As part of a lawsuit settlement, the federal government is proposing changes to the National Flood Insurance Program for Oregon that could severely restrict development in Glenwood and other places across the state.
In 2009, the National Marine Fisheries Service was sued for not doing enough to protect endangered species in 100-year flood plains in Oregon. A settlement called for new requirements under the National Flood Insurance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio says the requirements would put a moratorium on development in 100-year flood plains—that includes the riverfront in Glenwood which Springfield has been planning to redevelop. DeFazio says FEMA would become a federal land use planner for Oregon.
“So we have comprehensive land use planning. Every acre of private land in the state has been zoned. We’ve taken to account all sorts of concerns that relate to the environment. I was a County Commissioner. I’ve been through this process. But we’re being told, no, the federal government is going to zone your land. That’s just not going to happen and in fact there is no legal authority to do that.”
DeFazio and fellow members of the Oregon delegation sent a letter Tuesday to FEMA stating their concern about the flood insurance requirements.