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Flood Risk Management Program

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS)

The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) was issued January 2015 to encourage federal agencies to consider current and future risk when taxpayer dollars are used to build or rebuild near floodplains. To learn more about the FFRMS and how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to implement the new requirements, explore the sections below.
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On January 30, 2015, the President issued Executive Order (EO) 13690 (pdf, 1.0 MB): Establishing of a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input. The EO amends existing EO 11988: Floodplain Management originally issued in 1977, to include the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS). The original EO 11988 governs federal actions in floodplains and includes an eight-step decision making process aimed to encourage wise floodplain management decisions. Once implemented, the FFRMS will assist in reducing the risk and cost of future flood disasters by ensuring that Federal investments in and affecting floodplains are constructed to better withstand the impacts of flooding.

EO 13690 also encourages agencies to consider natural systems, ecosystem processes, and nature-based approaches when development alternatives are considered. This is consistent with recommendations and findings in the recently released North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS). Both the NACCS and the FFRMS aim to reduce risk and increase resilience of communities’ abilities to withstand and rapidly recover from storm damages in addition to encouraging the use of natural systems, ecosystem processes, and nature-based approaches.

In October 2015, the Water Resources Council approved revised guidelines for implementing EO 11988 as amended by EO 13690. These guidelines are advisory and were informed by public dialogue and comment aggregated through FEMA-hosted stakeholder sessions.

Communication materials and further information is available by contacting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers points of contact

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During the public comment period, questions were frequently asked regarding the intended scope of the President's FFRMS and the anticipated impacts to the USACE Regulatory Program. The Applicability of Floodplain Management and FFRMS Executive Orders to USACE Permitting Authorities was developed to provide clarifications in this regard.

USACE has decided to extend the deadline for public comments on the draft Engineer Circular for implementing EO 11988 from 30 January 2017 to 1 May 2017.  This extension is being offered in response to several requests as well as in recognition of the difficulty in compiling comments over the holiday season, the level of complexity and uncertainty around some of the changes in process being considered, and uncertainty due to the recent change in Administration.

USACE is seeking feedback from partners, other government and non-government stakeholders, Tribes, and members of the general public on the proposed draft guidance that has been developed.  A notice was placed in the Federal Register to announce the availability of the draft Engineer Circular (EC).  A fact sheet has also been released to provide additional information and details.

USACE is requesting assistance in the form of data, comments, literature references, or field experiences, to help clarify the policy requirements for implementing EO 11988 and EO 13690 (pdf, 1.0 MB) for agency activities. The draft EC is available for review. An Executive Summary of the draft EC is also available on the website to provide a high-level overview of the document and summary of the more substantial changes since the original 1984 ER.  Additionally, a list of topics and issues for which feedback would be especially helpful is posted for reviewer’s consideration.  While USACE welcomes any and all feedback on the draft EC, feedback responding to the list of identified topics and issues will be particularly helpful to USACE in clarifying areas requiring new policy or practice.  The most useful comments are from specific experiences and case examples.  Commenters should use their knowledge of working with USACE on various types of federal actions as well as their understanding of EO 11988 and EO 13690.  When comments are being made on specific sections of the document, USACE requests that commenters identify the relevant page and line numbers to which the comment applies.

All comments, literature citations, experiential references, data, other relevant reports, and input in response to the guiding topics and issues are being accepted through email, or through the postal service.  All comments submitted by May 1, 2017 will be compiled and sent to the PDT for their consideration. Comments can be addressed to:

Email:
USACE-EO11988@usace.army.mil
Include "Implementation Comments" in the subject line of the message

Mail:
HQ, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
ATTN: EO13690/CECW-HS/3G68
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000

Given the many questions and concerns that have been raised since the issuance of EO 13690 regarding the Climate-informed Science Approach, USACE is providing the following additional guidance to assist reviewers in understanding our current climate-informed analysis approaches.

 

Flood Risk Management Program