MEMORANDUM FOR: Mitigation Division Directors
Regions I - X
FROM: David I. Maurstad
Mitigation Division
SUBJECT: Revised Procedure Memorandum No. 43 - Guidelines for Identifying Provisionally Accredited Levees

Background: Early in the implementation of Flood Map Modernization (Map Mod), the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognized that the role of levees in flood risk reduction would be an important part of the efforts of Map Mod. Further, it was acknowledged that the condition of levees had not been assessed since they were originally mapped as providing base (1-percent-annual-chance) flood protection. Because of this, FEMA initiated a revised process to gain a better understanding of the actual flood risks for those citizens living and working behind levees nationwide.

On August 22, 2005, FEMA issued Procedure Memorandum No. 34 - Interim Guidance for Studies Including Levees. The purpose of the memorandum was to help clarify the responsibility of community officials or other parties seeking recognition of a levee by providing information identified during a study/mapping project. Often, documentation regarding levee design, accreditation, and the impacts on flood hazard mapping is outdated or missing altogether. To remedy this, Procedure Memorandum No. 34 provides interim guidance on procedures to minimize delays in near-term studies/mapping projects, to help our mapping partners properly assess how to handle levee mapping issues.

Issue: Levee owners or communities have the responsibility to provide documentation that a levee meets the requirements of Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 65.10 of the National Flood Insurance Program regulations (44 CFR Section 65.10), as part of a study/mapping project. Without the required documentation necessary to comply with 44 CFR Section 65.10, the area behind the levee will be re-delineated and mapped as Special Flood Hazard Area on the Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM). Procedure Memorandum No. 34 allows for the issuance of a deadline to the community for submitting the required documentation.

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