November 1, 2015 - Identification of Business PropertiesBusinessProperties
Beginning November 1, 2015, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will modify its flood insurance application form in order to i dentify business properties.   The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12) required FEMA to phase out subsidized rates for older, pre-FIRM (flood insurance rate map) business properties.   FEMA currently categorizes building occupancy as follows:  (1) Single Family, (2) Two-to-Four Family, (3) Other Residential, or (4) Non-Residential. Historically, FEMA has classified business properties with other non-residential properties, such as non-profit entities, house of worship, community recreation buildings and garages.    

In order to begin this phase out, FEMA needed to separate out business properties from these other non-residential properties to implement the premium increases.  For rating purposes, a business property means a building where a licensed commercial enterprise is carried out to generate income and coverage is for one of the following:  a building designed as a non-habitational building; a mixed-use building in which the total floor area devoted to commercial uses exceeds 25% of the total floor area within the building; or a building designed for use as office or retail space, wholesale space, hospitality space, or for similar uses.  The identification process for all renewals for non-residential policies will begin on November 1, 2015.  Insurance companies will need to gather the necessary information to properly classify the policy prior to the policy's expiration data.  All new non-residential policies made after November 1, 2015 must also be accurately categorized as business or other non-residential.

View a summary of all changes to the NFIP which became effective on November 1, 2015.
Connecticut Dam Safety Program ChangesCTDamSafety
On October 1, 2013, the Connecticut General Assembly adopted Public Act No. 13-197 entitled "An Act Concerning the Dam Safety Program and Mosquito Control".  This resulted in modifications to state dam safety statutes, with significant changes regarding inspection, registration, and formulation of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP).  Some of the important highlights of the Act are summarized below:
  • Notification - DEEP will notify a dam owner when an inspections is due by sending a letter at the beginning of the year the inspection is required.  When notification is received, the dam owner is required to hire a registered professional engineer, licensed in the State of Connecticut and familiar with dams, to conduct the inspection.  A copy of the dam inspection report must be submitted to DEEP for review and approval. 
  • Registration  & Transfer of Ownership - Unregistered dams must be registered with DEEP by October 1, 2015.  If the property ownership of a dam is transferred, DEEP must be notified within 10 days of the transfer. 
  • Land Records - Owners of high (class C) and significant (class B) hazard class dams must record their dam on the municipal land records in the community the dam is located.  The recordation must be done on a form prescribed by DEEP.
  • Emergency Action Plan (EAP) - Owners of high (class C) and significant (class B) hazard class dams must develop and implement an EAP, which is to be updated every two years.
More information can be found on the DEEP Dam Safety Program webpage, including a webinar entitled " Changes in Connecticut's Dam Safety Program".  
New Dam Safety PublicationsDamPubs
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Dam Safety Program worked with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) to create the  Living with Dams: Know Your Risks  booklet.  The publication is designed to help answer questions about dams, what purposes they serve, associated risks, guidance for those li ving near dams, and where to find further information. 

The booklet provides a general overview of dams and dam safety, and answers the following questions:  "Why should I care about dams?",  "What are the risks associated with dams?",  "Could I be affected by a dam?", "What is the dam failure flood inundation area?", and "Do I need to buy flood insurance?".   The booklet (FEMA publication number P-956) is also available from the FEMA Publication Warehouse by calling (800)  480-2520 .  

