Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands
This final rule revises HUD's regulations governing the protection of wetlands and floodplains. With respect to wetlands, the rule codifies existing procedures for Executive Order 11990 (E.O. 11990), Protection of Wetlands. HUD's policy has been to require the use of the 8-Step Process for floodplains for wetlands actions performed by HUD or actions performed with HUD financial assistance. This rule codifies this wetlands policy and improves consistency and increases transparency by placing the E.O. 11990 requirements in regulation. In certain instances, the new wetlands procedures will allow recipients of HUD assistance to use individual permits issued under section 404 of the Clean Water Act (Section 404 permits) in lieu of 5 steps of the E.O. 11990's 8-Step Process, streamlining the wetlands decisionmaking processes. With respect to floodplains, with some exceptions, the rule prohibits HUD funding (e.g., Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and others) or Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance for construction in Coastal High Hazard Areas. In order to ensure maximum protection for communities and wise investment of Federal resources in the face of current and future risk, this final rule also requires the use of preliminary flood maps and advisory base flood elevations where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has determined that existing Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) may not be the ``best available information'' for floodplain management purposes. This change in map usage requirements brings HUD's regulations into alignment with the requirement in Executive Order 11988 that agencies are to use the ``best available information'' and will provide greater consistency with floodplain management activities across HUD and FEMA programs. The rule also streamlines floodplain and wetland environmental procedures to avoid unnecessary processing delays. The procedures set forth in this rule would apply to HUD and to state, tribal, and local governments when they are responsible for environmental reviews under HUD programs.
Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless
This Notice identifies unutilized, underutilized, excess, and surplus Federal property reviewed by HUD for suitability for possible use to assist the homeless.