page for members to share views on key issues related to Katrina-Rita.
        Internally, the ASFPM continues to grow to meet our members’ needs and to act as your voice
nationally. A big step forward just occurred when we added George Riedel as the ASFPM Deputy
Executive Director in December. George will undertake a number of activities, foremost among them
overseeing the Executive Office operations. Many of you will be hearing from or seeing George at
various meetings, etc. He continues to work with Diane Brown on the annual conference. By the way, to
accommodate our growth, we just moved across the hall in our building to a larger space. It has a nice
conference room, so we hope to host a number of you here so you get a chance to see how your
Association functions. We encourage you to stop by if ever in the area.
        As always, we all enter the New Year with optimism for ourselves, family and friends, our
country and others around the globe. My wish is that next year sees more peace and prosperity for
everyone, and that we can help build a safer world for our children and all those who will follow us.

Return to Table of Contents

Mutlihazard Mitigation Council Releases Report:
“Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves”
The National Institute of Building Sciences’ (NIBS) Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) held a press
conference last month at the National Press Club in Washington DC to announce the release of their
report on the future savings from natural hazard mitigation activities. MMC issued the following press

Washington, D.C. -- Each dollar spent on disaster mitigation saves society an average of four dollars,
according to a new study released today by the Multihazard Mitigation Council of the National Institute
of Building Sciences.
        The study examined grants over a 10-year period (1993-2003) aimed at reducing future damages
from earthquake, wind, and flood. It found that such efforts reduce future losses and are cost effective.
        ―For the first time ever, there is now quantifiable evidence that disaster mitigation works,‖ said
Brent Woodworth, chair of the Multihazard Mitigation Council and worldwide manager of IBM’s Crisis

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Response Team. ―For years, there have been anecdotal reports, but this information gives policymakers
the evidence that proves that mitigation is a worthy investment in our nation’s safer future.‖
        The Congressionally-mandated study was commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management
Agency. According to the study, mitigation results ―in significant net benefits to society as a whole to
individuals, to states and to communities in terms of future reduced resource losses and significant
savings to the federal treasury in terms of future increased tax revenues and future reduced hazard-related
        Key findings include:
       A dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of $4, with positive benefit-cost ratios for
        all hazard types studied

       In addition to savings to society, the federal treasury can redirect an average of $3.65 for each
        dollar spent on mitigation as a result of disaster relief costs and tax losses avoided

       In each of the eight communities studied in depth, FEMA mitigation grants were a significant part
        of the community's mitigation history and often led to additional loss reduction activities

       Mitigation is sufficiently cost-effective to warrant federal funding on an ongoing basis both
        before disasters and during post-disaster recovery."
        ―We've all seen that mitigation helps to save lives and reduce property damage,‖ said David I.
Maurstad, FEMA’s Acting Director of Mitigation. ―But until the MMC study we haven't had
independent, objective, quantitative data analysis to show that building stronger and safer is also a sound
        The study involved two interrelated components, (1) a benefit-cost analysis of a broad sample of
FEMA mitigation grants and (2) additional empirical research on FEMA-funded mitigation activities
carried out in eight selected communities. The community studies examined all FEMA mitigation grants
received by the selected communities for any grants received between the years of 1988-2003.
A report on the findings and recommendations is posted on the ASFPM website at: Copies of the
study are available on MMC’s website .
Return to Table of Contents

Is Ohio Ready for a Flood?
The following article, reprinted from The Antediluvian, Ohio’s floodplain management newsletter, was
written by Cynthia J. Crecelius, CFM, Ohio’s State Floodplain Manager. It serves as a good example of
dialogue any State floodplain manager can initiate with local officials.
The title of this article was the topic of a congressional field hearing, held just before the statewide
conference. I was invited to provide testimony from the perspective of Ohio’s NFIP State Coordinator.
Since that hearing, the nation has witnessed the wrath of hurricane Katrina and the landfall of Rita. The
media is providing daily accounts of the impact and problems associated with these huge natural disasters
and many are asking, ―how can I help?‖ As a local floodplain manager, you can help by looking closer to
home than Louisiana, Mississippi or Texas!
        Hurricanes are not listed in the natural hazard threats that Ohio should plan or prepare for, but we
have seen in 2004 and 2005 that as the coastal hurricanes move inland - Ohio can be impacted. Although,
Ohio did not have weather events related to Katrina, the State has been impacted in a new way. Many of
our professional resources related to rescue, response and NFIP support have and are being requested
through the mutual aid compact; the Ohio Emergency Management Agency is assisting with mass care
and housing needs for Katrina victims; and approximately 3,000 displaced people are calling Ohio
communities home, at least temporarily.