Risk reduction can be achieved through various means, including improv ed approaches to flood warning and emergency management.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dam and Levee Safety Programs have recently engaged with renowned social scientists Dennis Mileti and John Sorensen in the areas of warning and evacuation to better understand what motivates p eople to take protective actions during an emergency event.   In June 2015,  A Guide to Public Alerts and Warnings for Dam and Levee Emergencies  was released,  summarizing the results of that effort.  It is targeted at anyone involved in the emergency management process, including emergency management officials, public information/affairs  officers, emergency first responders, dam and levee owners and operators, media, public elected officials, and other people or organizations involved with or interested in local emergency management.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) has issued a report titled A Strategy to Reduce the Risks and Impacts of Dams on Floodplains .  This report includes an analysis of the relationship of dams to the floodplain and recommendations on how to better integrate dams into floodplain management and flood risk reduction activities.  The development of this strategy document was funded by FEMA.  While FEMA floodplain mapping estimates the risks associated with levees, there has been no comparable effort to assess the residual risk associated with dams.  The NFIP does not currently require or address the need for any special construction or land use standards below dams, no matter their condition.  This is at odds with its policy on levees, where the potential for their failure is considered in both the mapping and the minimum land use and construction standards.  This was an important consideration in the development of this report, since there is the potential for a dam failure to inundate areas far beyond the mapped floodplain.

The Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS) has sponsored a new m anual titled Evaluation and Monitoring of Seepage and Internal Erosion (FEMA P-1032).  Internal erosi o n o ccurring at embankment dams and levees poses a threat of failure and potential risk to public safety.  This document presents a summary of current federal practices for monitoring and measuring seepage, identifying potential failure modes (PFMs) related to internal erosion, assessing risk related to internal erosion, and remediating internal erosion.  While research continues into these proces ses, this document attempts to present the best understanding based on current federal agency practice.   The manual is currently available for download only through the FEMA Library.  A CD version will be available for order from the FEMA Publication Warehouse within the next few months .
Updated Fee Schedule for Flood Map Changes & ProductsMapFees
On February 20, 2015, FEMA published an updated fee schedule for map changes, flood insurance study backup data and other flood map related products. This includes processing fees associated with Conditional Letter of Map Amendment (CLOMA), Conditional Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (CLOMR-F), Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F), Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR), Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), Physical Map Revision (PMR), and Letter of Determination (LODR) requests.    

In accordance with the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), Public Law 113-89, Section 22, a requester shall be exempt from submitting a review or processing fee for a request for a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) change based on a project where: (1) the primary purpose is habitat restoration; and (2) where the project is funded in whole or in part with Federal or State funds.  This exemption includes projects for dam removal, culvert redesign or installation or the installation of fish passage.   For the purposes of this exemption, "habitat restoration" will have the same meaning as the term as it appears in the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act, 16 USC ยง 3772 (5).
Revised Elevation Certificate & Floodproofing Certificate Forms Coming SoonEC
Revisions to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Elevation Certificate  (FEMA form 086-0-33) and Floodproofing Certificate (FEMA form 086-0-34) fo rms are currentl y  und er review at  t he Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  OMB has extended the expiration date of  these f orms  to November 30, 2015 .   Until the OMB review process is completed, the current form is still va lid under the Paperwork Reduction Act.  Continue to use or accept the exis ting forms.  Upon OM B approval, FEMA will update their website to include the new forms.
DEEP Welcomes New Deputy Commissioner SullivanMSullivan
DEEP named Michael Sullivan as the Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Quality.  As Deputy, Mr. Sullivan leads the three bureaus on DEEP's regulatory side - Water Protection & Land Reuse, Materials Management & Compliance Assurance, and Air Management.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Sullivan worked as an attorney in DEEP's Office of Legal Counsel and as Director of Permitting and Enforcement in DEEP's Air Bureau.  Prior to re-joining DEEP, he served as Senior Attorney for the University of Connecticut and as Undersecretary for Legal Affairs at the Office of Policy and Management.  Mr. Sullivan's priorities are to continue to streamline the permitting process through DEEP's LEAN program, strengthen the enforcement and compliance assurance activities, and transform the regulatory branch of the agency.       
Training OpportunitiesTrainings
WEBINARS

NFIP-related training webinars are available through FEMA's contractor, STARR.  Below are some of the upcoming webinars.  To register, go to the NFIP training website and  click on the "Upcoming" tab.  When asked during registration what FEMA Region you are in, please reply "1".

