Flood Risk Management: Federal Role in Infrastructure [October 26, 2005]   [open pdf - 58KB]

"Local governments are responsible for land use and zoning decisions that direct floodplain and coastal development; however, state and federal governments influences community and individual decisions on managing flood risk. The federal government constructs flood control infrastructure, offers flood insurance, and provides disaster aid. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita sparked once again a national debate on managing flood hazards. The 109th Congress, like many earlier Congresses confronted with major flood events, is faced with numerous flood control issues, including interest in changing federal policies. Current federal programs and flood control projects generally target on reducing property damage and vulnerability to a 100-year flood. Post-Katrina discussions include whether current flood protection is sufficient, whether loss of life and economic and social disruption should be more prominent considerations in federal policy, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of a more risk-based approach to federal policy and spending. This report discusses federal investment decisions on flood control infrastructure, such as levees, floodwalls, and dams. The report also analyzes flood risk as a composite of flood threat, consequence, and vulnerability. The report illustrates that federal policy focuses attention on only some aspects of flood risk and summarizes the options being discussed for addressing other aspects of flood risk in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This report will be updated as needed to track significant developments."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33129
Public Domain
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