The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has come under fire from the National Wildlife Federation. The federation claims that the agency is granting flood insurance policies to land development projects that could put natural habitats at risk of destruction. The federation claims that FEMA is acting in violation of the Endangered Species Act, which protects these habitats from construction projects. These projects are primarily focused on the Puget Sound region of Washington.
Without flood insurance, companies cannot expand into this region of the state because it presents a significant risk in terms of flooding disasters. The region is home to an expansive floodplain that is often flooded by even modest storms. FEMA has been issuing coverage to companies interested in the area through the National Flood Insurance Program. Critics of this initiative claim that the agency, which oversees the federal program, is only adding to the financial problems that are putting the program at risk of collapse.
The National Wildlife Federation has gained support from 16 cities throughout Washington, hoping to catch the attention of federal regulators and put an end to FEMA’s endeavors. FEMA claims that it is not breaking any federal laws and will continue to issue flood insurance to companies as long as it is appropriate and financially viable to do so. Nonetheless, FEMA officials will be appearing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in March to begin litigation over the matter.
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