CRS Webinar Series
  • Preparing an Annual Recertification - November 17, 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Introduction to CRS - December 15, 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Floodplain Management Planning (Activity 510) - November 18, 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Developing Outreach Projects (Activity 330) - December 16, 1:00-2:00 pm

VIDEOS

H2O Partners offers short training videos on how the NFIP works, the effects of flood map changes, and the role of the elevation certificate in floodplain management.


CONFERENCES

December 1-2, 2015:   Living Shorelines:  Sound Science, Innovative Approaches, Connected Communities, Hilton Hotel, Hartford, CT, www.estuaries.org/living-shorelines-national-technology-transfer-and-regional-workshop.

December 9-11, 2015:   8th Annual HAZUS User Conference, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA, www.hazusconference.com.

January 27-29, 2016:  Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, www.flash.org.

April 10-13, 2016:   Keeping History Above Water, Newport, RI, www.historyabovewater.org.

April 20-21, 2016:   27th Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference, Hartford, CT, www.neiwpcc.org/npsconference.  

June 19-24, 2016:  A ssociation of State Floodplain Managers Annual Conference , Grand Rapids, MI, www.floods.org .  


FEMA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is located at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  EMI serves as the national center for emergency management training of federal, state and local government officials.  Tuition, housing, and all books and materials are provided at no cost.  Participants are responsible for the cost of a meal pass (approximately $100/week).  Below is a select list of floodplain management classes offered until September 2016. A full list of training classes can be found at the EMI website.  
 
 
E172  HAZUS-MH for Flood  - June 20-23, 2016
E 176  HAZUS-MH for Floodplain Managers - December 14-17, 2015 
E194  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts - April 11-14, 2016
E202  Debris Management Planning for State, Tribal and Local Officials - February 8-11, 2016
E210  Recovery from Disaster: The Local Government Role -  April 4-7, 2016
E273  Managing Floodplain Development through NFIP - Mar 7-10, Jun 27-30, Sept 12-15, 2016
E274  National Dam Safety Program Technical Seminar - February 17-18, 2016
E278  Community Rating System (CRS) - April 18-21, July 18-21, Sept. 19-22, 2016
E279  Retrofitting Floodprone Residential Buildings - May 2-5, 2016
E282  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts II - July 11-14, 2016
E284  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts III - August 29 - September 1, 2016
E291  Community Dam Safety, Preparedness & Mitigation - February 29 - March 3, 2016
E296  Application of HAZUS-MH for Risk Assessment - January 4-7, March 21-24, 2016
E313  Basic HAZUS-MH - January 11-14, April 11-14, 2016
E317  Comprehensive Data Mgmt for HAZUS-MH - Jan 4-7, Aug 29-Sept 1, Sept 26-29, 2016
E386  Residential Coastal Construction - August 22-25, 2016

EMI also offers Independent Study courses on various aspects of the NFIP aimed at  community officials, surveyors, insurance agents, and claims adjusters.  These web-based courses are free and can be taken at your own pace. Below is a sample of courses available.  Independent study courses are also available for other topics in emergency management, hazard mitigation planning, disaster response and dam safety.  View a full list of available courses.  

IS-1101  Basic Agent Tutorial
IS-1102  Theory of Elevation Rating
IS-1113  Coastal Barrier Resources Act
IS-1104  NFIP Claims Review for Adjusters
IS-1112  Introduction to Flood Claims
IS-1109  Understanding Basement Coverage
IS-1103  Elevation Certificate for Surveyors
IS-1100  Increased Cost of Compliance
IS-1105  EC Made Easy:  Elevation Certificate Overview
IS-1106  FEMA Mapping Changes
Visit the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep.  Published by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse, Inland Water Resources Division, Floodplain Management Program.  Editor:  Diane Ifkovic, State National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Coordinator, email:  diane.ifkovic@ct.gov.
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Please contact us at (860) 418-5910 or deep.accommodations@ct.gov if you; have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.