Legal Study Supports Adoption of New Floodplain Maps by NH Coastal Communities

Legal Study Supports Adoption of New Floodplain Maps by NH Coastal Communities

Jan 01, 2013

A new report by faculty and students at the Vermont Law School in collaboration with UNH faculty and staff indicates that towns in the Lamprey River watershed can legally use recently updated 100-year floodplain maps to make land-use decisions.

The maps, created by a UNH-led team of researchers and funded by the NOAA/UNH Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET), are novel from the previous FEMA floodplain maps because they take into account both present-day and future projections of land use and precipitation patterns.

The report states that if towns have more up-to-date information about expanding flood zones, they can better prepare and thereby reduce threats to health, property and infrastructure from flooding. In fact, FEMA encourages communities to adopt more stringent regulations beyond minimum federal requirements that reduce flood hazards through a program called the Community Rating System, it adds.

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