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Borough of Staten Island, New York

BOROUGH OF STATEN ISLAND, NY - On July 8, 1999, the Borough of Staten Island, signed an agreement with FEMA under the Cooperating Technical Communities (now Cooperating Technical Partners [CTP]) initiative. The objective of the agreement was to refine and/or eliminate floodplains designated Zone A from the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for Richmond County, Borough of Staten Island. The Zone A boundaries had been delineated from the State of New York Freshwater Wetland Maps. Subsequent to the publication of the effective FIRM for Staten Island, FEMA was notified that the wetland maps were in error and therefore, the Zone A floodplain boundaries were delineated incorrectly.

As part of the CTP agreement, Staten Island provided FEMA with a written summary of the Zone A areas in need of investigation, and provided technical support and assistance as needed. To correctly delineate the floodplain boundaries on work maps prior to preparing a revised FIRM, FEMA conducted onsite investigations to verify the wetlands delineations and performed new analyses for storm sewers within the community that contained flooding discharges. Then FEMA digitized the FIRM and issued a preliminary version of the Digital FIRM (DFIRM) to the community for review on September 7, 2000. The final DFIRM became effective on May 21, 2001.

Feedback from the Borough of Staten Island on the CTP project has been positive. The new DFIRM will provide the Borough with a more accurate floodplain management tool. In addition, with the more accurate delineation of the floodplain boundaries, the floodprone designation has been removed from between 400 and 500 properties. For these properties, the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will no longer apply, and the property owners will have the option of purchasing insurance at a significantly reduced rate.

The CTP agreement and related mapping activities have helped FEMA meet three objectives of its Map Modernization Program: to more accurately delineate or remove erroneous A zones, to convert the flood map inventory to a digital format and to increase local involvement in the mapping process.