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Executive Order 13690 - Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS)

To improve the nation’s resilience to flooding and better prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change, the President’s Climate Action Plan (June 2013) directs federal agencies to take the appropriate actions to reduce risk to federal investments, specifically to “update their flood-risk reduction standards.”

To further the Climate Action Plan, the President released Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.

Between 1980 and 2013, the United States suffered more than $260 billion in flood-related damages.  On average, more people die annually from flooding than any other natural hazard.  Further, the costs borne by the Federal government are more than any other hazard.  Flooding accounts for approximately 85% of all disaster declarations.   With climate change, we anticipate that flooding risks will increase over time.  In fact, the National Climate Assessment (May 2014) projects that extreme weather events, such as severe flooding, will persist throughout the 21st century.  That damage can be particularly severe to our infrastructure, including our buildings, roads, ports, industrial facilities, and even our coastal military installations.

The new federal flood risk standard requires all future federal investments in and affecting floodplains to meet the level of resilience as established by the Standard.  For example, this includes where federal funds are used to build new structures and facilities or to rebuild those that have been damaged.

The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard builds on work done by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which announced in April 2013 that all Sandy-related rebuilding projects funded by the Sandy Supplemental (Public Law 113-2) must meet a consistent flood risk reduction standard.  The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy recommended that the federal government create a national flood risk standard for Federally-funded projects beyond the Sandy-affected region.

The Standard specifically requires agencies to consider current and future risk when taxpayer dollars are used to build or rebuild floodplains.

In implementing the Standard, federal agencies will be given the flexibility to select one of three approaches for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design, and construction:

  • Utilizing best-available, actionable data and methods that integrate current and future changes in flooding based on science,
  • Two or three feet of elevation, depending on the criticality of the building, above the 100-year, or 1%-annual-chance, flood elevation, or
  • 500-year, or 0.2%-annual-chance, flood elevation.

Homeowner's Flood Insurance Affordability Act

On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law. This law repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was enacted in 2012, and makes additional program changes to other aspects of the program not covered by that Act. Many provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act remain and are still being implemented.

Community Acknowledgement Form – Endangered Species Compliance


By signing a FEMA Community Acknowledgement Form, the Local Floodplain Administrator is certifying the subject project is in compliance with the Threatened and Endangered Species Act.


OFMA recommends Local Floodplain Administrators require project applicants to submit documentation that the project has complied with the requirements of the Threatened and Endangered Species Act prior to the Local Floodplain Administrator signing the Community Acknowledgment Form.


Project applicants can be referred to the US Fish and Wildlife website for information on how to obtain compliance documentation.  Some applicants may need to obtain professional assistance in this matter.  Refer to the following link: