Trump rescinds elevation requirements for federally funded buildings and infrastructure

Flood protection on subsidized housing, hospitals, and other public buildings rolled back.

August 30, 2017 |
Flood waters in a neighborhood

Pixabay Public Domain

The Trump Administration has rescinded an Obama-era rule that required higher elevations on new buildings constructed in flood-prone areas.

The Obama executive order had required that new public infrastructure projects, including subsidized housing, hospitals, and fire departments, to be built a few feet above the 100-year floodplain. The requirement factored in future sea-level rise predicted by “the best-available and actionable science.”

Obama’s action is believed to be the first time the federal government took sea-level rise projections into account rather than relying only on historical data. The director of the Sierra Club reportedly slammed Trump’s decision as “climate science denial at its most dangerous,” adding that it would put vulnerable communities at risk and make infrastructure less safe.

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