CONGRESS PASSES NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM (NFIP) REAUTHORIZATION FAVORABLE TO FORT BEND COUNTY
WASHINGTON DC-By a vote of 353-52 the House passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2012 (NFIP re-authorization) on June 29, and the Senate then passed the bill on vote of 74-19. The NFIP has been extended through numerous Continuing Resolutions since 2008, expiring four times in 2010 alone. The original proposal approved by the Senate Banking Committee would have imposed land-use restrictions and mandated the purchase of insurance for all areas protected by a levee, including areas in the 500-year floodplain for a 500-year levee. Such a provision would have been economically devastating to Fort Bend County residents and businesses located behind FEMA accredited levees built and maintained by local taxpayers.
Following a week of non-stop negotiations, the bill which finally passed removed the land-use restrictions, removed the mandatory flood insurance requirement and reaffirmed the current 100-year flood elevation as the benchmark for inclusion in the national flood insurance. County Judge Bob Hebert stated, “It has been a tough four-year battle, but we won on every issue critical to Fort Bend. I want to thank all our allies across the nation and those local levee districts, utility districts, cities and residents who assisted in this endeavor along the way, and I tip my hat to Congressman Pete Olson, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn, and to their great staffs. They were with us all the way, and their hard work and support was critical to our success.”