Floodplain executive order: Latest Obama power grab

Another illegal action unlikely to be challenged in court?

homesfloodedMillions of Americans living and working in floodplains and other low-lying areas are at acute risk of being inundated – not by rising water, but by a tidal wave of federal regulations – courtesy of the Obama Administration.

With public attention riveted on the chaotic developments in the Middle East and the severe cold weather that gripped much of the nation over the winter, the White House on January 30 quietly issued Executive Order (EO) 13690, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.”  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/30/executive-order-establishing-flood-risk-management-standard-and-

Violating existing law 

The executive order is more than just a mouthful; it is the latest federal intrusion into what have traditionally been predominantly self-governing communities.  In defiance of existing law, the EO redefines the term “floodplain” to expand the area of the country to be regulated as such.  The Obama EO was issued in direct violation of language Congress included in a FY 2015 appropriations bill that prohibited the Administration from implementing new standards until it had solicited and considered input from governors, mayors, and other affected parties.

In a March 30 “Dear Colleague” letter, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) pointed out that, “To date, there has been no public disclosure on ratcliffethe basis of the alternatives included in the EO, how they were developed and decided upon, or a cost-benefit analysis of them.” Ratcliffe further noted that the EO calls for the National Water Council “to issue Guidelines to provide guidance to agencies on [the EO’s] implementation,” even though the National Water Council hasn’t received a cent of federal funding since 1982.

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

The centerpiece of the Obama executive order is something called the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).  Under the executive order, the FFRMS applies to new construction and substantial improvements to existing structures in floodplains and other low-lying areas. Speaking for the Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has claimed repeatedly that the FFRMS will not affect private development.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, the new federal standard will “in fact substantially limit private development,” says Rep. Ratcliffe.  “Because federal agencies must avoid or minimize actions that impact floodplains when taking ‘federal action’ – including when they issue federal permits, licenses, and approvals – the EO is expected to impede or dramatically increase the cost of construction and labor in low-lying communities.”  Failure to adopt the new standard could make communities ineligible for federal programs, including port development projects, hazard mitigation grants, flood control projects, Brownfields redevelopment, Community Development Block Grants, federally backed mortgages, and federal transportation projects.

While the EO is vague on the details of the FFRMS, it says that incorporating the new standard “will ensure that [federal] agencies expand management from the current base flood level to a higher vertical elevation and corresponding horizontal floodplain to address current and future flood risk and ensure that projects funded with taxpayer dollars last as long as intended.

New regulatory regime 

WetlibertyDetermining what constitutes “future flood risk” is closely tied to, in the President’s words, “a national policy on resilience and risk reduction consistent with my Climate Action Plan.”  In other words, the administration’s policies to “combat climate change” will serve to justify the myriad rules, regulations, and standards Washington will impose on communities throughout the country in the name of protecting them from flooding. A regulatory regime is being put into place that will give Washington final say over what can and cannot be built and how structures – residential and commercial – are to be constructed and where.

In taking its micromanagement of American society down to the level of writing local building codes, the Obama Administration is bypassing both Congress and the federal rulemaking process. The goal is very simple:  Make the populace, and the elected officials who supposedly represent them, subservient to Washington.

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About the Author: Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT.

  • Dr. Steven Koonin was undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term. While he was in that position, he dutifully hewed to the Party Line. But after he left, he finally felt at liberty to tell the inconvenient truth. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Even though the human influence on climate was much smaller in the past, the models do not account for the fact that the rate of global sea-level rise 70 years ago was as large as what we observe today.”
    https://archive.today/LkeAv#selection-1345.2-1345.203

    The Left’s claim that manmade climate change puts coastal areas at increased risk of flooding is a lie. It is disproven by the most careful scientific measurements. Manmade greenhouse gas emissions have caused no detectable increase in the miniscule rate of sea-level rise.

    But that hasn’t stopped the Obama Administration from using imaginary accelerated sea-level rise as an excuse for unconstitutional “Takings.”

