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Trump Order Revoked Federal Flood Risk Management Standards

President's effort to streamline infrastructure construction process may hinder recovery

August 31, 2017
Hurricane Harvey has caused extensive flooding in Texas

Two weeks before Harvey's flood waters rushed into Houston and parts of Louisiana, President Trump rolled back a 2015 order by the Obama Administration that would have made it easier for storm-ravaged communities to use federal emergency aid to rebuild bridges, roads, and other structures so they can better withstand future disasters, according to an AP report.

Now, the president's order could force Houston and other cities to rebuild hospitals and highways in the same way and in the same flood-prone areas.

The catch? By revoking the Federal Flood Risk Management Standards put in place by Obama, federal conditions for funding disaster aid bounced back to the old requirements that say whatever is destroyed must be rebuilt exactly the way it was without implementing (or paying for) improvements in resiliency. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday, "We want to be more prepared for the next event, not less prepared."

The Associated Press says a possible work-around is if local building codes effective before Harvey called for new construction to be more resilient to flooding, then federal money could be used to pay for additional improvement costs.

Read the AP report here.

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