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New research examines flood mitigation policies in the U.S.

Thirteen states or cities have adopted effective measures; some restricting development in vulnerable areas.

December 06, 2019 |

Courtesy Pixabay

A new report funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts—in partnership with Dewberry— examines policies of 13 states or cities that have adopted measures resulting in effective flood mitigation activities.

The policies fall into three categories: 1) using existing funds for mitigation by redirecting revenue and spending, 2) creating revenue sources for mitigation, and 3) establishing smarter regulations to reduce flood risk. State and local governments are establishing programs that draw from their annual budgets, such as grant and rebate programs, or by offering tax credits to help fund projects.

Several states and localities are driving down the cost of flood mitigation by using regulations to guide development away from high-risk areas. For example, Fort Collins, Colo.’s flood plain regulations, Norfolk, Va.’s zoning ordinance, and Brevard, N.C.’s no-adverse-impact certifications help to ensure that housing, infrastructure, and other assets are located away from vulnerable areas.

“Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the threat posed by more frequent and severe flooding, the 13 policy briefs provide a variety of models for officials to consider when trying to make their own communities more resilient,” the report says.

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