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Potential Flood Plain Regulations in Oregon

Federal Recommendations May Impact Land Development Near Waterways in Oregon

· flood plain,oregon,land use

By: Will Van Vactor

New federal recommendations may impact development in many Oregon communities. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a Biological Opinion in April 2016. The opinion is a scientific opinion that makes recommendations to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) about how it can manage the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to avoid violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Biological Opinion focuses on the impact the NFIP has on steelhead and salmon species in Oregon.

FEMA has not yet adopted the NFMS recommendations as mandatory standards. Using guidance from local governments, FEMA plans to notify Oregon communities of new mandatory standards in Fall 2017.

If you own land is in a flood plain (or close to one), the NMFS recommendations, and any related rules implemented by FEMA, may impact future development on your property. To learn more about these potential impacts, talk to your local planning department or a land use attorney.

There are a number of different opinions about whether these new flood plain recommendations are good or bad. For your reading pleasure, here are a couple of those opinions:

You can learn more about this issue at the Department of Land Development and Conservation's website here.


As of November 2017, the proposed floodplain regulations remain controversial. Coos Bay recently filed suit against the federal government claiming the new regulations are an overreach. The outcome of the lawsuit has national implications. Depending on the outcome, the proposed regulations may significantly impact land use within the new floodplain zones in Oregon.

Van Vactor Law LLC - Oregon Land Use Law Firm


The information on this blog is for general informational purposes only. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

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