    Here’s a graph of one of the world’s longest, highest-quality sea-level records, from a tide gauge in Germany, which illustrates Dr. Koonin’s point:
    http://www.sealevel.info/120-022_Wismar_2015-4e2_75pct.jpg

    Here’s one of the longest, highest-quality Pacific sea-level records:
    http://www.sealevel.info/680-140_Sydney_2015-4_75pct.jpg

    Anthropogenic CO2 emissions didn’t take off until the 1940s, yet you can see that they’ve caused no detectible increase in the rate of sea-level rise.

  • Busdriver Bill

    It is time to tell the emperor that he is naked.

    • conanthecontrarian

      We should have a tiny midget run into the Oval Orafice and plug his Johnson into a wall outlet and leave it there until smoke comes puffing out of his ears every time he grabs his pen.

    • Allen Barclay Allen

      Yes he most certainly is !!!

      • Dawn Anewday

        No…………you 3 are ill.

  • RoscoeBonifitucci

    Obama is an Idiot and Enemy Combatant of America. The World knows it.
    Obama uses a Trick out of the Marxist Handbook…he continually will cover up a Scandal with yet Another SCANDAL. All good Radical Leftists use this technique.

    It is time to put an end to Obama’s Abuse of Power. It is time to Impeach this louse and make him defend himself and his Crimes against America and the World. Impeach him and put him on trial. Oh…by the way…make this trial last at least 2 years until the low life and his acolytes have been peacefully removed from power!
    Methinks GITMO is in Obama’s Future…that is why he is desperate to close this Intelligent choice for Enemy Combatants.

  • RoscoeBonifitucci

    More Marxist Tricks to Attack and Neutralize America. Obama is an Enemy Combatant of America. The World knows it. Obama Acolytes are too busy with their Federal Welfare Graft, Medical Marijuana and Abortions on demand to give a damn.

    Obama uses a Trick out of the Marxist Handbook…he continually will cover up a Scandal with yet Another SCANDAL. All good Radical Leftists use this technique. He will create a Scandal to cover up such Poer Grabs as this, and then NEVER be held accountable by the Libtard Media.

    It is time to put an end to Obama’s Abuse of Power. It is time to Impeach this louse and make him defend himself and his Crimes against America. Impeach him and put him on trial. Oh…by the way…make this trial last at least 2 years until the low life and his acolytes have been peacefully removed from power!

    Methinks GITMO is in Obama’s Future…that is why he is desperate to close this Intelligent choice for Enemy Combatants.

  • Jon Exner

    This simplest way to stop this executive over reach is first for both parties in Congress to understand that the legislative authority IS VESTED in the CONGRESS NOT THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH,
    *
    No matter who is in the White House the Congress must act accordingly, that is that the laws of the land begin in Congress not the Executive branch or the Federal agencies depending on who occupies the White House.
    *
    Therefor, what the second part of the solution is for the members in Congress, that means members of both parties pass a bill that would change the authority of all these agencies that were not part of the original Constitution of the United States of America.
    *
    That bill would give these agencies the power to investigate, to develop proposals but not to implement any new rules or regulations, they should be required to present them to Congress and then Congress would vote whether the proposals should be implemented or not. There should be little wriggle room for the Executive branch to implement any new rules or regulations without first being approved by Congress.
    *
    What we have seen for far too many years is that the democratic Congress will allow a democratic President to do something that they would object too if it were a republican President. And at the same time the Republic Congress will allow a Republican President to do something that the would object to if it were a democratic President.
    *
    HYPROCISY KNOWS BOTH PARTIES!

    • Johnstoirvin

      “That bill would give these agencies the authority to investigate, to develop proposals but not to implement any new rules or regulations…”

      Jon, you have hit upon an inherent problem in our government, one which allows obama to use individual departments to unilaterally regulate and control the populace. Laws Congress passes are generally not much more than an outline of what should be done, leaving the method and rules of implementation up to UNELECTED bureaucrats who are under the political control of the president. They can and do act at his behest. Congress has oversight responsibility, but why would you expect them to spend the time doing it when they won’t even take time to read bills before voting? Congress and obama share equally in this travesty.

