FEMA Publishes Proposed Rulemaking for Public Comment on the Implementation of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard


Flood risk has increased across much of the United States due to sea level rise, changing precipitation patterns, and development. As a result, the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard directs federal agencies to consider the effects of future flooding for federally funded actions to further reduce risk of flooding. There is a 60-day comment period from Oct. 2 – Dec. 1, 2023.

Date: September 29, 2023 - December 1, 2023

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The National Environmental Policy Act and Executive Order (EO) 11988 on Floodplain Management mandate that federal agencies evaluate their actions to avoid adverse impacts to floodplains and to avoid supporting development in areas at risk of flooding. The FFRMS updates the requirements of EO 11988, directing agencies to use more rigorous criteria for determining acceptable levels of flood risk for federally funded projects and to incorporate natural features or nature-based solutions into project design that reduce local flood risk and increase resilience against flooding.

The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard applies only to federally funded actions involving new construction, substantial improvement or repairs to substantial damage. FFRMS also applies to hazard mitigation projects involving structure elevation, dry floodproofing and mitigation reconstruction.

Applying the FFRMS will allow FEMA to consider best available and actionable climate science in making projects and communities more resilient to increases in flood conditions. 

There is a 60-day comment period on the proposed rule and companion policy from Oct. 2 – Dec. 1, 2023 in the Federal Register

Timeline of Presidential Actions Around the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

  • On Jan. 30, 2015, President Barack Obama issued EO 13690, which created the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. Many Federal agencies, including FEMA, took steps to implement these actions.  
  • On Sept. 20, 2016, FEMA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise its regulations in order to implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standards. 
  • On Aug. 15, 2017, President Donald Trump issued EO 13807, which revoked EO 13690. Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking was withdrawn.
  • On May 20, 2021, President Joseph Biden issued EO 14030, which reinstated EO 13690. As a result, FEMA re-initiated its efforts to implement EO 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard.
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