44 CFR § 201.6 - Local Mitigation Plans.

§ 201.6 Local Mitigation Plans.

The local mitigation plan is the representation of the jurisdiction's commitment to reduce risks from natural hazards, serving as a guide for decision makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of natural hazards. Local plans will also serve as the basis for the State to provide technical assistance and to prioritize project funding.

(a) Plan requirements.

(1) A local government must have a mitigation plan approved pursuant to this section in order to receive HMGP project grants. A local government must have a mitigation plan approved pursuant to this section in order to apply for and receive mitigation project grants under all other mitigation grant programs.

(2) Plans prepared for the FMA program, described at part 77 of this chapter, need only address these requirements as they relate to flood hazards in order to be eligible for FMA project grants. However, these plans must be clearly identified as being flood mitigation plans, and they will not meet the eligibility criteria for other mitigation grant programs, unless flooding is the only natural hazard the jurisdiction faces.

(3) Regional Administrators may grant an exception to the plan requirement in extraordinary circumstances, such as in a small and impoverished community, when justification is provided. In these cases, a plan will be completed within 12 months of the award of the project grant. If a plan is not provided within this timeframe, the project grant will be terminated, and any costs incurred after notice of grant's termination will not be reimbursed by FEMA.

(4) Multi-jurisdictional plans (e.g., watershed plans) may be accepted, as appropriate, as long as each jurisdiction has participated in the process and has officially adopted the plan. State-wide plans will not be accepted as multi-jurisdictional plans.

(b) Planning process. An open public involvement process is essential to the development of an effective plan. In order to develop a more comprehensive approach to reducing the effects of natural disasters, the planning process must include:

(1) An opportunity for the public to comment on the plan during the drafting stage and prior to plan approval;

(2) An opportunity for neighboring communities, local and regional agencies involved in hazard mitigation activities, and agencies that have the authority to regulate development, as well as businesses, academia and other private and nonprofit interests to be involved in the planning process; and

(3) Review and incorporation, if appropriate, of existing plans, studies, reports, and technical information.

(c) Plan content. The plan must include the following:

(1) Documentation of the planning process used to develop the plan, including how it was prepared, who was involved in the process, and how the public was involved.

(2) A risk assessment that provides the factual basis for activities proposed in the strategy to reduce losses from identified hazards. Local risk assessments must provide sufficient information to enable the jurisdiction to identify and prioritize appropriate mitigation actions to reduce losses from identified hazards. The risk assessment must include:

(i) A description of the type, location, and extent of all natural hazards that can affect the jurisdiction. The plan must include information on previous occurrences of hazard events and on the probability of future hazard events.

(ii) A description of the jurisdiction's vulnerability to the hazards described in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section. This description must include an overall summary of each hazard and its impact on the community. All plans approved after October 1, 2008 must also address NFIP insured structures that have been repetitively damaged by floods. The plan should describe vulnerability in terms of:

(A) The types and numbers of existing and future buildings, infrastructure, and critical facilities located in the identified hazard areas;

(B) An estimate of the potential dollar losses to vulnerable structures identified in paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) of this section and a description of the methodology used to prepare the estimate;

(C) Providing a general description of land uses and development trends within the community so that mitigation options can be considered in future land use decisions.

(iii) For multi-jurisdictional plans, the risk assessment section must assess each jurisdiction's risks where they vary from the risks facing the entire planning area.

(3) A mitigation strategy that provides the jurisdiction's blueprint for reducing the potential losses identified in the risk assessment, based on existing authorities, policies, programs and resources, and its ability to expand on and improve these existing tools. This section must include:

(i) A description of mitigation goals to reduce or avoid long-term vulnerabilities to the identified hazards.

(ii) A section that identifies and analyzes a comprehensive range of specific mitigation actions and projects being considered to reduce the effects of each hazard, with particular emphasis on new and existing buildings and infrastructure. All plans approved by FEMA after October 1, 2008, must also address the jurisdiction's participation in the NFIP, and continued compliance with NFIP requirements, as appropriate.

(iii) An action plan describing how the actions identified in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section will be prioritized, implemented, and administered by the local jurisdiction. Prioritization will include a special emphasis on the extent to which benefits are maximized according to a cost benefit review of the proposed projects and their associated costs.

(iv) For multi-jurisdictional plans, there must be identifiable action items specific to the jurisdiction requesting FEMA approval or credit of the plan.

(4) A plan maintenance process that includes:

(i) A section describing the method and schedule of monitoring, evaluating, and updating the mitigation plan within a five-year cycle.

(ii) A process by which local governments incorporate the requirements of the mitigation plan into other planning mechanisms such as comprehensive or capital improvement plans, when appropriate.

(iii) Discussion on how the community will continue public participation in the plan maintenance process.

(5) Documentation that the plan has been formally adopted by the governing body of the jurisdiction requesting approval of the plan (e.g., City Council, County Commissioner, Tribal Council). For multi-jurisdictional plans, each jurisdiction requesting approval of the plan must document that it has been formally adopted.

(d) Plan review.

(1) Plans must be submitted to the State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO) for initial review and coordination. The State will then send the plan to the appropriate FEMA Regional Office for formal review and approval. Where the State point of contact for the FMA program is different from the SHMO, the SHMO will be responsible for coordinating the local plan reviews between the FMA point of contact and FEMA.

(2) The Regional review will be completed within 45 days after receipt from the State, whenever possible.

(3) A local jurisdiction must review and revise its plan to reflect changes in development, progress in local mitigation efforts, and changes in priorities, and resubmit it for approval within 5 years in order to continue to be eligible for mitigation project grant funding.

(4) Managing States that have been approved under the criteria established by FEMA pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5170c(c) will be delegated approval authority for local mitigation plans, and the review will be based on the criteria in this part. Managing States will review the plans within 45 days of receipt of the plans, whenever possible, and provide a copy of the approved plans to the Regional Office.

[67 FR 8848, Feb. 26, 2002, as amended at 67 FR 61515, Oct. 1, 2002; 68 FR 61370, Oct. 28, 2003; 69 FR 55096, Sept. 13, 2004; 72 FR 61748, Oct. 31, 2007 ; 74 FR 47482, Sept. 16, 2009; 86 FR 50674, Sept. 10, 2021]