      One thing everyone needs to understand, regardless of party…..

      With each and every law that’s passed
      And regulation penned,
      A little freedom disappears,
      To never return again.

      Once in place, they never leave,
      Just add them to the list
      Of all the things we cannot do
      And freedoms hardly missed.

      • Jon Exner

        There was a time that this was not so, most of these agencies did not exist 100 years ago, then the Congress did have to pass bills that they had to answer for.
        *
        When Nixon created the EPA with an executive order he got the ball rolling on the congress abdicating their responsibility by allowing the EPA to create rules and regulations without oversight.
        *
        Ever since both parties supported what the President of their own party does and opposed what the President of the opposing party does.
        *
        It is time that members of both parties have the dignity and character to understand just what their responsibility to the AMERICAN CITIZENS AND THE COUNTRY is after they get elected.

        • Johnstoirvin

          It is not only time, it is way past time!

          • Jon Exner

            Nor is it a prerequisite for voting.

  • Daenyuil Archer

    SEIG HEIL OBOZO!

  • WiSe GuY

    the nigger is nuts

    • Johnstoirvin

      You are right, but that’s not even nice. Improve your vocabulary.

      • axmickl

        It suets him just fine.

      • Jon Exner

        That is the only comment this piece of trash can come up with.
        *
        He has a lack of education to put more words into a meaningful comment.
        *
        I believe in free speech but these sites should delete his comments, it does nothing to improve the image of the republican/conservative sites.
        *
        How many times have you heard progressives say that the TEA Party is made up of racists?
        *
        This guy who claims to be wise is proof of their claims.

        • southern patriot

          Do you read something in WiSe GuY remark that indicates that he is a Tea Party, I don’t. There are too many people that assumes remarks like this can only come from Tea Partiers.

          • WiSe GuY

            Wrong, stupid nigger

          • Jon Exner

            Hope you learned a valuable lesson, even when you defend this guy he proves to be nothing but a racist piece of trash.

            • southern patriot

              I was not defending this person. ” How many times have you heard progressives say that the TEA Party is made up of racists?” you’re statement. I was merely pointing out that this WiSeGuY may not be part of the TeaParty. I’m not even sure that he is even an adult.

              • Jon Exner

                Here is the problem, too many people will defend the right of WiSe Guy to say what he says but do not make any attempt to point out that he is not only a racist but a very stupid racist.
                *
                His only comments are almost always racial in nature. I do not believe I have ever read one of his posts where he actually made a point of some kind just he usual one liners like he has here.
                *
                He has the right to say what he wants too, I have the right to point out that he is a racist.
                *
                He posts on TEA PARTY sites and the site makes no attempt to distance themselves from him.
                *
                I have complained to them many times and they do nothing to let him know that his racist remarks are unwelcome and are not in conformance with the beliefs of the site.
                *
                They would be better served if the site would post on everyone of his comments that he has the right to his opinion but they are racist in nature and not condoned by the site.

                • southern patriot

                  Jon, As BO would say,”Let me be clear”, it may have sounded like I was defending WiSeGaY, but I was not. AND nowhere did I “defend the right of WiSe Guy to say what he says” . I am sure that we can both agree that WiSeGay is a racist, and NOT a Tea Party member.

                  • Jon Exner

                    My original post to you was and is out of frustration at this and other supposed conservative sites that allows WiSe GuY to continue with his one line racist remarks. He has been doing this for sometime and as I said I have complained to no avail.
                    *
                    So I have to assume that since these sites find it so easy to not allow some comments to be publish that are nowhere near as racist or controversial as this WiSe GuY that they must agree or condone this kind of post.

        • WiSe GuY

          Wrong, stupid fucking nigger

          • Jon Exner

            Thank you for proving my point.

    • Dawn Anewday

      Does your mama kiss that mouth?

      • WiSe GuY

        Does your mama suck that niggers dick?

        • Dawn Anewday

          You must be one of those lowlife throwbacks.

          • WiSe GuY

            Well, does she?

