2014 NACo Gulf States and Parishes Meeting Held
The National Association of Counties (NACo) Gulf States Counties and Parishes Annual Meeting was held on October 15, 2014, in Biloxi (Harrison County), Mississippi. The meeting focused on a number of key issues to counties including reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) bill and implementation issues, RESTORE Act status, local BP oil spill settlement claims, federal fishing quotas and the “waters of the U.S.” proposed rule.
Each of the five Gulf Coast states, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, gave an update on the status of the RESTORE Act implementation in each of their states. There were several presentations given at the meeting related to other important coastal issues.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will administer and monitor $2.544 billion in payments received as part of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill to address current or future environmental damages that were impacted by the spill. There was an overview of NFWF activities and the status of RESTORE Act funds.
The NFIP is a federally backed program authorized by Congress in 1968, it allows property owners in participating communities to purchase flood insurance. NFIP is authorized until September 30, 2017. The caucus was asked to talk about ideas and strategies for NFIP reauthorization.
On April 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jointly released a proposed rule that would amend the definition of “waters of the U.S.” within the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule may impact county owned roads and roadside ditches, flood control channels, drainage conveyances, including storm water and green infrastructure. Coastal counties have a particular interest in this rule.
The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 was enacted on March 21, 2014 and is geared to address rising flood insurance premium costs due to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. As part of enactment, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is tasked with implementing various provisions of interest to counties.
Caucus membership is open to all counties and parishes from Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.