Text: H.R.8462 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/30/2020)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 8462 Introduced in House (IH)]


  2d Session
                                H. R. 8462

To safeguard taxpayer resources and strengthen the Nation's resilience 
                  against severe storms and flooding.



                           September 30, 2020

Mr. Price of North Carolina (for himself and Mr. Zeldin) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial 
   Services, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and 
   Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


                                 A BILL

To safeguard taxpayer resources and strengthen the Nation's resilience 
                  against severe storms and flooding.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Flood Resiliency and Taxpayer 
Savings Act of 2020''.


    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds that--
            (1) floods are the most common natural disaster in the 
        United States, causing injuries, damage, and destruction in all 
        50 States since 2012;
            (2) recent storms have strained the capacity of many local 
        and State governments to respond and recover, necessitating 
        significant increases in disaster assistance from the Federal 
            (3) the Congressional Budget Office has cautioned that U.S. 
        economic losses associated with heavy precipitation, storm 
        surges, and hurricane winds could average $54 billion every 
        year and require Federal spending averaging $17 billion per 
            (4) according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
        nearly 250 weather-related disasters in the United States have 
        caused at least $1 billion in damage each since 1980;
            (5) since 2005 alone, Federal funding for disaster 
        assistance has exceeded $450 billion, including over $19 
        billion in supplemental appropriations signed into law in June 
        of 2019;
            (6) after reviewing just a portion of the Federal 
        Government property inventory, the Office of Management and 
        Budget identified significant flood risks, including more than 
        $80 billion in Federal assets located in designated flood 
            (7) a 2017 study of Federal mitigation grants conducted by 
        National Institute of Building Sciences Multihazard Mitigation 
        Council demonstrated that mitigation investment can save the 
        Nation, on average, $6 in future disaster costs for every $1 
        spent on hazard mitigation; and
            (8) the Government Accountability Office has recommended 
        that enhanced Federal and local efforts to improve resilience 
        can reduce the effects and costs of future disasters.
    (b) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this Act--
            (1) to improve the resiliency of communities and assets of 
        the Federal Government against flooding, thereby limiting 
        damage, reducing the need to rebuild after floods, and saving 
        taxpayer dollars; and
            (2) provide a flexible framework for full consideration of 
        sensible resilience alternatives without requiring any specific 
        construction or mitigation methods.


