Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Urges Balance in Floodplain Management

November 2, 2009
Press Release

Rep. Pete Olson Friday sent a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) urging transparency and balance while considering revisions to Executive Order 11988 relating to floodplain management. 

“My congressional district will be dramatically affected by any changes in floodplain management.  The people in these areas deserve to know that the process will take their concerns into consideration and weigh any impacts when making revisions,” Rep. Olson said.
 
“Any revisions to the 1977 Executive Order addressing floodplain management must strike a delicate balance between current uses, community needs and environmental concerns. To achieve this balance it is important to maintain an open and thorough process that allows any impacted communities to have their voice heard on potential concerns they may have moving forward.  Floodplain management is critical to affected areas and the proper balance is achievable,” Olson concluded.

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Text of the Letter:
The Honorable Nancy Sutley
Council on Environmental Quality, Chairwoman
730 Jackson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Chairwoman Sutley:

It is my understanding that the White House, the Council on Environmental Quality, and other Federal agencies are in the process of reviewing a proposed revision to Executive Order 11988 relating to floodplain management.

Any revised Executive Order should recognize the importance of economic, agricultural, and other uses of land within the floodplain and provide a balance between these uses and environmental concerns.  I write today to ask that local communities and other parties that may be affected by a change in the Executive Order would be afforded the opportunity to review and comment on the proposal prior to issuance by the White House.

On January 21, 2009, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum that stated, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.”  I hope that the Council on Environmental Quality will use the President’s message to guide them while developing policy that could have far reaching applications.

I look forward to your response and appreciate your timely consideration of this matter.

Very respectfully,

Pete Olson
Member of Congress