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Legislative Actions

July 12, 2005

Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity
Hearing entitled "Flood Map Modernization and the Future of the National Flood Insurance Program."

Experts warn Congress FEMA’s flood maps are flawed, leaving homeowners unwittingly in harm’s way.

Experts from across the country testified before a House Subcommittee that FEMA’s billion dollar map modernization program was digitizing obsolete data. FEMA testified that in many cases maps do not necessarily change over time.

Experts unanimously agree that floodplains change over time as a result of land clearing associated with development, erosion, and other factors. FEMA’s maps have an average age over well over ten years, with some experts claiming the average age is eighteen years. One expert testified to “garbage in, garbage out” in regards to the modernization program.

Ranking Committee member Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) questioned FEMA’s Acting Director David Maurstad regarding a series of interrogatories and document requests that committee members made to FEMA on the record in May 2005. One of the requests was for any audits regarding the mapping program. According to committee members, FEMA had refused to turn over any such documents.

Mr. Maurstad told Rep. Waters that the author of the interogatories and document requests was a party to a lawsuit against him. That is incorrect.

Click here for the video exchange between Rep. Waters and Mr. Maurstad.

Click here to view information regarding the lawsuit, including the parties.

Link to Written testimony before the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity

 

Last Modified: 071205 0823

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