Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Southern Vermont Floodplain Manager Position: Application due 12/4/2014

Hello all,

We wanted to announce that our Southern Vermont Floodplain Manager position is out-for-hire at this time.  Please note that the on-line application deadline closes 12/4/2014. If you would like more information about this position, please contact Rob Evans at

Environmental Analyst IV AC: General
Environmental Conservation

General Information 

This position, (Environmental Analyst IV, Job Opening # 616053), is open to all State employees and external applicants.

Resumes will not be accepted via e-mail.  You must apply online to be considered.

This position is within the River Corridor and Floodplain Protection section of the Vermont Rivers Program. The Regional Floodplain Manager will provide regulatory support and technical assistance to individuals, municipalities, consultants, and agencies of state and federal government regarding development proposals in river corridors and floodplains in southern Vermont. The position supports multiple regulatory jurisdictions including the State Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rule, municipal land use permitting, and Act 250. The position requires working both independently and collaboratively to evaluate development proposals for regulatory compliance and recommend alternative courses of action to minimize conflicts between river/floodplain dynamics and human investments. This position requires strong written and verbal communication skills, and must work well with the public and include education in each interaction.


Preferred Qualifications 
Preference will be given to candidates with a strong combination of the following: working knowledge of the National Flood Insurance Program; experience reviewing and analyzing site plans, grading plans, and related engineering and surveying schematics; knowledge of riverine hydrology/hydraulics and fluvial geomorphology.


 Minimum Qualifications 

Education: Bachelor's degree in a biological-life or physical science, engineering, or an environmental or natural resources field.

Experience: Four years at a professional level in an environmental or natural resources field.


Two years as an Environmental Analyst III.

NOTE: Graduate Degree in an environmental or natural resources field may be substituted for up to two years of experience on a semester for six months basis.




 Submission of Application 
 Should you submit an application for this job opening, you certify that all information entered is correct and complete to the best of your knowledge.  By submitting an application, you acknowledge and understand that the State of Vermont may verify information, and that untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of this application, and/or dismissal if employed with the State of Vermont.


 Equal Employment Opportunity 

 The State of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Applications from women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and people from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bennington County - Appeal Period for Flood Hazard Maps

A new/second appeal period for the Bennington County flood hazard maps will begin next week and continue for ninety days until February 10, 2015.

The Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) can be viewed online at the FEMA Map Service Center.   The currently effective FIRM maps can also be found on the MSC.  You can search by address to find the correct map, however the currently effective maps do not have an aerial photograph in the background.

The Preliminary DFIRM data can also be found on the VT ANR Natural Resource Atlas   Use “Quick Tools” to “Zoom to Town” or “Find an Address”.

Here is some FEMA information that may be of use:

This is the last formal window for communities to make minor corrections or to supply scientific or technical data that would replace the information in the Preliminary Flood Insurance Study and DFIRM.   Communities that receive appeals and supporting data from individuals should consolidate and review any appeal data from individuals.   Whether or not the community chooses to appeal please send copies of individual appeals and supporting data to:

Justin King, Project Manager Stantec, 5565 Centerview Drive, Suite 107; Raleigh, NC 27606 

After February and any appropriate changes, there will Letter of Final Determination and a six-month adoption period.  It is likely that the Bennington County DFIRM will become effective next fall.

This is a very good time to look at the Preliminary DFIRM data to better understand inundation flood risks near your location.

For more information on the flood hazard maps, appeals and Letters of Map Amendment please contact a FEMA Map Specialist at

The FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX).
(877) FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627)

After the data becomes effective changes can still be made through the Letter of Map Change process. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Draft DEC Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Protection Procedure - Comments Invited through Nov. 3

By the Department of Environmental Conservation
October 6, 2014
The Vermont General Assembly passed Act 138 in 2012 requiring the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) to adopt a Procedure that will:
Outline methods for assessing the sensitivity (i.e., stability) of rivers in the state; delineating river corridors based on sensitivity; and identifying where flood and fluvial erosion hazards pose a probable risk of harm to life, property, or public infrastructure;
Aid and support the municipal adoption of river corridor, floodplain, and buffer bylaws; and
Recommend best management practices for river corridors, floodplains, and buffers.

