Maui News

Act Re-Introduced to Protect Flood-Prone Areas

July 11, 2019, 7:26 AM HST
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US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawai‘i joined Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) today in reintroducing the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at providing stronger protections for flood-prone communities.

Both are members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Supporters of the act say it provides the “first step towards breaking the costly cycle of repeated flooding and rebuilding” by providing communities with more tools to take proactive steps to reduce flood risk.

“Our bill builds on the momentum growing in states and cities to fight the new reality of accelerating sea level rise,” said Sen. Schatz. “We need to do all we can to prepare our communities and our economy to weather the storm.”

“Having grown up along South Carolina’s coast, I know all too well of the dangers and uneasiness that flooding can bring to families across our state and nation,” said Sen. Scott. “While our state is blessed with a pristine coastline, we face many issues that others don’t, like repeated flooding. Whenever I walk through the remains and aftermath of a hurricane, I’m reminded of how critical the NFIP is to the Palmetto State. Our legislation will help tackle the enormous debt the program is in while preparing communities to safeguard their homes and businesses before disaster strikes.”

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In addition to proactively reducing flood risk, the bill also sets deadlines for FEMA to develop criteria to govern these repeat loss plans and determine any appropriate sanctions for failure to act. It also requires FEMA to report to Congress every two years on implementation progress, and authorizes FEMA to target special assistance to communities working to address these repeatedly flooded areas.

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The Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act has the support of the National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers for Common Sense, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, National Wildlife Foundation, National Resources Defense Council and Pew Charitable Trusts.

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