Quinnipiac River Watershed Flood Map Study ProjectQuinnipiac
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) restudy of the Quinnipiac River watershed is nearing completion.  The initial scope of the project covered the entire watershed with approximately 670 miles of watercourse within 38 communities.  

With the input gathered from community officials, and federal budget limitations, the project's scope was refined and will include detailed restudies in major areas of the watershed or re-delineation of floodplain boundaries based on improved topographic data.  The 17 affected communities are:
  • Hartford County - Bristol, New Britain, Plainville, and Southington
  • New Haven County - Ansonia, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Hamden, Meriden, Milford, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, and Woodbridge
FEMA will update the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for Hartford and New Haven Counties along with 66 Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels.  Communities were provided preliminary FIRMs in September 2015.  On February 11, 2016, the 90-day appeal period for the project was published in the Federal Register.   Legal notices will be published in local newspapers on or about March 3  and March 11, 2016.  The appeal period will end on May 11, 2016.  Once all appeal issues are addressed, it is expected that the Letter of Final Determination (LFD) will be published on or about June 6, 2016, with final effective FIRMs and FIS on or about December 6, 2016. 

Affected communities will also be notified by the CTDEEP regarding the requirements for updating their local floodplain ordinance or zoning regulations to incorporate the date of the revised FIRM and FIS.  Communities can be suspended from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for failure to adopt revised floodplain ordinances or regulations before the new effective data.
EPA Resilience & Adaptation in New England WebsiteRAINE
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the new Resilience and Adaptation in New England (RAINE) website which contain a database cataloging resilience projects,
reports, plans and webpages throughout New England.  
Communities can use the RAINE database to identify examples of projects and planning efforts and find out what neighboring communities are doing to be more resilient.


The database can be used to target vulnerable areas that have not started planning for climate change.  Communities can also identify funding sources and potential partners for projects.  The database can be searched by state, population, type of plan or product, topic, climate impacts, tools, funding and partners.  

FEMA Seeks Comment on Disaster Deductible ConceptDeductible
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is exploring how the federal government supports states following disasters and is considering the new concept of a disaster deductible. FEMA believes the approach will provide incentive for mitigation projects and promote resilient construction which will reduce the cost of future disasters.  The disaster deductible will include a predetermined level of state disaster funding before FEMA will begin to provide additional funds through the Public Assistance (PA) program following a disaster declaration.  FEMA is seeking comments on all aspects of the deductible concept including how to calculate the deductible, the scope of the deductible, how to satisfy the deductible, implementation considerations and estimated impacts.  FEMA is seeking public comment through the Federal Register until March 21, 2016.
Interesting ReadingReading
Revised Elevation Certificate & Floodproofing CertificateElevationCertificate
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the revisions to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Elevation Certificate  (FEMA form 086-0-33) and Floodproofing Certificate (FEMA form 086-0-34) .  The new expiration date of these forms is November 30, 2018.

The revised forms have not been post on the FEMA website but were released as attachments to NFIP Bulletin W-16002.  The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Insurance Committee has prepared a summary of changes on the new elevation certificate.
National Academy of Sciences, Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums, Report 2NASReport2
When Congress authorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968, it intended for the program to encourage community initiatives in flood risk management, charge insurance premiums consistent with actuarial pricing principles, and encourage the purchase of flood insurance by owners of flood prone properties, in part, by offering affordable premiums. 

The NF IP has been reauthorized many times since 1968, most recently with the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12). In this most recent reauthorization, Congress placed a particular emphasis on setting flood insurance premiums following actuarial pricing principles, which was motivated by a desire to ensure future revenues were adequate to pay claims and administrative expenses. BW12 was designed to move the NFIP towards risk-based premiums for all flood insuran ce policies. The result was increased premiums for some policyholders that had been paying less than risk-based premiums and to possibly increase premiums for all policyholders.
    
Concern for the affordability of flood insurance was addressed in the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). HFIAA called on FEMA to propose a draft af fordability framework for the NFIP after completing an analysis of the efforts of possible programs for offering "means-tested assistance" to policyholders for whom higher rates may not be affordable.

BW12 and HFIAA mandated that FEMA conduct a study, in cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences, which would compare the costs of a program of risk-based rates and means-tested assistance to the current system of subsidized flood insurance rates and federally funded disaster relief for people without coverage. Two reports were produced to fulfill this mandate. 

The second report was released in early 2016 and proposes alternative approaches for a national evaluation of affordability program policy options and includes lessons for the design of a national study from a proof-of-concept pilot study.  The first report was released in 2015 and discusses the underlying definitions and methods for an affordability framework and the affordability concept and applications.
April 1, 2016 Flood Insurance Program ChangesApril2016
On April 1, 2016, changes will be implemented to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in conjunction with requirements of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA).

The total average premium increase for all NFIP policies is 9%.  The actual premium percentage increase will vary for individual policyholders due to variables such as the flood zone and other policy specific features (ex. coverage limits, elevation differences, CRS credits, etc.).  For a breakdown of increases by individual flood zone, see NFIP Bulletin W-15046, Attachment A.  

