FEMA accepts comments on new building code policy
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is accepting comments for a new draft policy regarding Section 1206, “Building Code and Floodplain Management Administration and Enforcement” of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act.
On Oct. 5, 2018, the U.S. Congress passed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 to reduce the complexity of FEMA and build the nation’s capacity for the next catastrophic event. DRRA section 1206 amended sections 402 and 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to authorize FEMA to provide assistance to state, territorial, tribal and local governments for building code and floodplain management ordinance administration and enforcement, including assessments for substantial damage compliance.
After a disaster, local building departments sometimes lack the resources to carry out their duties in a timely manner due to the volume of work. This can result in communities waiving or suspending their codes/ordinances post-disaster. This policy is intended to provide communities with the resources necessary to effectively administer and enforce state and locally adopted building codes and floodplain management ordinances.
The draft policy has been released for a 45-day public comment period. The comment period runs through March 6, 2020. Comments received during this period will be reviewed and considered for the final version of the guide. The draft policy and accompanying comments matrix is located on the FEMA website.