FEMA Issues Conditional Letter of Map Revision for Minnesota and North Dakota with regard to Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Project
The Fargo-Moorhead (FM) Diversion Project is the first project in which the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has utilized a private/public partnership, dividing project work into Federal work and non-Federal work. USACE has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The project was authorized by Congress most recently in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.
On August 29, 2017, FEMA will issue a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) commenting on whether the Fargo-Moorhead (FM) Diversion Project, if built as proposed, would meet the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements to warrant a future Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) revision. The CLOMR is issued in response to an October 2016 request from the USACE and the FM Diversion Project Consortium.
The decision on appropriate flood protection measures to minimize damage to the FargoMoorhead area from flood-risk rests with the local officials, the states of Minnesota and North Dakota, and the USACE. FEMA is not a direct participant in the development or construction of the FM Diversion project. FEMA’s role is limited to consultation to provide guidance on potential impacts of development to the floodplain and the processes required to maintain compliance with NFIP requirements.
FEMA considers the following factors when reviewing and assessing a CLOMR: the effect of the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source and, if there is a modification of the existing regulatory floodway, the effective Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), or the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
As the FM Diversion Project is a multi-year project, FEMA is conditioning the CLOMR on the future mitigation of impacted structures to include a mixture of different mitigation techniques. In addition to the review and comment process associated with the CLOMR, FEMA provides broader guidance to all parties regarding Executive Order 11988: Floodplain Management (EO 11988), FEMA’s mapping guidelines and standards, the flood map revision/amendment process, and locally adopted floodplain management ordinances.
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you further; if you would like to speak with FEMA on this issue, please contact Susan Koshgarian at Susan.Koshgarian@fema.dhs.gov or 202-646-4500.