Effectiveness of Federal Floodplain Management in the United States - Executive Order 11988 (PAP014375)
Stephanie Bray, Pete Rabbon, Mark Roupas
Flood resilient societies through community preparedness
In the United States Federal floodplain management is guided by Executive Order 11988 (E.O. 11988), which was issued in 1977. E.O 11988 directs Federal leadership to ?take action to reduce the risk of flood loss, to minimize the impact of floods on human safety, health and welfare, and to restore and preserve the natural and beneficial values served by floodplains.? These factors were intended to be considered whenever the Federal government carried out its? responsibilities for acquiring, managing, and disposing of Federal lands and facilities, providing Federally undertaken, financed, or assisted construction and improvements, and conducting Federal activities and programs affecting land use, including but not limited to water and related land resources planning, regulating, and licensing activities. The intent of E.O. 11988 was not to strictly prohibit all Federal activity or support for activity occurring within or impacting floodplains, but rather to ensure that the effects of those activities were considered and understood, and that all practicable steps possible were taken to minimize adverse effects of those actions which must occur within or impact a floodplain. Recently, the Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force (FIFM-TF), an interagency group representing ten Federal agencies with missions and authorities related to flood risk and floodplain management, investigated the implementation and overall effectiveness of E.O. 11988. The FIFM-TF designed a survey to be completed by representatives of each Federal agency with implementing requirements under E.O. 11988. This survey was designed to provide improved understanding of the effectiveness of E.O. 11988 itself and of individual agencies? implementation of EO 11988. This paper will discuss what the Federal agencies expect to learn from the survey and next steps for improving Federal guidance on flood risk management in the United States.