  • wally12

    This EO is just one more act to provide more power over citizens by the federal government. The states and local governments currently do that task of regulating flood plains. We have witnessed how overbearing the EPA can be when they successfully stopped a family of building their home in a Western state even though the local government accepted and approved of a permit to build. It was simply a show of force rather than a legitimate denial form the EPA. The EPA’s power must be cut down to a minimum by congress and/or the next president.

  • Impeach the bloody bastard and all in Congress who enable his tyrannical agenda.

    • Dawn Anewday

      And exactly how has Obama affected your life? If you’d stop watching Fox, your life might be normal again.

      • Dear Dumb Shi+ thinks it knows it all. I don’t watch FOX. Everything that blasphemous POS does affects nearly every aspect of my life. Consideriny he is out to destroy my country. Maybe if you got your head out of the MSM’s a$$ you could smell the coffee.

        • Dawn Anewday

          You still can’t tell us how the president has affected your life. Again, if you’d stop watching Fox spews, you’d have a life. Exactly what has Obama done that is affecting your sorry ass life?

  • ONTIME

    More meddling into State’s Rights and intruding into the Constitutional right of representation…Not bad for a dude who cannot pass E Verify, find his own BC or release his precious secret credentials but he certainly can intrude on your life in any way he wants and the courts are to slow to stop him from incarcerating you without habeas corpus being considered……I think we should be able to do the same with him…..

  • Allen Barclay Allen

    Ok ! Let me tell you where this is going with his pen !!
    A Drunk wanders on your Property. He pees a three foot stream down the driveway. the EPA showed up took pictures and declared it watershed and Seized your property!! That has as much chance in law as a Fart starting a Tornado !!
    First of all the biggest lobby in the United States, that Hillary Clinton will be needing to run for office is tasked by representing our General Warranty Deed property rights for FREE by the Document Stamps you Bought with this property. This is where the Law lobby gets a huge part of their Constituent money to give to the Democratic and Republican Party. This latest Stupidity by this President has a Bats chance in hell when this Law lobby with Supreme Court knocks it down once again !! These Document Stamp Guaranteed Deeds have Law backing them up that proceed this President or Hillary’s Birth !! Taking that away from the biggest lobby in the United States during an election by anyone in the Democratic Party Guarantees by this Law Lobbies money that there will never be a Democrat in office again after such STUPIDITY !!

  • stinson47

    I’ll never be subservient to this bureaucratic nonsense.These people will learn the hard way when the time to “back off” is starring them in the face. This unbridled arrogance of today’s political class must be challenged and brought under control by whatever means necessary.

  • JoAnn Dolberg

    Nothing new here…this is what happens with every EO this jerk writes! He is evil and he should have been gotten rid of a long time ago. What are we waiting for? Are we going to allow him to incarcerate us with his damned pen? Are we going to wait until our liberty under the United States Constitution is completely erased?

  • Code Guy

    Code Guy

  • Code Guy

    Just wanted to note that the code for Flood Plain Management is not just locally developed. It is part of the International Code Council’s work who develops codes that are used throughout the country. Some states mandate the each municipality use “their modified” ICC Code and other municipalities adopt the code with minor modifications. This is just a correction where the writer noted that the Obama Administration is micromanaging the American Society down to the local level. This is happening at a different way with similar effect.

  • Dawn Anewday

    Check out how much the country pays out for flood events every year. The reason we have flood damage is because people build in high risk areas. We have been negligent in destroying wetlands and coastal marshes over the last 100 years. These coastal wetlands and marshes protect the coast by preventing erosion. Without those wetlands, erosion increases. With climate change and melting glaciers and no wetlands to protect the coast. we stand to lose hundreds of thousands of acres of property to the ocean. The lands involved in this protection effort will flood. They are areas that have historically flooded and continue to flood. Instead of having the government pay people to re-build on these high risk lands, they have already ended double dipping into the FEMA fund. It’s just time to restore our nations wetlands and turn all of our nation’s water courses and adjacent lands into dedicated watershed protection areas. It could become a wonderful natural resource recreation system and improve water quality and fisheries all over the country.