Washington – In a win for public safety, taxpayers, and the environment, the Senate and House today passed critical reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program. American Rivers has worked for years to reform the program, which has run up a near $20 billion debt to the Federal Treasury, and encouraged destruction of floodplains and wildlife habitat with taxpayer subsidies. The program has major implications for river health, clean water, and the safety of river communities.
The flood insurance reform package passed both the House and Senate in the conference report to H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Act of 2012. This reform package to improve flood maps, raise awareness of flood risks, and restore floodplains was the result of rare cooperation between the House and Senate and both political parties. The conference report will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
Christopher E. Williams, Senior Vice President for Conservation at American Rivers, made the following statement:
“As communities around the country are still recovering from record flooding, we commend Congress’ bipartisan effort to enact much needed reforms to our nation’s flood insurance program. This bill is an important step toward protecting people and communities, taxpayers, and the environment.”
“By phasing out subsidies for hazardous development in floodplains, improving flood maps and public awareness of risks, and helping communities buy out repeatedly flooded properties and create greenspace, this bill moves flood protection into the 21st century.”
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.