A new chapter in the 40 year old struggle of FEMA and its mapping program to NOT examine levee risks on its NFIP maps!
See new GAO report:
FEMA and the Corps Have Taken Steps to Establish a Task Force, but FEMA Has Not Assessed the Costs of Collecting and Reporting All Levee-Related Concerns
GAO-11-689R July 29, 2011
Full Report (PDF, 15 pages)
In summary, FEMA and the Corps have taken steps to establish the task force to address levee mapping issues in local communities. For example, in what they described as an initial step towards addressing the congressional concerns outlined in the Senate committee report, FEMA and the Corps developed a joint memorandum that describes their relationship and five planned actions. In addition, FEMA officials report that the task force does not have the capability to collect and report all contacts it has with communities that involve levee-related concerns, as directed by the Senate committee report. According to FEMA officials, developing and implementing a system that would enable the agency to collect and report this information would be unduly resource intensive. However agency officials have not completed an analysis to determine the costs of developing such a system, and documented and communicated that information to Congress. FEMA could better support its position that implementing a system to collect and report all levee-related community concerns would be unduly resource intensive if it performs and documents an analysis of the costs and timeframes needed to develop such a system. Furthermore, this analysis could include the identification of potential alternatives that might address the Senate committee report language in more cost-effective ways. To assist congressional decision makers, we are recommending that FEMA assess the costs and timeframes needed to develop a system to collect and report all contacts with communities that have levee-related concerns; identify, if applicable, cost effective alternatives to address the intent of the Senate committee report language; and document and communicate this information to Congress. To assist congressional decision makers, we recommend that the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency assess the costs and time frames needed to develop a system to collect and report all contacts with communities that have levee-related concerns; identify, if applicable, cost-effective alternatives for addressing the Senate committee report language; and document and communicate this information to Congress.