The Virginia General Assembly created a statewide Community Flood Preparedness Fund (the Fund) that could generate as much as $40 million a year for flood resilience across the Commonwealth. The code language references floodplain managers specifically. 45% of the revenues from the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program shall be credited to the Fund. Complete details on the Fund can be found in §10.1-603.25 of the Code of Virginia.
Virginia participated in its first carbon allowance auction in March 2021 through RGGI, which brought in over $43 million. This results in nearly $20 million available for the Fund to assist localities with addressing recurrent flooding, sea level rise, and flooding from severe weather events.
Additional information on the Community Flood Preparedness Fund can also be found on the Wetlands Watch VA Policy Updates webpage: http://wetlandswatch.org/va-policy-updates.
CFPF Draft Grant Manual
The Department of Conservation and Recreation released the draft grant manual for the Community Flood Preparedness Fund on April 5, 2021. There will be a public comment period open from April 12, 2021 through May 12, 2021. According to the Draft Grant Manual, grants may be awarded for Capacity Building and Planning activities or Flood Prevention and Protection Projects and Studies.
One of the conditions of using this funding is that localities “shall use moneys in the fund primarily for the purpose of implementing flood prevention and protection projects and studies in areas that are subject to recurrent flooding as confirmed by a locality-certified floodplain manager.”
During the different outreach events in December 2020 and January 2021 for the Draft Guidelines, the state was asked who the “locality-certified floodplain manager” would be. During those events, the state said this was intended to be the local floodplain administrator and not a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) through the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). However, the Draft Grant Manual that was recently released by the Department of Conservation and Recreation includes the following definition: “Locality-certified floodplain manager” means a Certified Floodplain Manager according to the
Association of State Floodplain Managers (https://www.floods.org/certification-program-cfm/)
who is in the employ of a local government.
This means communities that do not have a CFM on staff may only be eligible for Capacity Building & Planning funding and not Flood Prevention and Protection Projects and Studies funding. Your input is essential, as your community may not have a CFM on staff, or you may be the locality-certified floodplain manager. Don’t miss this opportunity to provide feedback for this important, statewide fund!
VFMA will be hosting a Lunch & Learn event to discuss our review of the Draft Grant Manual and solicit feedback from members and other floodplain professionals on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 12:00pm.
Wetlands Watch will also be hosting a Lunch & Learn event on the Draft Grant Manual on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 12:30pm. You can register for this event here.
CFPF Draft Guidelines
CFPF Draft Guidelines
Draft Guidelines for the administration of the Fund were released in December 2020. These guidelines will inform the annual grant manual, scoring criteria, and other aspects of administration of the Fund. A public comment period for the Draft Guidelines closed on January 31, 2021. Find more information, including the notice for public comment and comments submitted on the Virginia Town Hall site here.
VFMA hosted a Lunch & Learn event on December 15 on this topic with Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Joshua Saks. A recording of this event is available on this page below.
VFMA Comments on the Draft Guidelines
- VFMA was part of a joint comment letter with other conservation partners that was submitted on January 27, 2021. Partners included VFMA, Wetlands Watch, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Southern Environmental Law Center, Friends of the Rappahannock, VA Conservation Network, & VA Chapter of the Sierra Club.
- VFMA also submitted a more detailed public comment letter on January 31, 2021.
Draft Grant Manual
VFMA will host a Lunch & Learn event on the draft grant manual on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 12:00pm.
Wetlands Watch will also be hosting a Lunch & Learn event on the draft grant manual on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 12:30pm. You can register for this event here.
VFMA hosted a Lunch & Learn on the Community Flood Preparedness Fund for local floodplain managers. This event included a presentation by Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Joshua Saks, followed by a Q & A Session. The recording for this event is available below.
Other outreach events were hosted by the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association (VA APA), and the Virginia Conservation Network. Recordings of those events are also available below. Special thanks to Wetlands Watch for providing their Zoom platform for all three events.