    (a) Evaluation of Potential for Flooding.--When carrying out an 
agency action involving a federally funded project, the head of each 
agency shall evaluate the potential for flooding throughout the planned 
lifetime or duration of the federally funded project to--
            (1) reduce the risk of financial and property losses, 
        including taxpayer losses resulting from floods;
            (2) take practicable steps toward ensuring that Federal 
        resources will be allocated to structures and projects that 
        will remain flood resistant throughout their intended design 
            (3) preserve and utilize, to the extent reasonable, the 
        capacity of natural systems to protect against the damages of 
            (4) prevent, to the extent possible, the disruption of 
        critical services during flood events, including the closure of 
        strategic transportation routes, inaccessibility of health care 
        facilities, or loss of power or essential water and wastewater 
        services; and
            (5) minimize the impact of current and future floods on 
        human safety, health, and welfare.
    (b) Determination Regarding Siting in Floodplain.--In carrying out 
the review of agency actions required under Executive Order 11988 (42 
Fed. Reg. 26951; relating to floodplain management), the head of each 
agency shall determine whether the federally funded project (as such 
term is defined in subsection (e)) under review is sited in a 
floodplain currently or is expected to lie within or take place in a 
floodplain during the expected duration or design life of the project, 
taking into consideration--
            (1) the most recent flood insurance rate map published by 
        the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
        for the community in which the project shall take place, 
        including preliminary and advisory maps prepared by the 
            (2) relevant and available assessments of future flooding 
        vulnerabilities conducted or used by the agency, other 
        agencies, or State or local governments;
            (3) additional available information regarding expected 
        future conditions, including changes in land use, watershed 
        characteristics, and infrastructure; and
            (4) additional available hydrologic and hydraulic data from 
        public and private sources regarding current and future flood 
        risk, including information on expected changes in 
        precipitation patterns, erosion, and sea level.
    (c) Alternate Design Levels for Resilient Infrastructure.--If, 
after considering the available information required under subsection 
(b), the head of an agency determines that such information is not 
adequate or sufficiently credible to understand and characterize 
current and future flood risks to the project, the head of the agency 
shall use the following design standards in evaluating resilience for 
or alternatives to the investment:
            (1) Non-critical projects.--If the project under review is 
        not considered critical, the head of the agency shall assume, 
        at a minimum, that flood heights would be expected to be 2 feet 
        higher than the base flood elevation for the current 1 percent 
        annual chance flood or the flood elevation for the current 0.2 
        percent annual chance flood, whichever is greater.
            (2) Critical projects.--If the project under review is 
        considered critical, the head of the agency shall assume, at a 
        minimum, that flood heights would be expected to be 3 feet 
        higher than the base flood elevation for the current 1 percent 
        annual chance flood or 1 foot higher than the flood elevation 
        for the current 0.2 percent annual chance flood, whichever is 
            (3) Resilience standard.--In evaluating resilience options, 
        the flood heights specified in preceding paragraphs shall 
        establish a standard design level to which a structure or 
        facility evaluated under this subsection shall be made 
        functionally resilient. This may include using structural or 
        nonstructural methods to reduce or prevent damage, elevating a 
        structure, or where appropriate, designing it to adapt to, 
        withstand, and rapidly recover from the corresponding flood 
            (4) Alternatives.--In evaluating alternatives, including 
        alternative sites and designs, the head of the agency shall 
        fully consider the ability of natural systems and nature-based 
        processes to achieve or support flood risk reduction and cost 
        savings over the long term.
    (d) Guidelines for Agencies.--
            (1) Guidelines.--Agencies shall amend their regulations and 
        procedures to incorporate the resilience standards established 
        under subsections (b) and (c) to establish new flood risk 
        management standards. Agency standards shall, at a minimum, 
        incorporate provisions to implement subsection (a) and shall 
        require that the construction of Federal structures and 
        facilities and construction of structures and facilities using 
        Federal funds be in accordance with the standards and criteria 
        established under subsections (b) and (c) and comply with 
        applicable State, local, tribal, and territorial standards that 
        exceed Federal standards and criteria. Such standards shall be 
        consistent with the purposes of the National Flood Insurance 
            (2) Issuance.--Not later than the expiration of the 18-
        month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this 
        Act, the Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force 
        shall issue guidelines to be used by agencies in meeting the 
        requirements of this Act.
            (3) Required content.--At a minimum, such guidelines 
                    (A) establish appropriate tracking and reporting 
                procedures for agencies to follow;
                    (B) establish limits on the extent to which 
                exceptions for a particular agency may be allowed in 
                cases in which an exception is in the interest of 
                national security, is deemed to be an emergency action, 
                or is determined to present a conflict with other 
                existing statutory requirements.
            (4) Other content.--Such guidelines may also identify cases 
        in which an agency may conduct a general review of types of 
        projects that are similar or cases in which projects are of a 
        limited duration or de minimis expenditure that would allow for 
        expedited review.
            (5) Consultation.--In developing such guidelines, the 
        Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force shall 
        consult with States, localities, Indian tribes, and other 
        relevant stakeholders through listening sessions and may issue 
        final guidelines only after an opportunity for public review 
        and comment.
            (6) Report to congress.--
                    (A) Requirement.--Not later than the expiration of 
                the 2-year period beginning on the date of the 
                enactment of this Act and not less often than annually 
                thereafter, the Federal Interagency Floodplain 
                Management Task Force shall submit a report to the 
                Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and 
                Financial Services of the House of Representatives and 
                the Committees on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                Affairs and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the 
                Senate regarding compliance by agencies with the 
                requirements of this Act.
                    (B) Contents.--Each report submitted pursuant to 
                subparagraph (A) shall include information sufficient 
                to describe--
                            (i) the number, types, and outcomes of 
                        reviews conducted by individual agencies;
                            (ii) any rulemakings, or policy or 
                        procedural changes made by agencies to ensure 
                        compliance with this Act; and
                            (iii) any recommendations of the Federal 
                        Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force 
                        regarding improvements to enhance resilience 
                        from flooding and steward Federal resources.
    (e) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
            (2) Agency.--The term ``agency'' has the meaning given such 
        term in Executive Order 11988 (42 Fed. Reg. 26951; relating to 
        floodplain management), except that such term does not include 
        any military department other than the Army Corps of Engineers.
            (3) Critical.--The term ``critical'' means, with respect to 
        a project of an agency, any project with respect to which the 
        head of the agency determines that a slight chance of flooding 
        would present an unacceptable amount of risk, as such term is 
        defined in section 9.4 of title 44, Code of Federal 
            (4) Federally funded project.--The term ``federally funded 
        project'' means a project for which Federal funds are used for 
        purposes of managing, acquiring, or disposing of Federal lands 
        or assets and, with respect to a structure or facility, for new 
        construction, for substantial improvement, or to address 
        substantial damage. Such term does not include the making, 
        insuring, guaranteeing, or securitizing of residential mortgage 
        loans for single-family or multifamily housing.
            (5) Federal interagency floodplain management task force.--
        The term ``Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task 
        Force'' means the interagency body that--
                    (A) was established in 1975;
                    (B) has been responsible for preparing reports and 
                guidance for a comprehensive, coordinated approach to 
                floodplain management;
                    (C) is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management 
                Agency; and
                    (D) includes membership from multiple agencies, 
                including the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department 
                of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban 
                Development, and the Department of Commerce.
            (6) Resilience.--The term ``resilience'' means the ability 
        to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions 
        and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to 
            (7) Substantial improvement; substantial damage.--The terms 
        ``substantial improvement'' and ``substantial damage'' mean 
        substantial improvement and substantial damage, respectively, 
        to the extent described in section 1307(a)(2)(E) of the 
        National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4014(a)(2)(E)).
    (f) Applicability.--This Act shall not apply to any federally 
funded project that has been reviewed for compliance with Executive 
Order 11988 and approved by the appropriate agency before the date of 
the enactment of this Act.

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