FEMA policies in Puget Sound harm salmon

09-23-2011 // Phuong Le

This excerpt is from Bloomberg BusinessWeek

The National Wildlife Federation plans to sue the federal government, saying it has failed to ensure that the national flood insurance program hasn't harmed endangered salmon -- or the orca whales that feed on the fish -- in Puget Sound.

Thursday marked the deadline when the Federal Emergency Management Agency was to ensure that 122 communities in Puget Sound had met new building requirements that don't jeopardize fish habitat. To remain eligible for federal flood insurance coverage, communities from Bellingham to Olympia must show FEMA that development they allow in certain areas won't harm salmon.

"We fully believe that flood risk reduction and fisheries habitat protection are a good fit, and are certainly not mutually exclusive," FEMA regional administrator Ken Murphy said in a statement Wednesday. "We're right on track."

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