Leadership, Legal, Tech Zone

Independent Panels to Review Data Used for FEMA Flood Maps

Beginning November 1, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is making available an independent, third party process to aid in the review and resolution of conflicting data related to Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Scientific Resolution Panels (SRPs) will serve as independent scientific bodies to resolve issues when conflicting technical data is presented.

FEMA contracted with the National Institute of Building Sciences to act as a sponsor and to help establish the SRPs. The establishment of the SRP process emphasizes FEMA’s commitment to using the best science to accurately depict flood hazards.

“Scientific Resolution Panels provide the National Institute of Building Sciences a unique opportunity to work directly with individual communities and FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program,” said Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA. “The SRPs will provide communities with an efficient, independent way of resolving conflicting technical data while ensuring that the best science is being utilized for their Flood Insurance Rate Maps.”

To convene an SRP, the Institute will develop a pre-qualified list of technical experts whose backgrounds cover the fields of surface water hydrology, hydraulics, coastal engineering and other engineering fields related to the development of flood hazard data. Once convened, the SRP will review the conflicting data and determine which data and analyses represent the best science available. Each panel’s decision will become the recommendation to the FEMA Administrator for resolution.

To learn more about the Scientific Resolution Panel process, visit www.FloodSRP.org.

About the Institute

The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology. For more information, please visit www.nibs.org.