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          Based upon recent media, you might assume that FEMA and the NFIP are not effective. It is
incumbent upon all of us ―in the business‖ to understand and use the NFIP effectively and know how to
work well with FEMA before, during, and after the disaster! The NFIP is a well-conceived mitigation
program that can prevent future damage and correct existing at-risk development in flood hazard areas.
Reviewing proposed development and only issuing permits for activities that are compliant with your
flood protection standards, prevents increased future flood risk. Doing substantial damage determinations
and reconstructing damaged buildings in compliance with flood protection standards will help to
eliminate some of the current flood risk. FEMA does not control the development review or
reconstruction decisions of your community – you do!
          The focus of the congressional hearing was to determine if the National Flood Insurance Program
is helping Ohio to be better prepared for—and more capable of recovering from—a flood disaster. My
testimony was based upon the knowledge of ODNR, Division of Water’s involvement as the State
Coordinating Office of the NFIP for the past thirty years. I discussed the roles of the State and local
participating communities; NFIP changes that have made the program more effective; FEMA’s current
administrative structure and how that affects the implementation of the NFIP; flood map modernization;
and the NFIP as a mitigation program. My overall conclusion is that Ohio is better-prepared and more
capable to recover from flood disasters because of approximately thirty years worth of partnership with
FEMA in the National Flood Insurance Program. The full testimony is available on-line at:
          In light of the recent hurricanes, I wondered how those of you in the local floodplain manager
roles will respond to, Is Your Community Ready for a Flood? Help yourself and your community by
considering the following questions to ensure that we learn from recent mistakes:

What is at risk in your community’s flood hazard areas? To answer this question you should have
the current copy of your Flood Insurance Rate Map(s) and Flood Insurance Study easily accessible. In
August 2004, ODNR, Division of Water provided every local floodplain manager with a CD containing
an inventory of the structures located within the identified flood hazard areas of your community. While
some communities may have since received new flood insurance rate maps, this information will at least
provide a starting point for identifying and tracking the risk of buildings in your flood hazard areas.
Become familiar with this information BEFORE the flood. Populate the database so that you have
names, addresses, and associated market value for each structure. If you have questions about the
structure inventory or its use contact: Tim Beck, ODNR, Division of Water at (614) 265-6722 or email
Are you familiar with the priorities and strategies that your community will use to reduce future
flood risk? The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 established a prerequisite of FEMA-approved hazard
mitigation plans for all communities wishing to remain eligible for federal mitigation project funds. Do
you know if your community has an approved plan? In most cases your county emergency management
director should be able to provide a copy and update you on the status of local plans. For a list of county
EMA directors visit:
Do you have good working relations with your chief elected officials and emergency management
personnel? The Katrina response has shown that it is critical for everyone at the local level to know each
other and clarify response roles. In most cases, the federal and state level agencies can only respond to
requests from the local government when their capabilities have been exceeded. Know what you need in
terms of assistance and resources by exercising your response plans. For example, if you have 500
structures in the flood hazard areas and are a part-time floodplain manager, with no additional community
resources, how long will it take you to complete substantial damage determinations and issue permits for
repair? Is that amount of time reasonable given the community goals for a recovery schedule? Will that
amount of time allow you to take advantage of post-disaster recovery mitigation programs and assistance?
Have you educated your elected officials to understanding that floodplain management and the
enforcement of the NFIP requirements is a basic health and safety issue for your community?

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Do you and your emergency management personnel have a plan for sharing the early damage
assessment information? They can help you understand where the most heavily damaged areas are and
what type of numbers you can expect. You can help them by using the NFIP regulations to help reduce
future flood risk. Also, you can identify owners who might be interested in the longer-term mitigation
projects to acquire, relocate and retrofit structures that are repeatedly or substantially damaged by
Are your private sector insurance partners knowledgeable and ready to serve their NFIP clients?
Are property owners in flood hazard areas informed about flood insurance? Do your local insurance
agents know and understand the NFIP products and claims process. The NFIP is a federal, state, local,
and private sector partnership. All of us have roles and responsibilities and to manage the crisis everyone
has to be informed and ready to do their piece. If you have agents who need assistance refer them to Our newsletter frequently identifies locations and dates of on-going agent and
lender training to make sure that everyone is current and competent when it comes to flood insurance.
Do you understand how the property owner can use Increased Cost of Compliance funding to assist
in bringing a substantially or repetitively damaged property into compliance with the NFIP flood
damage prevention regulations as part of the recovery effort? To learn more about the Increased Cost
of Compliance coverage available to property owners and how you can help them use this resource visit:
Do you know what your role is when the water rises and as it recedes? Basically, as the flooding
occurs you may have an assistance role in helping your community’s emergency management personnel
understand the impact and scope of flooding. You will then need to prepare for the damage inspection
and permitting duties that will come quickly after the water recedes. You may also need to focus on long-
term recovery solutions such as mitigation projects that will result in acquisitions, elevations or other
retrofitting actions. ODNR, Division of Water has a fact sheet that summarizes your basic duties
immediately after the flood event. Please review it and contact us if you feel you need any additional
training or have questions. Fact sheet link:
Are you familiar with FEMA’s Residential Substantial Damage Estimator? Guidance on Estimating
Substantial Damage is provided in FEMA publication 311. The Guidance Kit includes a printed manual
and two computer disks. To be effective in your post-disaster efforts you should prepare your files and
information on individual structures in the flood hazard area to save time and ensure the RSDE will be
used efficiently. To obtain any FEMA publication visit: ODNR, Division of Water also
have available guidance documents and training to support the substantial damage determination process.
We can be reached at 614-265-6750 or
Did you know that there are nearly 80 Ohio Building Officials Association (OBOA) members
trained for disaster inspection support? Following disasters, the federal government requires damage
assessment to verify that the local and state capabilities to respond and recover have been exceeded. The
degree of damage also provides your community with an opportunity to address existing at-risk structures
through enforcement of local flood protection criteria. OBOA members have expertise and knowledge
that will expedite the inspections with an existing post-disaster inspection process.
The State of Ohio has an Intrastate Mutual Aid Compact (IMAC) addressing liability and legality of
building officials responding outside their normal jurisdictions. OBOA has developed standard service
and products to support basic damage assessment for health and safety, substantial damage determinations
for NFIP compliance, and plans to develop case-by-case evaluation ability for mitigation
recommendations. Also, local communities need to complete a Memorandum of Understanding
acknowledging their role for permitting and enforcement of the flood protection regulations as part of the
recovery and repair process.

