42 U.S. Code § 4104–1 - Scientific Resolution Panel

(a) Availability
(1) In general
Pursuant to the authority provided under section 4104 (e) of this title, the Administrator shall make available an independent review panel, to be known as the Scientific Resolution Panel, to any community—
(A) that has—
(i) filed a timely map appeal in accordance with section 4104 of this title;
(ii) completed 60 days of consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the appeal; and
(iii) not allowed more than 120 days, or such longer period as may be provided by the Administrator by waiver, to pass since the end of the appeal period; or
(B) that has received an unsatisfactory ruling under the map revision process established pursuant to section 4101 (f) of this title.
(2) Appeals by owners and lessees
If a community and an owner or lessee of real property within the community appeal a proposed determination of a flood elevation under section 4104 (b) of this title, upon the request of the community—
(A) the owner or lessee shall submit scientific and technical data relating to the appeals to the Scientific Resolution Panel; and
(B) the Scientific Resolution Panel shall make a determination with respect to the appeals in accordance with subsection (c).
(3) Definition
For purposes of paragraph (1)(B), an “unsatisfactory ruling” means that a community—
(A) received a revised Flood Insurance Rate Map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, via a Letter of Final Determination, after September 30, 2008, and prior to July 6, 2012;
(B) has subsequently applied for a Letter of Map Revision or Physical Map Revision with the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and
(C) has received an unfavorable ruling on their request for a map revision.
(b) Membership
The Scientific Resolution Panel made available under subsection (a) shall consist of 5 members with expertise that relates to the creation and study of flood hazard maps and flood insurance. The Scientific Resolution Panel may include representatives from Federal agencies not involved in the mapping study in question and from other impartial experts. Employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may not serve on the Scientific Resolution Panel.
(c) Determination
(1) In general
Following deliberations, and not later than 90 days after its formation, the Scientific Resolution Panel shall issue a determination of resolution of the dispute. Such determination shall set forth recommendations for the base flood elevation determination or the designation of an area having special flood hazards that shall be reflected in the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
(2) Basis
The determination of the Scientific Resolution Panel shall be based on—
(A) data previously provided to the Administrator by the community, and, in the case of a dispute submitted under subsection (a)(2), an owner or lessee of real property in the community; and
(B) data provided by the Administrator.
(3) No alternative determinations permissible
The Scientific Resolution Panel—
(A) shall provide a determination of resolution of a dispute that—
(i) is either in favor of the Administrator or in favor of the community on each distinct element of the dispute; or
(ii) in the case of a dispute submitted under subsection (a)(2), is in favor of the Administrator, in favor of the community, or in favor of the owner or lessee of real property in the community on each distinct element of the dispute; and
(B) may not offer as a resolution any other alternative determination.
(4) Effect of determination
(A) Binding
The recommendations of the Scientific Resolution Panel shall be binding on all appellants and not subject to further judicial review unless the Administrator determines that implementing the determination of the panel would—
(i) pose a significant threat due to failure to identify a substantial risk of special flood hazards; or
(ii) violate applicable law.
(B) Written justification not to enforce
If the Administrator elects not to implement the determination of the Scientific Resolution Panel pursuant to subparagraph (A), then not later than 60 days after the issuance of the determination, the Administrator shall issue a written justification explaining such election.
(C) Appeal of determination not to enforce
If the Administrator elects not to implement the determination of the Scientific Resolution Panel pursuant to subparagraph (A), the community may appeal the determination of the Administrator as provided for under section 4104 (g) of this title.
(d) Maps used for insurance and mandatory purchase requirements
With respect to any community that has a dispute that is being considered by the Scientific Resolution Panel formed pursuant to this subsection, the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall ensure that for each such community that—
(1) the Flood Insurance Rate Map described in the most recently issued Letter of Final Determination shall be in force and effect with respect to such community; and
(2) flood insurance shall continue to be made available to the property owners and residents of the participating community.

Source

(Pub. L. 90–448, title XIII, § 1363A, as added Pub. L. 112–141, div. F, title II, § 100218(a),July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 930.)

 

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