Building Ban to Protect Northwest Salmon

In an effort to protect endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest, the National Marine Fisheries Service is calling for a building moratorium near rivers in the Puget Sound region.

"In a potentially far-reaching decision for more than 270 municipalities, the National Marine Fisheries Service said the federal flood insurance program that protects homes and businesses built in flood plains is illegal. The reasoning: Flood insurance allows development that harms salmon and, consequently, the orcas that eat salmon. Both are protected under the Endangered Species Act."

"It's now up to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the flood-insurance program, to outline steps it will take to make development more friendly to salmon and orcas. FEMA spokesman Mike Howard said agency officials are still studying the decision and plan to outline their plans within the next month."

"Inside flood zones, it's virtually impossible to develop without flood insurance and inability to obtain it "would effectively shut down new housing" in flood plains, the Washington Association of Realtors has said."

Full Story: A building ban near rivers?

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