Acts 138 and Act 107 also required the State to adopt a Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rule with the authority to set standards in exceedance of the minimum regulatory standards required by the National Flood Insurance Program administered by FEMA. The Administrative Rule will apply to activities exempt from municipal regulation, i.e., state building and transportation projects, public utilities, and agricultural and silvicultural activities. The proposed Rule would establish a “no adverse impact” (NAI) standard, which essentially limits proposed state facilities or utilities from making any change in the height or velocity of floodwater that would increase inundation or erosion hazards.
The draft Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Protection Procedure (attached) explains how the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will utilize the same “no adverse impact” standard in providing technical assistance and regulatory recommendations to municipalities, Act 250, and other regulatory agencies. While NAI is the standard ANR has applied since 2004 in making Act 250 recommendations and under Criterion 1D for the NFIP floodway and the ANR river corridor1, it is a higher standard to be met in the flood hazard area outside of the NFIP floodway recommending measures of compensatory storage when necessary.

The Procedures also explain how:
a) Flood hazard areas, river corridor, and Act 250 floodways are delineated;
b) Flood hazard area and river corridor maps are amended or revised by the Department and other parties;
c) Waivers from the NAI standard are used to encourage land use planning for infill, redevelopment, and the shadowing of other structures; and
d) Best practices may be used to promote stream and floodplain equilibrium conditions and the natural attenuation of flood sediments, heights, and velocities that influence flood inundation and fluvial erosion.
The River Corridor and Floodplain Protection Program will accept public comments until November 3, 2014. Written comments should be addressed to or DEC Rivers Program, Watershed Management Division, 1 National Life Drive, Main 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3522

1 ANR River Corridors are calculated and field-measured areas providing for the stream dynamics, meanders, and the riparian buffers necessary for the restoration and protection of naturally stable or least erosive river forms. Corridors show an area where any stream channelization measures used to protect development or other improvements contribute to an increase in fluvial erosion upstream and downstream and adversely affect public safety, riparian landowners, and river ecosystems.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

ASFPM 2015 - Call for Presenters!

Hello all,

It is October, so that means that presentation and abstract deadlines are on the horizon for the Association of State Floodplain Manager's (ASFPM's) 2015 Annual National Conference in Atlanta, GA!
May 31 - June 5, 2015 
Hyatt Regency Atlanta 
Atlanta, Georgia

Every year, the ASFPM Call for Presenters deadline is on October 31st, so it is time to pull together ideas for both Concurrent Session presentations and Workshop submissions for this end of the month deadline.  The 2015 National Conference theme is Mitigation on My Mind.  The Call for Presenters is seeking a broad range of professionals to address the many issues and problems associated with managing flood risk, making communities more sustainable, and protecting floodplain and natural resources.

Abstract are due by October 31.  Go to the conference website and follow directions for the on-line submission.

In the past, there have been more than double the number of abstracts submitted to number of presentation openings available for concurrent session speakers. To increase your odds of being selected as a speaker for the concurrent sessions, you can review the 2015 Speaker Tips Brochure.

Questions?  Contact ASFPM Conference Planner Chad Ross at

Friday, September 19, 2014

When Governments Cooperate: State Government Municipal Day - November 13, 2014

  NOVEMBER 13, 2014
8 am - 4:15 pm

Our inaugural Municipal Day in March 2014 proved so popular that we were unable to accommodate all who wished to attend. For that reason, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), in cooperation with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), invites you to participate in a second all-day event that will include poster presentations, workshops, and the opportunity to engage with Agency staff members and municipal colleagues from across the state. 


The $30 Registration Fee includes morning coffee and a buffet lunch by the New England Culinary Institute.

Complete workshop descriptions and registration details can be found here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Free FEMA Trainings in Vermont, 9/15-9/17

We have been able to arrange a few different FEMA trainings to be offered around Vermont next week.  All of the trainings are FREE, but space is limited, so be sure to RSVP to Morgaine Bell of the Vermont Rivers Program ASAP.

These classes are geared towards local zoning administrators, local and regional planners, consultants and engineers, but all are welcome.  And please note that you need not be from Vermont to attend!  So please send a link to this post to anyone you think may be interested in these classes.  

