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Flood Loss Reduction Funding Focus of DRBC/PEMA Training for Local Officials

*Note: This release was updated on May 7, 2024, to include remarks from Sen. Miller.

For Immediate Release

May 2, 2024

(West Trenton, N.J.) -- The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the Pa. Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), with support from USACE-Philadelphia District, Pa. Department of Environmental Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 3, have partnered to conduct a series of workshops focused on flood loss reduction grant assistance for local officials in the Pa. counties of Carbon, Northampton, Lehigh, Bucks and parts of Luzerne.

"Flooding is the number one natural hazard in Pennsylvania," said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. "The latest 'Mitigation Saves' report shows that every dollar spent on mitigation in the Commonwealth saves at least $6 in post-disaster costs. It really highlights the value of supporting code enforcement, hazard mitigation planning and mitigation project implementation."

"Communities in my district and throughout the Delaware River Basin have experienced multiple severe flooding events, as well as more regular flooding after heavy rains," Sen. Nick Miller (PA-14) said. "Through this key partnership, PEMA and the DRBC are connecting local communities with resources for action."

Reducing flood loss is one of the DRBC's key missions in water resource management. Climate change will impact precipitation patterns in the Basin, likely causing more storms and associated flooding coupled with extended dry periods, making flood loss reduction even more important for water resource managers to address.

"As the potential for more flooding in the Basin increases, equipping local officials with tools and resources to make their communities more resilient is more important than ever," said DRBC Deputy Executive Director Kristen Bowman Kavanagh. "These workshops are a vital way for the DRBC and our partners at PEMA to offer basin communities guidance to advance mitigation, recovery and resilience projects, prioritizing those with a climate and equity focus."

Now in its second round, this project receives funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant program. In 2021 and 2022, PEMA and DRBC worked in Pike, Monroe, Wayne and Lackawanna Counties. Looking ahead, the DRBC will continue to seek opportunities to partner with Basin state emergency management agencies to support flood mitigation efforts.

Information about this project is available at https://www.nj.gov/drbc/programs/flood/PEMA_MiddleDelawarePIGD.html. The DRBC also recently released a tool that allows users to project future extreme precipitation in the Delaware River Basin, thereby informing stormwater management and infrastructure design and increasing climate resilience. Learn more by visiting https://www.nj.gov/drbc/programs/flow/idf-curves.html.

The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency created in 1961 by concurrent compact legislation, marking the first time that the federal government and a group of states joined together as equal partners in a river basin planning, development and regulatory agency. The five Commission members are the governors of the Basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) and the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.

To learn more about the Commission, please visit www.drbc.gov or follow DRBC on X at @DRBC1961.

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Elizabeth Brown, Elizabeth.Brown@drbc.gov

Kate Schmidt, Kate.Schmidt@drbc.gov

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