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RULE §362.3Guidance Principles

(a) Regional flood planning guidance principles shall be the same as the state flood planning guidance principles and will be revisited every five years.

(b) Development of the regional and state flood plans shall be guided by the following principles. The regional and state flood plans:

  (1) shall be a guide to state, regional, and local flood risk management policy;

  (2) shall be based on the best available science, data, models, and flood risk mapping;

  (3) shall focus on identifying both current and future flood risks, including hazard, exposure, vulnerability and residual risks; selecting achievable flood mitigation goals, as determined by each RFPG for their region; and incorporating strategies and projects to reduce the identified risks accordingly;

  (4) shall, at a minimum, evaluate flood hazard exposure to life and property associated with 0.2 percent annual chance flood event (the 500-year flood) and, in these efforts, shall not be limited to consideration of historic flood events;

  (5) shall, when possible and at a minimum, evaluate flood risk to life and property associated with 1.0 percent annual chance flood event (the 100-year flood) and address, through recommended strategies and projects, the flood mitigation goals of the RFPG (per item 2 above) to address flood events associated with a 1.0 percent annual chance flood event (the 100-year flood); and, in these efforts, shall not be limited to consideration of historic flood events;

  (6) shall consider the extent to which current floodplain management, land use regulations, and economic development practices increase future flood risks to life and property and consider recommending adoption of floodplain management, land use regulations, and economic development practices to reduce future flood risk;

  (7) shall consider future development within the planning region and its potential to impact the benefits of flood management strategies (and associated projects) recommended in the plan;

  (8) shall consider various types of flooding risks that pose a threat to life and property, including, but not limited to, riverine flooding, urban flooding, engineered structure failures, slow rise flooding, ponding, flash flooding, and coastal flooding, including relative sea level change and storm surge;

  (9) shall focus primarily on flood management strategies and projects with a contributing drainage area greater than or equal to 1.0 (one) square miles except in instances of flooding of critical facilities or transportation routes or for other reasons, including levels of risk or project size, determined by the RFPG;

  (10) shall consider the potential upstream and downstream effects, including environmental, of potential flood management strategies (and associated projects) on neighboring areas. In recommending strategies, RFPGs shall ensure that no neighboring area is negatively affected by the regional flood plan;

  (11) shall include an assessment of existing, major flood mitigation infrastructure and will recommend both new strategies and projects that will further reduce risk, beyond what existing flood strategies and projects were designed to provide, and make recommendations regarding required expenditures to address deferred maintenance on or repairs to existing flood infrastructure;

  (12) shall include the estimate of costs and benefits at a level of detail sufficient for RFPGs and sponsors of flood mitigation projects to understand project benefits and, when applicable, compare the relative benefits and costs, including environmental and social benefits and costs, between feasible options;

  (13) shall provide for the orderly preparation for and response to flood conditions to protect against the loss of life and property and reduce injuries and other flood-related human suffering;

  (14) shall provide for an achievable reduction in flood risk at a reasonable cost to protect against the loss of life and property from flooding;

  (15) shall be supported by state agencies, including the TWDB, General Land Office, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Department of Agriculture, working cooperatively to avoid duplication of effort and to make the best and most efficient use of state and federal resources;

  (16) shall include recommended strategies and projects that minimize residual flood risk and provide effective and economical management of flood risk to people, properties, and communities, and associated environmental benefits;

  (17) shall include strategies and projects that provide for a balance of structural and nonstructural flood mitigation measures, including projects that use nature-based features, that lead to long-term mitigation of flood risk;

  (18) shall contribute to water supply development where possible;

  (19) shall also follow all regional and state water planning guidance principles (31 TAC 358.3) in instances where recommended flood projects also include a water supply component;

  (20) shall be based on decision-making that is open to, understandable for, and accountable to the public with full dissemination of planning results except for those matters made confidential by law;

  (21) shall be based on established terms of participation that shall be equitable and shall not unduly hinder participation;

  (22) shall include flood management strategies and projects recommended by the RFPGs that are based upon identification, analysis, and comparison of all flood management strategies the RFPGs determine to be potentially feasible to meet flood mitigation and floodplain management goals;

  (23) shall consider land-use and floodplain management policies and approaches that support short- and long-term flood mitigation and floodplain management goals;

  (24) shall consider natural systems and beneficial functions of floodplains, including flood peak attenuation and ecosystem services;

  (25) shall be consistent with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and shall not undermine participation in nor the incentives or benefits associated with the NFIP;

  (26) shall emphasize the fundamental importance of floodplain management policies that reduce flood risk;

  (27) shall encourage flood mitigation design approaches that work with, rather than against, natural patterns and conditions of floodplains;

  (28) shall not cause long-term impairment to the designated water quality as shown in the state water quality management plan as a result of a recommended flood management strategy or project;

  (29) shall be based on identifying common needs, issues, and challenges; achieving efficiencies; fostering cooperative planning with local, state, and federal partners; and resolving conflicts in a fair, equitable, and efficient manner;

  (30) shall include recommended strategies and projects that are described in sufficient detail to allow a state agency making a financial or regulatory decision to determine if a proposed action before the state agency is consistent with an approved regional flood plan;

  (31) shall include ongoing flood projects that are in the planning stage, have been permitted, or are under construction;

  (32) shall include legislative recommendations that are considered necessary and desirable to facilitate flood management planning and implementation to protect life and property;

  (33) shall be based on coordination of flood management planning, strategies, and mitigation projects with local, regional, state, and federal agencies projects and goals;

  (34) shall be in accordance with all existing water rights laws, including but not limited to, Texas statutes and rules, federal statutes and rules, interstate compacts, and international treaties;

  (35) shall consider protection of vulnerable populations;

  (36) shall consider benefits of flood management strategies to water quality, fish and wildlife, ecosystem function, and recreation, as appropriate;

  (37) shall minimize adverse environmental impacts and be in accordance with adopted environmental flow standards;

  (38) shall consider how long-term maintenance and operation of flood strategies will be conducted and funded; and

  (39) shall consider multi-use opportunities such as green space, parks, water quality, or recreation, portions of which could be funded, constructed, and or maintained by additional, third-party project participants.

Source Note: The provisions of this §362.3 adopted to be effective June 10, 2020, 45 TexReg 3851

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