Non-residential business properties that were built before the initial flood insurance rate map (FIRM) for the community (known as pre-FIRM structures) and currently receive subsidized premium rates will be subject to a 25% annual premium rate increase until the full actuarial rate is achieved.

For those newly mapped into the floodplain on or after April 1, 2016, the first policy year will be written as a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) and will increase at no more than 15% by class, or 18% per policy, in subsequent years until a full-risk premium is achieved.  This "Newly Mapped Procedure" can be initiated up to 12 months after the FIRM revision date.   

The Reserve Fund Assessment will be increasing from 10% to 15% for a PRP and will remain at 15% for all other policies.  The Federal Policy Fee will be increasing for all policy types (PRP from $22 to $25, Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) from $45 to $50).

HFIAA required FEMA to clearly communicate full flood risk determinations to individual property owners.  As an initial step to improving communication, FEMA is requiring NFIP
insurers to report the current flood zone, current FIRM information, and current base flood elevation (BFE) for all new business policies effective on or after April 1, 2016, and for all renewals effective on or after October 1, 2016.  Policy declaration pages will now include additional rate information so both the agent and the policyholder can validate the information used to determine the premium rate.     

Training OpportunitiesTraining
WEBINARS

March 8, 2016, 1:00 pm - Learn to Use Flood Exposure Maps , NOAA Digital Coast, Office for Coastal Management,   https://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/training/flood-exposure

March 10, 2016, 2:00 -3:00 pm - L iving Shorelines in Connecticut:  Design Considerations and Site Suitability , UCONN CLEAR,  http://clear.uconn.edu/ .

April 5, 2016, 2:00-3:00 pm - The State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut:  Policies, Drives and Barriers,  UCONN CLEAR, http://clear.uconn.edu/.


NFIP-related training webinars are available through STARR, a FEMA contractor.  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".
  • March 15, 2016, 1:00 pm - CRS, Preparing for a Verification Visit
  • March 16, 2016, 1:00 pm - CRS, Flood Warning and Response (Activity 610)
  • March 17, 2016, 1:00 pm - Using RiskMAP Products in Floodplain Management
  • April 13, 2016, 1:00 pm - Tools for Determining Base Flood Elevation (BFE)
  • April 14, 2016, 1:00 pm - Elevation Certificates
  • April 19, 2016, 1:00 pm - Introduction to the Community Rating System (CRS)
  • April 20, 2016, 1:00 pm - CRS and Natural Floodplain Functions

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.


COURSES

April 26-27, 2016:   Using Fluvial Geomorphology in Watershed Assessment and Stream Restoration, Concord, NH, http://www.field-geology.com/short_courses.html

May 12-13, 2016:   HURRIPLAN Resistant Building Design for Coastal Communities, Fort Trumbull State Park, New London, CT, https://ndptc.hawaii.edu/training/delivery/1502


CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF FLOOD MANAGERS (CAFM)
Check the CAFM website events page  for upcoming conferences, field tours, and training classes.


CONFERENCES 

March 14, 2016:  10th Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1809384.

March 17, 2016:  Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists (CAWS) 2016 Annual Meeting and Environmental Conference, Southbury, CT, www.ctwetlands.org/annualmeetings.html.

March 19, 2016:   32nd Annual Land Conservation Conference, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT,  http://www.ctconservation.org/2016-conference.

April 4-6, 2016:   Local Solutions:  Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference, Baltimore, MD,  http://www.communityresilience-center.org/conference-2016/days-1-and-2/.

April 7, 2016:   2016 Rhode Island Flood Mitigation Association (RIFMA) Annual Conference, Smithfield, RI, www.riflood.org.

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

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

April 22, 2016:   Resilience and the Big Picture Symposium, UCONN Law School, Hartford, CT,  https://www.law.uconn.edu/calendar/event/2016/04/22/resilience-and-big-picture-symposium

June 19-24, 2016:  A ssociation of State Floodplain Managers 40th Annual Conference , Grand Rapids, MI, www.floods.org .  


CERTIFIED FLOODPLAIN MANAGER (CFM) EXAM

March 18, 2016:  Connecticut Fire Academy, 34 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks, CT.  To apply to take the exam, go to the Association of State Floodplain Managers website, 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
E179  Application of HAZUS-MH for Disaster Operations - September 26-29   
E190  ArcGIS for Emergency Managers - July 18-21
E194  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts I  - April 11-14
E202  Debris Management Planning for State, Tribal, Local Officials - June 6-9, September 12-15
E210  Recovery from Disaster: The Local Government Role -  September 26-29
E273  Managing Floodplain Development through NFIP - June 27-30, September 12-15
E278  Community Rating System (CRS) - April 18-21, July 18-21, September 19-22
E279  Retrofitting Floodprone Residential Buildings - May 2-5
E282  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts II - July 11-14
E284  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts III - August 29 - September 1
E313  Basic HAZUS-MH - April 11-14
E317  Comprehensive Data Mgmt for HAZUS-MH - August 29 - September 1, September 26-29
E386  Residential Coastal Construction - August 22-25
E582  Mitigation for Tribal Governments - May 9-12
E727  E.O. 11988 & 11990:  Floodplain Management & Wetlands Protection - July 6-8

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-366    Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
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.