Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Seminar: 22 February 2017

“The National Flood Insurance Program: Community Scale­Impacts of Federal Policies”

Dr. Lara Fowler, Penn State
Wednesday, 22 February, 12:00-1:15p
218A Hosler

Abstract: Flood insurance is a critical issue driven by federal law and policy with significant implications for local governments throughout the Mid­Atlantic region. Although planning and policy decisions in the United States for flood mitigation, response, and recovery are largely made at the municipal government level, these decisions are profoundly influenced by a range of policy instruments, regulatory requirements, and financial incentives at both a federal and a state level. Changes at the federal level through the 2012 Biggert­Waters Flood Reform Act and the 2014 Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act are significant and have numerous implications for local municipalities. These issues are particularly relevant given that the National Flood Insurance Program expires in September 2017.

This talk will review the history of the National Flood Insurance Program, provide a brief overview of why changes to floodplain mapping are important, discuss recent federal legislative changes and their implications, and explore questions that are being addressed in a case study of affected Pennsylvania communities. This presentation builds on a on­going project entitled “Flood Mitigation for Pennsylvania’s Rural Communities: Community­Scale Impact of Federal Policies,” funded by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.