Congress Moves Flood Insurance Reform Forward as Americans Face Effects of Hurricane Season

09-08-2011 // Mekell Mikell

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs took a step towards protecting people, property and the environment by reporting the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2011. The bill reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program and removes subsidies that encourage over-development of environmentally sensitive floodplains. Additionally, the legislation creates a new mapping council to ensure flood maps accurately reflect changing flood risk from increased weather events intensified by climate change, sea level rise, fill and other impacts.

Rail Road Flooding

In light of historic flooding across the country from Hurricane Irene and the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, National Flood Insurance Program reform is needed now more than ever. This bill creates new mitigation programs to help American’s weather intense flooding events made worse by climate change, as well as protect and restore natural areas that absorb flood waters and storm surges.

“Hurricane Irene was yet another wakeup call that we cannot afford a business-as-usual approach to preparing and responding to floods and other disasters. We need to encourage development and re-development out of harm’s way when possible. When it’s not possible, we must do far more to reduce the risk to people, property and wildlife,” said Joshua Saks, senior legislative representative for water resources campaigns at the National Wildlife Federation.

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