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Have you reviewed the community MOU and discussed it with your community chief elected
official? A blank model MOU is included with this newsletter. If you have questions, contact ODNR,
Division of Water at 614-265-6750.
Do you understand the NFIP and how it should work for your community? We all have more on our
plate than we should; however, recent events in the Gulf Coast region show that no one is likely to accept
that you were too busy to know your job. The following link will provide you with access to a very
comprehensive desk reference that should answer just about any question related to the NFIP: FEMA NFIP Study Guide and Desk Reference for Local
Floodplain Managers. Keep the link handy and remember that ODNR’s Division of Water is also
available for technical assistance on demand. Your preparation now can yield huge benefits for your
community when the disaster strikes.
If your community could make the choice, would you continue building in the flood hazard area?
Please be aware that meeting the minimum NFIP criteria will not eliminate or even reduce future
flooding. Implementation of federal minimum criteria including: floodway and fringe concepts, the
protection only to the 1% annual chance flood, and the continued development of hazard areas do not
come without consequence. The good news is that your community has the authority to adopt and
enforce higher standards that can reduce future flooding!
When New Orleans was established in 1718, the location made strategic and economic sense because of
the importance of the Mississippi River. Likewise, the location of many communities made sense when
they were founded. As the importance of these reasons change, we need to ask ourselves if some uses are
still worth the risk associated with rebuilding. If so, how do we redevelop to avoid as much damage as
possible? Your community’s mitigation plan should include economic and land-use policies that
capitalize on a ―second chance‖ scenario that might allow for restored or preserved floodplains. To
broaden your perspective on how to better correlate the need for a built environment, with the risk for
buildings in the flood hazard areas, visit the Association of State Floodplain Management Association on-
line at:
Two excellent resources for further reading are Disasters by Design – A Reassessment of Natural Hazards
in the United States, by Dennis S. Mileti, and Cooperating with Nature – Confronting Natural Hazards
with Land-Use Planning for Sustainable Communities edited by Raymond J. Burby. If you had an
opportunity to plan your community in a safer, more sustainable way, what would the social and political
decision makers need to know before they would approve the change? This type of information can be
part of your community’s mitigation strategy and plan.
Recently, as I fall asleep each night, the question Is Ohio Ready for a Flood? haunts my mind. A
confident ―yes‖ is not what I hear; rather, there are many opportunities for improving our readiness. In
my tenure with the ODNR Floodplain Management Program, great strides have been made to advance
Ohio’s preparedness for large-scale disaster response. However, if a Katrina-like storm hit Ohio today,
there would no doubt be problems and impacts that can be avoided with corrective actions. Let’s all take
a moment to self-assess and acknowledge that floods will occur in Ohio. Then we can address the
consequences. If you have questions or concerns about how to improve your community’s flood response
planning and disaster response capability, please call ODNR, Division of Water Floodplain Management
Program at 614-265-6750 or email us at
Return to Table of Contents

A Message from ASFPM’s Flood Insurance Committee
The rate changes for both new and renewal business with effective dates on or after May 1, 2006, will
increase the overall rate level by just over 4%. This consists of premium increases of 2.6% for actuarially-

