Legal Fellow Hannah Perls speaks with Joel Scata, a Water and Climate Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he works on clean water and climate change adaptation policy solutions. They discuss the ins and outs of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which, for the past fifty years, has helped define floodplain development by issuing federally-backed flood insurance policies to property owners and renters, and setting baseline building, land use and floodplain management criteria. However, many argue the program has failed, accumulating billions of dollars in debt and subsidizing risky development. In this episode, Joel and Hannah review the program’s history, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) latest reforms including Risk Rating 2.0, and what challenges remain if the NFIP is to help communities adapt to a climate changed world.
For more information on this discussion you can see NRDC’s Climate Adaptation page, NRDC’s & ASFPM’s Petition for FEMA to update its NFIP Rules (Jan. 8, 2021), and NRDC’s Comments responding to FEMA’s Request for Information on the NFIP (Jan. 27, 2022).
To learn more about FEMA’s authority to integrate equity considerations into its programs, see EELP’s Report on Equitable Disaster Relief.
Click here for a transcript of this episode.
CleanLaw Production Team: Robin Just, Andy Dolph, and Sara Levy