An aerial view of a flooded residential area.

Federal Flood Standard

Fol­low­ing the expe­ri­ence of Hur­ri­cane Sandy, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma adopt­ed the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Hur­ri­cane Sandy Task Force and issued a Fed­er­al Flood Stan­dard which required that post-dis­as­ter infra­struc­ture rebuilds account for cli­mate change-relat­ed risk fac­tors, such as increased poten­tial lev­els of sea rise and storm surge.

2017-2021

  • August 2017

    In August 2017, Pres­i­dent Trump sum­mar­i­ly with­drew the Fed­er­al Flood Stan­dard short­ly before Hur­ri­cane Har­vey hit Texas. As a result, fed­er­al funds spent in rebuild­ing com­mu­ni­ties hit by hur­ri­canes, fire-rav­aged areas of Cal­i­for­nia, and oth­er regions recov­er­ing from nat­ur­al dis­as­ters were no longer required to take into account cli­mate-relat­ed risk factors.

  • Octo­ber 2017

    In Octo­ber 2017, attor­neys gen­er­al from five states and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia wrote a let­ter to con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship request­ing rein­state­ment of the Fed­er­al Flood Stan­dard. The updat­ed stan­dard would direct fed­er­al agen­cies to apply the lat­est sci­en­tif­ic infor­ma­tion on flood risks, man­age­ment, and plan­ning to any fed­er­al project rebuilds in flood or fire prone areas. The attor­neys gen­er­al point­ed out that the updat­ed stan­dard would pro­tect crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture, such as bridges and roads; save tax­pay­ers’ dol­lars; and ensure the safe­ty of com­mu­ni­ties from future flood­ing and oth­er nat­ur­al disasters.