The Insider   January 2006                       6
rated policies and 6.2% for Pre-FIRM policies. The largest increases, percentage wise, will be for Pre-
FIRM properties in V and AE zones as well as A99, AR and X zone (Standard Risk). Unnumbered A
zones will also see a modest increase. Properties in shallow flooding zones (e.g. AO, AH) and those that
qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) will see no change in premium.
The following is a summary of changes as presented in an NFIP Bulletin W-05083 that was sent to WYO
companies and the NFIP Servicing Agent on November 29, 2005. To read the actual bulletin and see the
new specific rate tables that will be effective May 1, 2006, go to:
V Zones (coastal high-velocity zones)
Larger rate increases are being implemented again this year as a result of the Heinz Center’s Erosion
Zone Study, which clearly indicates that current rates significantly underestimate the increasing hazard
from steadily eroding coastlines.
     Post-FIRM V Zones: Premiums will increase 6%.
     Pre-FIRM V Zones: Premiums will increase 9%.
A Zones (non-velocity zones, which are primarily riverine zones)
There will be modest increases that will keep our Post-FIRM rates at actuarial levels and that will slightly
decrease the amount of subsidy in our Pre-FIRM rates.
     Post-FIRM AE Zones: Premiums will increase about 2½% as indicated by our actuarial rate
     Pre-FIRM AE Zones: Premiums will increase about 6%.
     AO, AH, AOB and AHB Zones (shallow flooding zones): No change. Experience continues to
        be favorable in these zones.
     Unnumbered A Zones (remote A Zones where elevations have not been determined): Premiums
        will increase about 5%. These increases are designed to keep rates in line with Post-FIRM AE
     A99 Zones (approved flood mitigation projects, e.g., levees still in the course of construction):
        Premiums will increase about 6%.
     AR Zones: Premiums will increase about 7%.
X Zones (zones outside the Special Flood Hazard Area)
Moderate increases are being implemented.
    Standard Risk Policy: Premiums will increase about 6%.
    Preferred Risk Policy (PRP)*: No changes.
Miscellaneous Items
    Optional Deductibles: Deductible relativities are unchanged.
    Emergency Program: No changes.
    Mortgage Portfolio Protection Program (MPPP): Revised to keep in line with increases to A
       and V Zone policies.
    Provisional Rating: No changes.
*Committee note: With the heightened awareness for the need for flood insurance due to nationwide
flooding and Map Modernization (i.e. “grandfathering”), the PRP still continues to provide easy, low-
cost protection with premiums for building and contents as low as $112 for home owners and $39 for
protecting a renter’s contents!
Bruce Bender, Flood Insurance Committee Co-Chair
Rodney Renkenberger, CFM, Flood Insurance Committee Co-Chair
Lou Sidell, Flood Insurance Committee Liaison

Return to Table of Contents

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Meritorious Achievement in Floodplain Management Award
The ASFPM Board of Directors approved the creation of a new award last month to recognize
individuals, other than local officials (the Larry R. Johnston Award recognizes local officials), who have
achieved success in a significant aspect of floodplain management. These efforts shall include but not be
limited to education, government, policy, research, legislation, outreach, implementation, or other actions
which demonstrate the advancement of flood loss reduction within the nominee’s professional realm.
Any individual, Corporate, or Agency member of ASFPM may submit a written nomination to the
ASFPM Awards Committee for an individual who works for a state, regional or federal agency,
educational or non-profit organization, private company, or perhaps even a private citizen.
The ASFPM Board of Directors will select the recipient from the information presented by the Awards
Committee, who processes the nominations.
The recipient will receive an engraved plaque at the awards luncheon during the ASFPM annual
conference, and will be listed in the Awards Recipients section of the ASFPM website.
Information about all other ASFPM Awards and an application can be downloaded from the ASFPM
website, The nomination deadline is March 1, 2006.
Return to Table of Contents

Mississippi State Aid Program
The following excerpt is from The Jackson Clarion Ledger, December 27, 2005
State grants
    Grants will be capped at $150,000. The state will deduct any money paid on private insurance claims
or by FEMA.
    The grants will be available for owner-occupied homes. Second homes or rental property will not be
    Homes that flooded and were outside the federally designated flood zone when the hurricane hit will
be eligible. Grant recipients also must have had other homeowner's insurance.
    Recipients will have to rebuild according to stricter building codes and new flood zone maps.
    Recipients will be required to carry flood insurance on the rebuilt structures.
    Source: Governor's office
    "It's great. I still think the insurance companies should be taking care of it," said Paul Phillips, who
said the settlement from his insurance company was less than what they expected. "But wherever it comes
from, we won't be complaining."
    But the Phillipses could be waiting months before they're able to apply for the program as state and
federal officials hammer out the rules for the aid program.
    Under the plan, the state will use the money to offer $150,000 grants to homeowners whose houses
flooded but were outside federally designated flood zones.
    Recipients will be required to build their homes to comply with the International Building codes and
will be required to carry flood insurance. I-Codes provide state-of-the-art requirements for hurricane
resistance, based on wind speed data collected from previous hurricanes. The code requires homes and
businesses be built to withstand 130- to 150-mph winds. Based on Florida's experience when it adopted a
statewide building code in 2001 in the wake of a series of punishing storms, the cost to rebuild could go
up as must as 10 percent.
    State officials say the details of the program will take several weeks to implement.

