- View Flood Hazard Determination Notices
- FEMA's Appeal Policy has Changed
- FEMA's Watershed-Based Approach to Studies
- Additional Information on Flood Hazard Determination Notices and Appeal Periods
- How To Obtain Additional Assistance
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) proposes new or modified flood hazard determinations, it must, in accordance with Part 67 of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations, provide the affected communities with a 90-day appeal period. Flood hazard determinations may include the addition or modification of any Base Flood Elevation (BFE), base flood depth, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundary or zone designation, or regulatory floodway on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
FEMA initiates the appeal process by providing the following:
- Publishing a proposed flood hazard determination notice for comment in the FEDERAL REGISTER;
- Notifying the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community by sending a proposed flood hazard determination letter by certified mail, return receipt requested; and
- Publishing the proposed flood hazard determination on this website and in a prominent local newspaper at least twice during the 10-day period immediately following the notification of the community CEO.
The notices provided here are for new or modified FIRMs, which may be based on FEMA-contracted studies/mapping projects; studies/mapping projects performed by participants in the Cooperating Technical Partners Program; or community-initiated map revisions, including Letters of Map Revision.
To view listings for notices for communities currently within the 90-day appeal period as well as notices for communities for which the 90-day appeal period expired within the past three months, you may choose one of the following options:
- Click on the appropriate state in the map below and select the appropriate name from the dropdown list provided; OR
- Enter the appropriate case number in the space provided below; OR
- Select the appropriate community name from the dropdown list provided below; OR
- Select a watershed that applies for the community from the dropdown list provided below.
Community Listing for
FEMA established an Expanded Appeals Process effective as of December 1, 2011 to provide the same due process provided for changes in Base Flood Elevations (BFEs)/base flood depths to other changes in flood hazard information shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), including addition or modification of SFHA boundaries or zone designations or the regulatory floodway. SFHAs are areas subject to inundation by the base flood and include the following flood insurance risk zone designations: A, AO, AH, A1-A30, AE, A99, AR, AR/A1-A30, AR/AE, AR/AO, AR/AH, AR/A, VO, V1-V30, VE, and V. The regulatory floodway is the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water-surface elevation more than a designated height.
This policy change affects both flood studies, Physical Map Revisions (PMRs), and Letters of Map Revision (LOMRs). The Expanded Appeals Process applies for all studies for which either a preliminary FIRM is issued on or after December 1, 2011 or for which a proposed flood hazard determination notice will be published in the Federal Register on or after December 1, 2011. It will apply for all LOMRs issued on or after December 1, 2011.
For flood studies, PMRs and LOMRs processed under the Expanded Appeals Process, Federal Register publications and the flood hazard determination notices accessible through this webpage will no longer include specific flooding source names or BFE listings as was previously the case; instead links to online preliminary FIRMs and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports and LOMR documents are included in the notices. To assist users in interpreting changes that have occurred on preliminary FIRMs as the result of flood studies and PMRs, FEMA has developed the fact sheet 'Understanding the Changes to Your Community's Flood Insurance Rate Map.'
For additional information on FEMA's Expanded Appeals Process, refer to the Expanded Appeals Process fact sheet.
Historically, when FEMA flood studies have been performed, they were largely driven by political boundaries. When it was time for flood hazards for a particular jurisdiction to be restudied, most often the analysis for the selected streams ended at the corporate limits. The overarching principle of the watershed-based approach to performing flood studies, implemented under FEMA's Risk MAP program, is to develop a complete, consistent, and connected flood engineering analysis within a particular watershed. This does not mean that there must be one engineering model for an entire watershed or stream segment, but it does mean that the models and methods used must agree at the transition points.
FEMA continues to select areas to be restudied based on the level of risk and need. Not all flooding sources within one watershed will be studied at the same time. FIRMs will continue to be produced in a countywide format, but will be revised on a panel-by-panel basis and will only be sent to those communities affected by the revision(s).
To find out more about watersheds and to learn what watershed you are in, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Surf Your Watershed website.
A flood hazard determination is defined as any addition or modification of a BFE, base flood depth, SFHA boundary or zone designation, or regulatory floodway boundary on the FIRM. SFHAs are areas subject to inundation by the base (1-percent-annual-chance) flood and include the following flood zones: A, AO, AH, A1-A30, AE, A99, AR, AR/A1-A30, AR/AE, AR/AO, AR/AH, AR/A, VO, V1-V30, VE, and V. Floodways are the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height.
Section 110 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-234) and corresponding NFIP regulations were developed to ensure an equitable balancing of all interests involved in the setting of flood hazard determinations. The legislation and regulations provide for an explicit process of notification and appeals for community officials and for private persons prior to FEMA making the flood hazard determinations final.
When new or modified flood hazard data are proposed for a community, FEMA must, in accordance with Section 110 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-234) and Section 67.4 of the NFIP regulations, provide the community with a 90-day appeal period. FEMA initiates the 90-day appeal period by:
- Publishing a proposed flood hazard determination notice in the Federal Register;
- Notifying the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community by sending the proposed flood hazard determination letter; and
- Publishing a News Release of proposed flood hazard determinations twice in a prominent local newspaper (The newspaper notice directs the viewer to this webpage for a complete listing of the communities affected, the locations where copies of the FIRM are available for review, and guidance on how to appeal.)
Immediately before the start of the statutorily required 90-day appeal period for the affected communities, FEMA sends letters to the CEOs—mayors, parish presidents, county executives, etc.—and floodplain administrators of the communities to notify them officially about the publication of the flood hazard determination notices. The 90-day appeal period begins on the second publication date of the notice in the local newspaper(s).
During the 90-day appeal period, any owner or lessee of real property in the mapped community who believes his or her property rights will be adversely affected by the flood hazard determinations may appeal to the community CEO, or to an agency that the CEO publicly designates.
Appeals of the proposed flood hazard determinations shall be based solely on scientific or technical evidence contrary to that of the proposed FIRM and accompanying Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report, and all appeal submittals must meet the data requirements defined in Part 67.6 of the NFIP regulations. However, inquiries regarding data other than the proposed flood hazard determinations (e.g., incorrect street names, corporate limits, typographical errors, omissions) which are referred to as 'comments,' will also be considered by FEMA, and any applicable changes will be made before the FIRM and FIS report become effective.
FEMA's Scientific Resolution Panel (SRP) process reinforces FEMA's commitment to work with communities to ensure the flood hazard data depicted on FIRMs and in the accompanying FIS reports is built collaboratively using the best science available. SRPs are independent panels of experts in hydrology, hydraulics, and other pertinent sciences established to review conflicting scientific and technical data and provide recommendations for resolution. An SRP is an option after FEMA and a local community have been engaged in a collaborative consultation process without a mutually acceptable resolution. For additional information on SRPs, refer to FEMA's SRP fact sheet.
If you have any difficulty locating the flood hazard determination notice in which you are interested, or if you have any questions regarding the notice once you have located it, please refer to the FEMA Map Information eXchange home-page for additional assistance.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 8:37:36 AM