The Clark Group and the Implementation of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

TCG and Dewberry are supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the development of a guidance document and training for the implementation of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).  The FFRMS is a new federal requirement which mandates that all federally funded projects located in a floodplain be built higher and stronger than previously required. The FFRMS is a critical resiliency standard which will impact billions of dollars of federally funded construction projects across the country, from highways and bridges to hospitals and housing complexes, at a time when flooding in the U.S. is getting worse every year because of climate change.

TCG and Dewberry’s approach to this project emphasizes intra-agency collaboration across FEMA’s technical and grant funding programs from the headquarters level to the field by engaging staff in meaningful discussions to generate FFRMS policy outcomes and decision points that are effective across the agency. Using our extensive knowledge of federal flood management policy and the requirements of Executive Order 13690, the team is facilitating working group meetings and conducting research to assist in the development of the new FFRMS guidance and training materials. Our approach incorporates the latest best practices and case studies focusing on nature-based approaches and green infrastructure, climate change, and resiliency, to ensure the guidance reflects current environmental policies and practices.  We are also developing scenario-based webinars that demonstrate how users can implement the FFRMS using both the Climate Informed Science Approach and the Freeboard Value Approach.

Because of FEMA’s unique role in overseeing the development and implementation of national flood policy, this new FFRMS guidance will serve as a model for other agencies on how to implement the requirements of Executive Order 13690.  FEMA’s approach to this new resiliency requirement is expected to have an influence across the country on national flood policies and implementation.