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The Insider   January 2006                       8
EPA’s 2006 Community Involvement Conference
EPA is soliciting presentation proposals for its 2006 Community Involvement Conference, which will be
held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 27-30. This year's theme is: "Something Good is Brewing:
Achieving Environmental Results through Community Involvement." This annual conference is a unique
opportunity for a wide array of stakeholders to come together to share how EPA and its partners are
involving communities in the protection of our air, water and land. The intended audience is federal,
tribal, state and local governments, environmental and civic organizations, businesses and others who
plan and implement community involvement, partnership, outreach, and educational programs.
Field Trip Opportunities: In addition to soliciting proposals for presentations, EPA is looking for local
leaders to organize one of four 2 -3 hour field trips in close proximity to downtown Milwaukee. If you
have an idea for a field trip and would like to lead it, please submit your proposal using the information in
the Call for Presenters, or contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Dave Novak at (312) 886-
7478, or Briana Bill at (312) 353-6646,
How to Submit a Presentation Proposal: Information and instructions for submitting a proposal is
available on EPA's Web site: The Call for Presenters also
includes information about the estimated conference registration fee and travel reimbursement options for
non-federal government presenters. Presentation proposals can be submitted through the conference Web
site (on-line form still under development, but a downloadable file is available that can be sent by e-mail),
fax, or mail.
Presentation proposals: due January 18.
Contact: Please send any questions or concerns to Lisa Gebler, Community Involvement Conference
Coordinator at 301-589-5318 or e-mail, or EPA Community Involvement
Coordinator Bri Bill at (312) 353-6646,

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Washington Legislative Report
Meredith R. Inderfurth, Washington Liaison
Rebecca C. Quinn, Legislative Officer

A Final Scramble and Deferred Actions
         During the final weeks of the Congressional session (109th Congress, 1st Session), there was
significant legislative activity related to the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma as well as
significant hoped-for legislative activity that could not be completed in the frenetic time frame. Beyond
that, there are many substantive issues that were intentionally deferred until the 2nd Session so that they
could be considered in a more deliberative manner.
         This report will provide a brief summary of what was passed along with bill and report numbers
for further reference. It will also briefly describe those initiatives which did not get considered or
included in other packages and it will provide a prospective look at expectations for the upcoming
         The Congress adjourned on December 22nd after several all night and close to all night sessions.
It will meet in pro forma session on January 3rd. The House will return on January 16th and the Senate on
January 23rd. The President’s Budget Request for FY 2007 will be released during the first week of
February. As soon as the budget is released, the Appropriations Subcommittees begin their consideration
of FY ’07 budgets.

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What Was Passed?
HR 4324 Reauthorization of the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program
        The bill reauthorizes the competitive grant program for three years. Although the program
continues to be authorized at $150 million annually, the appropriated level for FY ’06 is $50 million.
The bill was passed on December 15th, signed by the President on December 22nd and became Public Law
HR 4440 Authorization of the Gulf Opportunity Zone
         This is a bill to provide tax benefits within an area designated as the Gulf Opportunity Zone and
in certain other areas affected by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma. The measure passed on December 16 th, was
signed by the President on December 22nd, and became Public Law 109-135.

HR 2863 Department of Defense Appropriations for FY 2006
        This bill became the vehicle for inclusion of most provisions for both the hurricane recovery and
for preparations for an avian flu crisis. It is a long bill and because there were so many efforts to include
various non-defense matters in the final days of the session, much of its final content was developed in
such a way that it was difficult to know what was, and was not, in the bill. In the end, $29 billion was
provided for hurricane disaster assistance. This was offset by a $23.4 billion rescission in funds from the
Disaster Relief Fund and a $260.5 million rescission in funds from the Coast Guard. Other rescissions
and an across the board cut entirely offset the cost of the hurricane specific relief. The bill provided
about $10 billion more than the Administration had requested. Some relevant highlights:
Agriculture              $200 million for the Emergency Conservation Program for rehabilitation of
                         hurricane damaged farmland; $300 million for the Emergency Watershed
                         Protection program for emergency recovery in damaged waterways or
                         watersheds; $118 million for repair and rebuilding of rural housing and
                         infrastructure. Authority was provided for the NRCS to fund debris and carcass
                         removal on non-federal land.
Corps of Engineers       $2.9 billion ($1.3 over the request) for storm and flood repairs, levee and
                         infrastructure reconstruction to original design specifications. This includes $8
                         million for ―a comprehensive hurricane protection analysis and design at full
                         federal expense to develop and present a full range of flood control, coastal
                         restoration and hurricane protection measures exclusive of normal policy
                         considerations‖.     Further, the ―Secretary [of defense, where the Corps of
                         Engineers does the work] shall submit a preliminary technical report for
                         comprehensive Category 5 protection within 6 months of enactment of the Act
                         and a final technical report for Category 5 protection within 24 months of
                         enactment of this Act‖. Additionally, ―the Secretary shall consider providing
                         protection for a storm surge equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane within the
                         project area and may submit reports on component areas of the larger protection
                         program for authorization as soon as practicable.‖ It is stipulated that this work
                         be done in close cooperation with the State of Louisiana.
Homeland Security        $285 million ($45 million below the request) for rebuilding facilities, replacing
                         equipment and compensating for costs incurred during the recovery

