WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today released the following statement after FEMA announced that it intends to place West Pittston on probationary status on October 1:
"Today's announcement that FEMA intends to put West Pittston on probationary status is an unnecessary and counterproductive decision that won't improve the area's flood plan and could result in higher flood insurance rates for residents. Instead of punishing West Pittston, FEMA should redouble its efforts to work with the community so that progress can be made on a flood protection plan. There’s still time for FEMA to take a proactive approach here in a way that helps the residents."
Last month, Senator Casey called on FEMA to work with West Pittston to help improve its flood plan. His letter to FEMA is below:
Mr. W. Craig Fugate
Federal Emergency Management Associations
Dear Mr. Fugate:
It is my understanding that the Borough of West Pittston has received notice that it could be placed on probationary status with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) due to certain deficiencies in its floodplain management program and other violations.
West Pittston, along with many other communities in Pennsylvania, was devastated during flooding last September. I have heard from many constituents who are still dealing with the damage and aftermath of this event. These constituents are very concerned that they could face additional charges or a suspension of the community’s eligibility to participation in the NFIP.
I ask that FEMA continue to work with local officials and residents to implement all necessary measures to ensure continued recovery from this disaster. The imposition of penalties or a suspension of the federal flood insurance program would cause significant hardship for a community that continues to recover from last year’s flooding. I am therefore calling on FEMA to continue to provide all necessary guidance to the borough to correct deficiencies and remedy outstanding violations. I recognize that FEMA has taken steps to this end and urge your agency’s sustained involvement in these efforts. All due consideration should be given to the borough before FEMA decides to impose penalties or suspend the flood insurance program.
I will continue to closely monitor all developments relating to this issue and request that FEMA keep me updated on all relevant information. Thank you for your attention to this request.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator