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Proposed/Pending Legislation:

  • Senate Bill 1088 (2019-2020) - A proposed Bill revising and updated the Emergency Management Sections of Title 35. 
  • Senate Resolution 98 (2019-2020) - A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to conduct a study on how to best assist residents of this Commonwealth who have been impacted by rising flood insurance premiums.
  • House Bill 328 (2019-2020) - An Act establishing the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force. 
  • House Bill 328 Fiscal Note (2019-2020) - Further details regarding the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force Act.  
  • House Resolution 231 (2019-2020) - A Resolution urging the Federal Government to prioritize and consider the need for resilient infrastructure to reduce risks and meet the country's economic, environmental and social needs.


Foundational Legislation in Pennsylvania

  • Act 166 of 1978 - The Pennsylvania “Floodplain Management Act” established a statewide regulation for floodplain management based upon the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The purpose of the floodplain management act was to promote regulation of development within the floodplain in accordance with sound land use practices. Additionally, the Floodplain Management Act would also assist municipalities in qualifying for the NFIP and encourage local floodplain administration. A key objective of this act is to reduce expenditures on flood control, relief, rescue and recovery efforts through floodplain management.
  • Act 167 of 1978 - The Pennsylvania “Storm Water Management Act” established a statewide regulation for stormwater management planning and the implementation of best practices in order to “preserve and restore flood carrying capacity of Commonwealth streams.” Stormwater management plans by watershed were encouraged to be created in order to establish a comprehensive stormwater management program within the Commonwealth.
  • Executive Order 1978-4 - This executive order established compliance with the Federal Insurance Administration’s minimum requirements for floodplain management as part of the National Flood Insurance. The Governor’s Office was to be the coordinating agency within the Commonwealth to achieve compliance with the NFIP. The Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs, now known as the Department for Community and Economic Development, was assigned to be the repository for Flood Insurance Rate Maps and other data to be accessed by the Commonwealth.


Modern Policy Briefs

  • Flood Mitigation for Pennsylvania’s Communities: Community Scale Impact of Federal Policies: Policy Study – Center for Rural Pennsylvania (2017) - This paper examines the impacts federal policies, namely the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 and their effects rural Pennsylvania communities which are subject to riverine flooding. Research conducted for this paper estimates that approximately 6.5% of Pennsylvanians are living within floodplains. Higher flood insurance premiums to rural communities can have a significant adverse affect on both the citizens that live there, and the communities, which cannot afford substantial negative impacts to their tax bases. Policy recommendations are made to at the federal, state, regional, and individual level. These recommendations are made to encourage affordable flood insurance costs as well as municipal/regional participation in hazard mitigation activities.
  • Integration of Stormwater with Floodplain Management: PAFPM Technical and Mapping Committee (2016) - Flooding and stormwater, in the past, had been thought of as two separate regulatory programs. This is evidenced by Pennsylvania’s Act 166, the Flood Plain Management Act, and Act 167, The Storm Water Management Act. As a result, various water related programs had been developed throughout the Commonwealth independently of each other, with many of the same goals, wants, needs and data not coordinated. However, through the years, Floodplain Managers have learned that proper stormwater management can help reduce flooding, and that the two disciplines are truly integrated through integrated water resource management. This white paper reviews the background, jurisdiction and legal authority of the various programs in the State of Pennsylvania; their goals, geographic extent of the program, data required, models utilized, final products, applicability to other programs and their current status and budget as well as recommendations for corrective measures that are supported by the PA Floodplain Managers. The goal is to helpfully guide the future of these and new programs, to coordinate policy, efforts, data, procedures, and products, and to save valuable funds and resources.
  • Call for Action; PAFPM Policy Committee (2014) - Flooding was identified as the highest ranked hazard within the 2013 Pennsylvania State All-Hazard mitigation Plan. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 transitioned flood insurance premiums from “full risk” to “actuarial risk” which led to dramatic increases in flood insurance costs for Pennsylvanians. Ultimately, the impacts of Biggert-Waters are not just to flood insurance costs, but will have a long-term impacts on ordinance enforcement, floodplain management, and economic development, and community sustainability/resiliency. This Call for Action provides recommendations for an approach to: 1) understanding flood risk within the Commonwealth through a data driven approach; 2) implementing short term improvements to Pennsylvania’s floodplain management programs and regulations; 3) establishing long term policy directions and strategies which may require legislative action through the state.

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