As climate risks rise, U.S. urged to update flood maps and building rules

Thomson Reuters FoundationAs climate risks rise, U.S. urged to update flood maps and building rules. Green groups petition Federal Emergency Management Agency to update flood maps, set tougher standards for floodplain construction and prepare for climate impacts.

As flood risks rise in the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should update flood maps, set tougher standards for floodplain construction and prepare for climate change, environmental and planning groups urged in a petition.

Existing FEMA rules on floodplain use have not been comprehensively revised since the 1970s, meaning homes are still being built in areas likely to flood as global warming brings higher seas and more extreme rainfall and storms, they said.

“FEMA has the power to spare millions of people the misery of living with rising waters,” said Joel Scata, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the groups petitioning FEMA on Wednesday to update its maps and rules.

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