Counties Request Greater Flexibility in Implementing Model Floodplain Ordinance

On March 8, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 1209 – Environment – Flood Control – Flood Risk Assessment and Model Ordinance (Climate Ready Floodplain Act of 2023) with amendments.

This bill requires the Department of the Environment to publish a statewide flood risk assessment map projected to the year 2050, and requires the Department to establish a model floodplain ordinance to standardize Maryland’s approach to managing climate change-induced flooding. In consultation with MML and the bill’s sponsor, MACo requests amendments that serve to:

  1. give Maryland the flexibility to revise and adopt more tailored flood plain maps; and
  2. set out a more regular process for stakeholders and the Maryland Department of the
    Environment to review and publish statewide model floodplain ordinances.

From the MACo Testimony:

One of the highest priorities for counties and the state is to prevent the needless destruction of life and property. As climate change worsens and sea level rise becomes more prevalent, it is important for policy makers to have reliable data and be ready to take nimble action… Amendments to HB 1209 offer Maryland more flexibility, better data, and the ability to have a stakeholder-driven process around flood plain policy. Maryland must work to have the necessary tools in place so policy makers can more readily adjust to a changing environment.

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