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Biological Opinion on the NFIP in Oregon

Introduction

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance for homeowners and property owners. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA sets standards for local governments participating in the NFIP, including requirements for local floodplain development ordinances. The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is designated as Oregon's NFIP coordinating agency and assists local governments with implementation of the federal standards.

Because the NFIP has a direct effect on development that occurs in areas adjacent to local streams, rivers, and waterbodies, it is important for the NFIP to consider its effects on endangered species. Marine and anadromous species are protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which is administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a branch of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This branch is also known as NOAA-Fisheries. The ESA provides for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. The ESA requires federal agencies to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out do not jeopardize the continued existence of any ESA listed species.

For several years, the NMFS and FEMA have been discussing measures that could be used to reduce negative impacts from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on salmon, steelhead and other species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In April 2016, NMFS delivered a jeopardy Biological Opinion (BiOp) to FEMA, stating that parts of the NFIP could have a negative impact on the habitat of endangered salmon species.

As Oregon's NFIP coordinating agency, DLCD promotes and supports communication between NFIP communities and FEMA. DLCD provides assistance to local governments as FEMA implements NFIP revisions in Oregon. This assistance may include workshops and presentations, guidance, model codes, grants, and technical assistance.

More information on FEMA's actions and the Biological Opinion is available on the FEMA Region 10 webpage: National Flood Insurance Program & the Endangered Species Act.

Contacts

Amanda Punton
Natural Resource Specialist
amanda.punton@state.or.us
Phone: 971-673-0961

Celinda Adair
NFIP Coordinator
celinda.adair@state.or.us
Phone: 503-934-0069

FEMA Contact
FEMA-R10-ESAcomments@fema.dhs.gov

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