It is unclear how FEMA will implement these policies. The agency commissioned a study that concluded two years ago that the size of the nation’s flood plains could increase by 40 to 45 percent by the end of the century because of rising seas and more intense precipitation, but the agency has not released the analysis publicly. A FEMA spokesman said the study is “under review by federal agencies with expertise in climate sciences.”
“The key agencies charged with managing floods and disasters in this country have had their heads in the sand for many years when it comes to climate change,” said the National Wildlife Federation’s vice president for wildlife conservation, John Kostyack, whose group has sued FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers for failing to take climate change into account when making policy decisions.
By contrast, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Sept. 24 memo saying federal dollars can be spent on adapting transportation infrastructure to climate change and extreme weather.