USGS                     $5.3 million for ―Surveys, Investigations and Research‖ for hurricane related
                         expenses and $16 million for ―Royalty and Offshore Minerals Management‖

EPA                      $8 million for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank program

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NOAA                     $17.2 million for ―Operations, Research and Facilities‖ for expenses related to
                         the consequences of the hurricanes and $37.4 million for procurement,
                         acquisition and construction

Fed. Highway Adm.        $2.7 billion ($425 million above the request) to repair damaged roads, bridges
                         and other transportation infrastructure

HUD                      $11.5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG).
                         Use of the funds specifically does not include mitigation. In the final draft, the
                         language says, ―for necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long term
                         recovery and restoration of infrastructure‖. The words ―and mitigation‖ are

HR 4133                  Increase in borrowing authority
                         This was passed November 18th, increasing the NFIP’s Treasury borrowing
                         authority from $3.5 billion to $18.5 billion. The measure was signed by the
                         President on November 21st and became Public Law 109-106.

What Didn’t Pass

HR 4438                  to establish special rules related to disaster assistance for Hurricanes
                         Katrina and Rita
                         Among its provisions is authority to use Stafford Act funds for base pay for
                         certain local officials, including permitting officials. The measure would also
                         restore HMGP to 15% from 7.5%. The bill was reported out of the House
                         Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on December 22nd after having been
                         marked up on December 7th. The report accompanying the bill (H Rept 109-364)
                         indicates that FEMA should consider ―demolish and rebuild‖ to be an eligible
                         mitigation option for Stafford Act programs. The language stipulates that the
                         option should be available ―when it is consistent with a community’s overall
                         goals, when it encourages safe and livable housing and when it is determined to
                         be feasible and cost-effective‖.       The language also says, ―The Committee
                         recognizes that some flood hazard areas, such as floodways, pose significant
                         risks to residential structures and expects the guidance to avoid use of ―demolish
                         and rebuild‖ in such areas that are particularly high risk.‖

HR 4320                  to increase NFIP borrowing authority and to make further reforms to the
                         The bill would increase flood insurance coverage limits and increase fines
                         imposed on lenders for non-compliance with mandatory purchase requirements.
                         It also directs implementation of the appeals process and mitigation programs
                         that were authorized in the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004. It restates the
                         minimum training and education requirements from FIRA ’04 and requires
                         lenders to provide notice that flood insurance is available to all homeowners, not
                         just those in a designated floodplain. It clarifies that demo-rebuild should be
                         available under the regular FMA program, not just the new severe repetitive loss
                         pilot. It also calls for a 6 month study of expanding mandatory purchase
                         requirements to the 500 year and residual risk areas at preferred risk rates.

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                         The bill was reported out of the House Financial Services Committee, but was
                         not considered on the House floor before adjournment. The Senate Banking
                         Committee has a draft flood insurance reform proposal which has not yet been

What to Look For in the Upcoming Session

         NFIP borrowing authority and consideration of further flood insurance reforms
                      Since estimates are that the currently authorized borrowing authority of $18.5
                      billion will only cover costs until sometime in January, there will be pressure on
                      the Congress to act on a further increase early in the session.
                      The Senate Banking Committee is likely to hold hearings on flood insurance
                      reform with a view toward developing ways to expand mandatory purchase
                      requirements and to otherwise address the challenge of keeping the program
                      solvent in an era projected to include more intense storms. The House bill, HR
                      4320, could be brought to the House floor early in the session.

        Stafford Act modifications
                       The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s (T & I) Subcommittee
                       on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management is
                       likely to explore other changes to the Stafford Act. At this point, it is unclear
                       whether or not HR 4438, the Stafford amendments developed to assist the
                       hurricane recovery, will be brought to the House floor as reported out of
                       committee. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
                       is unlikely to initiate such legislation, but could be responsive if the House passes
                       a bill.

        FEMA and DHS
                    The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T & I) is very likely to
                    hold a hearing on the question of how FEMA is functioning within the
                    Department of Homeland Security. The Chairman (Young of Alaska) and
                    Ranking Member (Oberstar of Minnesota) have committed to take a serious look
                    at the issue early in the session. While there has been some indication of interest
                    in the issue in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
                    Committee (HSGAC), it is less likely that there will be early consideration of this
                    issue there.

        Levee safety
                         Chairman Duncan (R-TN) of the T &I Water Resources Subcommittee has
                         introduced a levee safety bill, HR 4650. The bill requires an inventory of levees
                         and their condition and sets up a national levee safety program. ASFPM is
                         engaged in discussions with the subcommittee staff and with the American
                         Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) about development of the legislation and
                         about some significant concerns with the current version. The level of interest on
                         the subcommittee staff seems high and it is likely that action will be scheduled on
                         the bill. There is also significant interest among members and staff of the Senate
                         Committee on Environment and Public Works, but the Chairman’s wish to move
                         any legislation via the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) may slow
                         the process on the Senate side.

