For years when the federal government planned projects such as office buildings, government agencies relied on past environmental data while developing a plan. Agencies only had to dig up a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) floodplain map, or a similar map “based on the best-available information.” But as of last week, that has changed.
In another executive order that will again cause the Obama administration’s opponents to scream and holler, but is the reality for today and the future, federal government agencies will have to take climate change risk into account for future planning. Here’s the kicker that some will take as a not-so-subtle jab at Congress: “The federal government must take action, informed by the best-available and actionable science, to improve the nation’s preparedness and resilience against flooding.”
Considering about 40 percent of the U.S. population lives on the coast and over half within 50 miles of the shorelines — with a density six times that of the rest of the country — the federal government is simply following the lead of over 300 local and state governments already planning for climate change and resilience.Click to continue reading »