FEMA's ESA Approach Affirmed in the Puget Sound

Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 30 Issue 1

August 2015

Over the past decade, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has faced a slate of lawsuits across the country alleging that it has failed to consider the impact of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on threatened and endangered species (T&E species) and their critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The NFIP is a federal program through which FEMA makes flood insurance available in local communities in exchange for the local government adopting minimum development standards applicable to mapped floodplain areas. After a string of losses, FEMA recently won an important victory in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington regarding its approach to ESA compliance.

Molly Lawrence was a featured author in the Summer 2015 issue of Natural Resources & Environment,the quarterly magazine or the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

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