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March 31, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Halt to development in flood plains sought by environmental group

Cities’ position is irresponsible

It seems obvious that building in flood plains is a bad idea, so I was especially surprised to see that 16 cities are arguing for allowances to keep building in these high-risk areas. [“Halt to development in flood plains sought,” NWWednesday, March 28].

The cities’ position breaks all the principles that government should promote — that is, fiscal responsibility, equity and protecting the public good.

As a graduate student at UW, I have researched flood policies, including FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. This policy allows people to build a structure in a place that is almost certain to flood, and then forces taxpayers to foot the bill to rebuild that structure when it is damaged, sometimes over and over again. I have found that many of those cities fighting to build in floodplains have experienced major floods that have cost millions in flood damage.

These cities should not be fighting to build more in flood-prone areas. The recommendations argued in the lawsuit are good for our communities and good for fish.

We must protect both by staying out of floodplains. This is an opportunity to improve a broken policy: to save us money, lives and protect the nature that we love.

— Haley Harguth, Seattle


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If FEMA will not pay to rebuild structures built on a known floodplain (grandfather in ... MORE
A good example is the Green River developments. A developer makes a lot of money. ... MORE
Nothing wrong with building in flood plains, just make them buy private flood insurance... MORE

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