This week, the White House held a virtual convening with over 20 Federal agencies to discuss the implementation of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) and other flood resiliency activities as a part of the newly launched Flood Resilience Interagency Working Group (IWG). Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Senior Climate Counselor Cass Sunstein, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Associate Director for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Science Candace Vahlsing co-led the first meeting, which is part of the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to building flood resilience.

The Interagency Working Group co-chairs highlighted the importance of coordinating federal efforts on flood resilience and ensuring that federal investments include standards of safety against floods and sea level rise. Flooding is the Nation’s most common natural hazard and in the past two decades, Americans have suffered multiple catastrophic flooding and severe storm events, resulting in billions of dollars of damages. The co-chairs also outlined how Federal agencies will reduce the risk of disruption from flooding in the flow of Federal services and benefits in the aftermath of these events, which disproportionately impact historically underserved and overburdened communities.

The Flood Resilience IWG was formed by the White House Climate Policy Office in response to Executive Order (E.O.) 14030 on Climate-Related Financial Risk, which reinstated E.O. 13690 and, in doing so, re-established the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS). The Flood Resilience IWG is co-led by CEQ, OMB, and FEMA to coordinate federal agencies’ implementation of FFRMS and other flood priorities.  

In its early stages, the Flood Resilience IWG will focus primarily on three major topics: (1)  supporting agencies’ implementation of federal flood programs and regulations, including FFRMS; (2) coordinating science-based and technical assistance needs for accurate data-driven decision throughout the making and implementation of agency flood related activity; and (3) providing agencies with appropriate climate projections and datasets, such as flood frequency and sea level rise data, identification of unmet data needs, and creation of new tools and solutions.

Flood Resilience IWG members include:

  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Education (ED)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Department of the Interior (DOI)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Department of Treasury
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • United States Postal Service (USPS)

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