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        As a general observation about the upcoming session, it seems to be shaping up as a period of
serious consideration of disaster related issues, both small and large. The various white papers being
developed by members and committees of ASFPM will be extremely helpful as guidance for ASFPM’s
recommendations and comments concerning legislative proposals.

        All legislation and committee reports referenced can be found at:

Return to Table of Contents

News in Brief
FEMA’s redesigned website
FEMA’s website, is being redesigned. It is expected to be completed in January. Along with
the redesign, many of the URLs are changing. FEMA is urging anyone who has bookmarked FEMA web
pages to take a few minutes to locate the information when the new site is online, and create a new

EPA Issues Guidance to Control Urban Runoff Pollution
On December 6, 2005, EPA released National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source
Pollution from Urban Areas. The comprehensive 512-page guidance will help local governments and
others protect water resources from polluted runoff that can result from everyday activities and urban
development. The guidance will also help municipalities and other regulated entities implement Phase I
and Phase II Storm Water Permit Programs. This publication includes voluntary guidance on 12
management measures designed to prevent and control runoff pollutants from urban and suburban lands.
The management measures cover topics such as watershed assessment and protection; runoff from new
and existing development, road networks, and construction sites; septic system impacts; pollution
prevention; and inspection and maintenance of urban runoff management practices. The guidance is free
and available online at
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CFM® Corner
Email for certification questions is
This section will appear in each issue of the Insider. For suggestions on specific topics or questions to
be covered, please send an email to Anita at this address in the ASFPM Office.
Certification Information
Happy New Year! Here is some interesting information from last year. In 2005 ASFPM offered the CFM
exam at 81 different sites, 20 more than last year. A total of 524 people took the exam with 77% of them
passing, with an overall average score of 75.40 (70% is a passing grade). You can tell this is a fast growing
and important program to our members and to the floodplain management profession.
CFM Renewal
ASFPM CFMs who are up for their biennial CFM® certification renewal January 31, 2006 have been
sent a letter and renewal form via snail mail. If you have not received yours in the mail, please contact
Anita Larson at or (608) 274-0123.
Certification Board of Regents
A big “Thank You” goes out to Vic Rothacker, CFM from Pima County for all his work on the
Certification Board and his dedication to the CFM program for the last two years. The ASFPM Board has
just approved Michael J. Parker, CFM from Santa Barbara County, California to fill Vic’s spot as local
government representative on the Certification Board of Regents. Also, two new positions were added to

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the Certification Board, the ASFPM Professional Development Committee Chair and ASFPM Training
Committee Chair. These positions are currently held by John Ivey, CFM from Halff Associates, Texas
and Rhonda Montgomery, CFM State NFIP Coordinator, Kansas. Welcome Michael, John and
In December, the CBOR held a 3 day meeting in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, at the beautiful Carter &
Burgess Complex. Curtis Beitel, CFM of Carter & Burgess offered us use of one of their conference
rooms for our meeting. He was a very great host! Thank you very much Curtis!!
At that meeting we discussed our 2006 goals. We will finalize and share this with you in the next CFM
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2006 National Wetlands Awards Nominations Due Jan. 16th
          Know a teacher or local activist whose passion for wetlands has inspired others? An elected
official who has labored to protect a beloved swamp? Or perhaps a farmer who has restored wetlands on
their property to benefit wildlife? Take time to recognize your favorite wetland hero
through the National Wetlands Awards Program!
          National Wetlands Awards are given for all kinds of wetland conservation and protection efforts,
including: education and outreach; science research; conservation and restoration; landowner stewardship;
state, tribal, or local program development; and community leadership. Awardees are honored on Capitol
Hill during American Wetlands Month, and their stories, through a coordinated media campaign, inspire
others to protect these treasured resources.
          Nominations for the 2006 National Wetlands Awards are due this month -- January 16, 2006
(postmarked). Nomination forms and additional information about the National Wetlands Awards are
available at: Questions about the National Wetlands Awards
may be directed to Roxanne Thomas at 202-939-3827 or
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Restore America’s Estuaries’ 3rd National Conference –
Call for Sessions, Presentations, and Posters
Restore America's Estuaries' 3rd National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration -
"Forging the National Imperative" will be held December 9-13, 2006, in New Orleans, LA.
        The National Program Committee invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 3rd National
Conference. There are three submission opportunities:

* Dedicated Sessions – 90-minute sessions with generally three or four presenters and time for discussion.
Dedicated Sessions must include multiple perspectives and are strongly encouraged to address multiple
aspects of restoration within the chosen topic. Submissions should be made by the proposed session
chair/organizer, and should identify all proposed presenters. The session chair/organizer may propose
him/herself as one of the presenters in the session.

* Contributed Presentations – 15-20 minute presentations. The National Program Committee will group
presentations into cohesive 90-minute sessions.

