D-FIRM maps, NFIP and Bylaws

FEMA has approved revising the D-FIRM maps for Gunners Brook and Stevens Branch of the Winooski River. It looks as if a revised D-FIRM will be generated by August 2009 and will affect D-FIRM panels for Barre Town, Barre City, Berlin, East Montpelier, and Montpelier. Once the D-FIRM map is released, there will be a community meeting to discuss the changes. This will be followed by a 90 day appeal period during which property owners and communities can submit information on why the flood elevations as revised are scientifically or technically incorrect. It is anticipated that the end of the appeal period will be December 2009 and will then be followed by a letter of final determination. Once that letter is released, municipalities will have 6 months to adopt flood hazard bylaws, or updates to their existing bylaws, that are in compliance with the NFIP standards. It is important to revise your bylaws early in the 6 month period, if you haven’t done so already, and have the VT Department of Environmental Conservation (Ned Swanberg, e-mail ned.swanberg@state.vt.us) review them for compliance. In order to remain eligible for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the municipality’s flood hazard bylaws have to be in compliance with the NFIP standards. It is expected that the effective date of the D-FIRM maps will be June 2010 at which point flood insurance rates will be based on the new flood data. For model flood hazard bylaws and additional information on NFIP, go to www.vtwaterquality.org/rivers and click on the link to flood hazard management. Call CVRPC at 229-0389 for additional assistance.