WASHINGTON (Nov. 15, 2019) – The R Street Institute welcomes Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s signing of Executive Order 45, which will require buildings owned by the commonwealth to have a minimum first-floor elevation above the local projected base-flood height.

The planned Virginia Flood Risk Management Standard, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2021, would be the strongest state-level elevation standard in the nation and would be the first to consider projections of sea-level rise.

“More than 90% of all federally declared disasters involve floods,” said R.J. Lehmann, director of finance, insurance and trade policy for the R Street Institute. “The commonwealth should be commended for its foresight to make these investments in mitigation that will save lives and protect taxpayers from being asked repeatedly to finance repairs for flood-damaged property.”

Lehmann added that R Street encourages other states to follow Virginia’s lead by avoiding building in at-risk floodplains altogether and urged the Trump administration to reinstate the Flood Risk Management Standard that required federally financed infrastructure to be built 2 or 3 feet above the base-flood elevation for a 100-year floodplain.