* Poster Presentations – Posters will be displayed throughout the Conference, and one or two special 90-
minute poster sessions will allow Poster Presenters to discuss their work with Conference participants. A
Student Poster Contest will provide cash awards to the best student posters. For more contest information,
please visit the Conference website.

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* February 15, 2006 – Dedicated Session Proposals due from Session Organizer/Chair
* March 31, 2006 – Contributed Presentation Proposals due
* April 30, 2006 – Poster Proposals due

For more information or to download the application, visit

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ASFPM and ASFPM Foundation Announce New Position, Marketing and
Research Coordinator

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and the ASFPM Foundation have jointly created
a new position of Marketing and Research Coordinator. Primary responsibilities will be to advance
outreach efforts with related organizations and agencies, attract/acquire funding, write grant proposals,
and assist with educational and policy projects, products and events. Interested parties may view the full
job posting at This position is
located in the Executive Office in Madison, WI. ASFPM is a national, nonprofit, professional
membership association with 8,000 members and 22 chapters throughout the U.S.

The application closing date is Feb. 10, 2006. To apply, please send your resume, a cover letter,
information outlining projects/activities that you successfully funded and executed, and two writing
samples - one each of a grant proposal and a project. Please email these to ASFPM Administrator Diane
Brown at
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2006 NFIP Claims Presentation Workshops
FEMA has released the 2006 NFIP Claims Presentation workshop schedule. The workshops will focus on
the key SFIP changes, concepts, and coverage information. Additional subjects will be explored, such as
the 2004 Reform Act, including the claims appeal process, loss settlement adjustments, new policy
definitions, and policy language and exclusions.
The full workshop schedule can be viewed on FEMA’s website at:
Return to Table of Contents

Floodplain Manager’s Calendar
Below are just several of the upcoming conferences and workshops. For a full listing, visit our online calendar at,%20Calendar/calendar.asp.

                                    Michigan Stormwater-
 February 13 – 15, 2006            Floodplain Association’s            
                                    19th Annual Conference
                                  Environmental Connection           International Erosion Control Association
 February 20 – 24, 2006            ’06; The world’s Largest             
                                      Soil & Water Event                 
                                      Florida Floodplain
                                     Managers Association
    March 1 – 3, 2006                                                     
                                        Annual Meeting,
                                         Gainesville, FL

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                                    Illinois Association for
                                   Floodplain & Stormwater
    March 8 – 9, 2006             Management 2006 Annual             
                                         Tinley Park, IL
                                    Georgia Association of
                                  Floodplain Management’s
   March 16 – 17, 2006                                            
                                  First Technical Conference
                                    & Membership Meeting
                                   Joint NC / SC Floodplain
     April 5 – 6, 2006                                   
                                    Missouri Floodplain &
                                    Stormwater Manager’s
    May 10 – 12, 2006                                               
                                      Association Annual
                                    ASFPM’s 30th Annual
    June 11 – 16, 2006            Conference, Albuquerque,

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Job Corner
Visit our online job corner at for a complete listing of all job openings.

City of Scottsdale, AZ
Stormwater Planner

One of the nation’s premier communities, The City of Scottsdale, Arizona, is seeking a Stormwater
Planner ($52,769 - $73,569, with outstanding benefits). The primary responsibilities for this position
include CIP planning, review of complex stormwater management systems for private development,
administration of NFIP, resolution and drainage complaints, and administration of NPDES. A Bachelor’s
in Civil Engineering, Planning or a related field and 4 years progressively responsible project
coordination experience in stormwater management are required. Position may be filled as an entry-level
Engineer-In-Training ($46,321.60 - $64,646.40) for candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil
Engineering or a closely related field.

If you are interested in joining our progressive organization of elite professionals and would like more
detailed information, please see our website at

JE Fuller/Hydrology & Geomorphology
Civil Engineer/Hydrologist
JE Fuller/Hydrology & Geomorphology, Inc. is a civil engineering firm specializing in surface water
drainage engineering with offices in Tempe & Tucson. We are seeking civil engineers and hydrologists
for our Tempe office, and possibly our Tucson office. A successful candidate will be able to satisfy the
following requirements:

        BA/BS degree in Civil Engineering or Hydrology (or a related field), with an emphasis in surface
         water hydrology and drainage engineering.

        At least 3 years of professional experience in public and private drainage engineering and flood
         control planning.

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       Experience with HEC-RAS, HEC-1, and WMS.

       Technical proficiency with AutoCAD and/or ArcView GIS.

       Registration as an Arizona PE (or EIT with eligibility for PE within two years).

       Strong writing and communication skills.

Preference will be given to Arizona residents. Individuals who do not have legal residence status in the
USA will not be considered.

In addition to competitive salaries, we offer an outstanding benefit package including performance
bonuses, full medical, dental, and disability coverage, flex-time, education reimbursement, and an
excellent working environment. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. More information on our
company is available at our website (

Applicants should respond by sending their resume to Jon Fuller by email to Those
candidates under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls, please.
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The Insider   January 2006                      17

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