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Adequate Progress (Zone A99) Requirements 


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Once a flood protection project, such as a levee system, that is intended to provide a 1-percent-annual-chance level of protection has reached certain completion milestones, a community may submit the data and documentation required by Section 61.12 of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations and request an "adequate progress" determination from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Eligibility Requirements

In accordance with Section 61.12 of the NFIP regulations, FEMA may issue adequate progress determinations for construction of flood protection systems, such as levee systems, involving federal funds that will significantly limit the area of a community that will be included in the identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA (also known as the high-risk area) is the area that will be inundated by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood. Such projects reduce but do not eliminate, the risk of flooding to people who live and work in these levee-impacted areas or to the structures in which they live and work.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community or other responsible community official designated by the CEO, may request that FEMA make an adequate progress determination for a construction project and revise the effective NFIP map to designate the SFHA in the impacted area as Zone A99 on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The CEO or other community official may request an adequate progress determination when federal funds are used for the project and certain completion milestones, discussed below, are met.

Application and Submittal Requirements

In accordance with Paragraph 61.12(b) of the NFIP regulations, the FEMA Regional Office that serves the community or communities affected by the project must receive information from the sponsoring community indicating that the project meets all of the following requirements:

  • 100 percent of the total financial project cost of the completed flood protection system has been authorized;
  • At least 50 percent of the total financial project cost of the completed flood protection system has been expended;
  • At least 60 percent of the total financial project cost of the completed flood protection system has been appropriated;
  • All critical features of the flood protection system, as identified by FEMA, are under construction and each critical feature is 50 percent completed as measured by the actual expenditure of the estimated construction budget funds; and
  • The community has not been responsible for any delay in the completion of the system.

Each request must contain a complete statement of all relevant facts relating to the flood protection system, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Supporting technical data (e.g., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project data);
  • Cost schedules;
  • Budget appropriation data;
  • Extent of federal funding of system construction;
  • Full and precise statement of the purpose of the system;
  • Information sufficient to identify all persons affected by system/project;
  • Carefully detailed description of project, including construction completion target dates; and
  • True copies of all contracts, agreements, leases, instruments and other documents.

Relevant facts reflected in the submitted documents must be included in the statement and not merely incorporated by reference and must be accompanied by an analysis of their bearing on the requirements of Paragraph 61.12(b) of the NFIP regulations, specifying the pertinent provisions. The request must contain a statement whether, to the best of the knowledge of the person responsible for preparing the application for the community, the project is currently the subject matter of litigation before any federal, state or local court or administrative agency and the purpose of that litigation.

The request must also contain a statement as to whether the community has previously requested an adequate progress determination for the project from FEMA, detailing the disposition of such previous request.

Note: Documents submitted to FEMA become part of the file and cannot be returned; therefore, the community should not submit the original documents.

FEMA Review and Response

FEMA will review all data and documentation submitted in support of the community's application for the adequate progress determination. Upon completing this review, FEMA will respond, in writing, to the CEO of the community in accordance with the procedures specified in Section 65.9 of the NFIP regulations.

If FEMA issues an adequate progress determination, they will prepare a new or revised FIRM that designates the flood hazard areas that are impacted by the levee system as Zone A99.

Requirements for Maintaining Zone A99 Designation

To maintain the Zone A99 designation, the CEO or other responsible official of a community who receives an adequate progress determination from FEMA must certify to FEMA annually, on the anniversary date of receipt of the adequate progress determination, that no present delay in completion of the project is attributable to local sponsors of the project and that a good faith effort to complete the project is being made.

Flood Insurance Requirements

The following flood insurance requirements apply in areas designated Zone A99 on an effective FIRM:

  • The mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements of the NFIP apply.
  • Properties located in Zone A99 will be charged the same flood insurance premium rates that would be applicable once the project is complete.
  • The flood insurance premium rates go into effect on the date that FEMA issues its final determination to the community CEO, in writing, that adequate progress has been made toward completion of the flood protection system.

Floodplain Management and Building Requirements

The following floodplain management and building requirements apply in areas designated Zone A99 on an effective FIRM:

  • Residential buildings do not have to be elevated to or above the elevation of the 1-percent-annual-chance flood (i.e., the Base Flood Elevation).
  • Nonresidential buildings do not have to be elevated or floodproofed to or above the 1-percent-annual-chance flood elevation.
  • Unlike the requirements in other SFHAs that are determined based on detailed engineering studies, the community only needs to meet the standards of Subparagraphs 60.3(a)(1) through (6) and Subparagraphs 60.3(b)(5) through (8) for Zone A99 areas.

Requirements for Removing Zone A99 Designation

A community that has received an adequate progress determination from FEMA must notify the FEMA Regional Office that serves the community if, at any time, all progress on the completion of the project has been halted or if the project has been canceled. When this occurs, FEMA will revise the FIRM to present flood hazard and risk information based on the levee system not providing 1%-annual-chance flood protection. In this case, FEMA would redesignate the levee-impacted area as Zone AE, and the flood insurance and floodplain management benefits that apply to Zone A99 areas would no longer apply.

For information on upcoming changes to the approach used by FEMA to analyze areas on the landward side of levees not accredited to provide protection against the 1%-annual-change flood, visit FEMA’s Revised Levee Analysis and Mapping Approach webpage.

Useful Resources

The levee resources listed below provide more information on regulatory requirements, procedural requirements and benefits of adequate progress determinations and the Zone A99 flood insurance risk zone designation.

For More Information

For more information or additional assistance:

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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