Great Falls Tribune: Army Corps reviewing levee certification duties

The agency that used to certify levees in Great Falls and other communities across the nation is looking at whether to resume that task, but officials didn’t sound hopeful Wednesday.

At a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester asked Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, whether the Corps of Engineers had decided whether to resume the certifications it abandoned in 2008, after Hurricane Katrina.

“We’re looking at whether that’s a possibility for us in the future,” Darcy said.

Tester then asked about addressing the issue by “harmonizing” criteria with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is in the process of updating the nation’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) program, which requires existing levees be recertified or face removal from FEMA’s new maps, which would force homeowners in those areas to purchase costly flood insurance.

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