Retroactive Application of a Letter of Map Amendment or Letter of Map Revision to Infrastructure Grants

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This policy is archived and has been superseded by the policy currently in effect.

  1. Date Published: August 8, 2000

  2. Response and Recovery Directorate Policy Number: 9530.1

  3. Title: Retroactive Application of a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to Infrastructure Grants.

  4. Purpose: This policy reiterates  the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy on the application of flood insurance reductions for underinsured or uninsured properties located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) at the time of a disaster when a LOMA or LOMR is requested and obtained after the declaration date.

  5. Scope and Audience: This policy is applicable to all major disasters and emergencies declared on or after the publication date of this policy. It is intended for FEMA personnel involved in making public assistance eligibility determinations.

  6. Background:

    1. FEMA provides federal disaster assistance for the repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of certain public and Private Nonprofit (PNP) facilities that are damaged by a major disaster as defined in the Stafford Act. In the event that such a facility is damaged by flooding, FEMA is required to reduce the amount of federal assistance in accordance with the Stafford Act and implementing regulations. Specifically, Section 406(d) of the Stafford Act states that if an eligible insurable facility damaged by flooding is located in a SFHA identified for more than one year by the Director or is not covered by flood insurance on the date of such flooding, FEMA shall reduce federal disaster assistance by the maximum insurance proceeds which would have been received had the buildings and contents been fully covered by a standard flood insurance policy. Effective March 1, 1995, the maximum flood insurance coverage limit for a nonresidential building is $500,000 and the maximum limit for contents is $500,000.

    2. There is an exception to this requirement which is specifically noted in the law and in FEMA regulation 44 CFR 206.252, Insurance requirements for facilities damaged by flood. A PNP facility which cannot be insured because it is located in a community which is not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may be exempt from the reduction in Federal assistance pursuant to Sections 406(d)(2) and (3) of the Stafford Act. If the community enters into the NFIP, the PNP may receive Federal disaster assistance provided the required flood insurance is purchased (44 CFR 206.252(b)); if the community does not do so within six months of the declaration, the PNP may not receive any Federal disaster assistance.

    3. Section 406(d) of the Stafford Act requires that the amount of the infrastructure grant be reduced if a facility is located within a SFHA. A SFHA is any land area subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are the official maps used to delineate the SFHAs of a community. SFHAs are designated on these maps as Zones A, AO, AH, A1-30, AE, A99, AR, AR/AO, AR/A1-30, AR/AE, AR/AH, AR/A, VO, V1-30, VE, or V (44 CFR 59.1).

    4. FEMA regulations provide a mechanism by which a community may request changes to the FIRMs (44 CFR Parts 65-70). It is, in fact, the responsibility of a community to assist FEMA in keeping a current and accurate record of floodplain boundaries whether it be based on more current information or physical changes to the floodplain or floodways. A change to an effective FIRM is reflected in a LOMA, LOMR, or a republication of the FIRM.

      1. A LOMA removes from the floodplain a specific structure or property that was inadvertently included in the designated floodplain on a community's FIRM. The LOMA states that the structure or property was never in the SFHA. A request for a LOMA is typically submitted by an individual, and must include, among other items, a certification by a Registered Professional Engineer or Licensed Land Surveyor that the lowest adjacent grade of the structure is above the base flood elevation shown on the community's effective FIRM (44 CFR Part 70).

      2. A LOMR is an annotated copy of the FIRM which officially changes the floodplain boundaries along certain waterways in the community. A LOMR may be based solely on more accurate and detailed scientific or technical information or on actual physical changes to the floodplain that affect flooding conditions. Pursuant to 44 CFR 65.3, Requirement to submit new technical data, a community is required to submit new scientific or technical data confirming physical changes within six months after the date such information becomes available. Submission of such information is necessary in order that risk premium rates and floodplain management requirements will be based upon current data.

      3. FEMA will republish the FIRM when changes are too extensive to show on a LOMR.

      Once issued by FEMA, LOMAs and LOMRs are incorporated into the official data or record used in all determinations concerning local floodplain development and flood insurance requirements.

    5. The intent of FEMA regulations governing insurance coverage and disaster assistance funding is to encourage individuals, States, and local governments to obtain insurance coverage and thereby reduce their dependence on governmental assistance. FEMA meets this intent by limiting otherwise available assistance to flood-damaged structures located in a SFHA; requiring recipients of federal disaster assistance to obtain and maintain insurance for the future; and prohibiting all future assistance for that facility if an applicant fails to meet the previous requirement.

    6. FEMA recognizes that more detailed and more accurate scientific and technical information may remove a structure from an identified floodplain. FEMA has developed an administrative procedure for amending and revising current FIRMs. Although a FIRM may identify a facility as being located in a SFHA, a LOMA or LOMR may confirm that the structure is actually excluded from the SFHA. It is not the intent of FEMA to unduly penalize an applicant in a major disaster situation whose facility is determined after-the-fact never to have been in the identified SFHA.

    7. This policy addresses how and when FEMA should consider a LOMA or LOMR obtained after a declared disaster when determining the amount of infrastructure grants.

  7. Policy:

    1. FEMA will not reduce the amount of the infrastructure grant pursuant to Section 406(d) of the Stafford Act if:

      1. The applicant has a request for a LOMA or LOMR submitted and pending prior to the declaration, or the applicant submits a request for a LOMA or LOMR no later than six months following the declaration,

      2. The technical data supporting the LOMA or LOMR request reflects actual conditions that existed at the site prior to the flood event, and

      3. In the case of a LOMR, the request does not seek to have base flood elevations modified based on new hydrology or man-made changes.

    2. FEMA will reduce the amount of federal assistance until such a time as the applicant has informed FEMA in writing that a LOMA or LOMR has been obtained. Upon receipt of a copy of a LOMA or LOMR, FEMA may reinstate funding, provided the above parameters have been met.

    3. It is the sole responsibility of a Public Assistance applicant to request a LOMA or LOMR if it believes that a structure is not actually located in the identified SFHA as identified on the effective FIRM.

    4. Costs incurred in pursuit of a LOMA or LOMR are not eligible for reimbursement.

  8. Supersession: This policy updates and replaces RR #9530.1, Retroactive Application of a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to Infrastructure Grants, dated August 17, 1999.

  9. Authorities: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 406(d), 44 CFR 206.252.

  10. Originating Office: Infrastructure Division, Response and Recovery Directorate

  11. Review Date: Five years from date of publication

  12. Signature:         signed        
                         Lacy E. Suiter
                         Executive Associate Director
                         Response and Recovery Directorate

  13. Distribution: Regional Directors, Regional and Headquarters R&R Division Directors
     

Last Updated: 
06/13/2012 - 14:09