We will have the trainings pre-approved for Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) Continuing Education Credits (CECs) as well, so this will be a great way to get some additional CECs in for this year.  


Monday, September 15th
Act 250 Conference Room, Fish & Wildlife Building
111 West Street, Essex Junction VT

8am-12pm: Coastal Construction
1pm-5pm: Floodplain Management

Tuesday, September 16th
St. Albans Free Library
11 Maiden Lane, St. Albans VT
8am-12pm: Coastal Construction

Winooski Conference Room
1 National Life Drive - Main 2, Montpelier VT
12pm-4pm: Intro to CRS and CRS Quick Check

Wednesday, September 17th
Welcome Center
3 Railroad Ave, Windsor VT
8am-12pm: Floodplain Management

Intro to Community Rating System (CRS)
This short session is designed for local officials interested in learning more about the Community Rating System (CRS).  CRS recognizes community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP standards. Besides the benefit of reduced insurance rates, CRS floodplain management activities enhance public safety, reduce damages to property and infrastructure, avoid economic disruption and losses, and protect the environment. More information about CRS is available online at:

CRS Quick Check
The Community Rating System (CRS) Quick Check is a new tool developed to help communities join the CRS.
The objective of the CRS Quick Check is to show that the community is doing enough floodplain management activities above and beyond the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program to warrant 500 credit points, enough to be a CRS Class 9 or better. This workshop is designed to assist communities that are interested in applying for CRS by discussing the more common activities that CRS communities receive credit for and what documentation would be needed to support the credited points. The Quick Check is available online at: 
Please bring your completed checklist and/or questions to this class.

Intro to Floodplain Management (NFIP 101)
This introductory course is designed to provide an organized training opportunity for local officials responsible for administering their local floodplain management ordinance. The course will focus on the NFIP and concepts of floodplain management, maps and studies, ordinance administration, and the relationship between floodplain management and flood insurance. The FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC) and Map Service Center (MSC) website will also be discussed briefly during the course.

Intro to Coastal Residential Construction
This intense workshop is intended to give attendees an overview of the contents of FEMA’s Coastal Construction Manual and to provide information on how to ensure one- to four-family residential buildings in coastal areas are properly sited, designed, constructed, and maintained. This course is a compressed version of the E386 Residential Coastal Construction held over 4 days at EMI yearly.  In addition, staff of the VT Watershed Management Division’s Lakes and Ponds Program will be providing information about how these coastal construction techniques may overlap with the new Vermont Shoreland Permit Program.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August NFIP Trainings

Hello all,

I’d like to present the upcoming free, online trainings available through STARR. These trainings cover a variety of topics, from the NFIP basics through specifics of elevation certificates, and are presented by STARR staff, FEMA, and State organizations. Many of the courses are eligible for CEC credits for Certified Floodplain Managers.

Please feel free to register for any courses you are interested in attending, and invite or pass information on these courses on to potentially interested communities or organizations in your states. Also, if you are interested in using this online platform for any trainings that your state would like to present, STARR can support you in that effort. Please let me know if you’d like additional information on hosting online trainings.

and click the “Upcoming” tab. Below are the courses offered in August:

August 27, 1:00 pm Eastern – Floodplain Development Permit Review
This 90-minute session will highlight eight basic steps to reviewing development inside the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This is beginner training, recommended for those new to the role of floodplain administrator. 1 CEC for ASFPM Certified Floodplain Managers.

August 28, 1:00 pm Eastern – Inspecting Floodplain Development
This beginner two-hour session will highlight special considerations for plan reviewers and building inspectors when evaluating and inspecting development inside the Special Flood Hazard Area, including basic concepts and terminology, minimum construction standards (from the IBC/IRC), and conducting inspections. 2 CECs for ASFPM Certified Floodplain Managers.

In addition, here is a summary of courses currently scheduled in September. Additional courses may be added, so check for the current list:

Sep 4, 2014, 1:00 PM Eastern- NFIP Basics
Sep 16, 2014, 1:00 PM Eastern- CRS Webinar Series: Preparing an Annual Recertification Sep 17, 2014, 1:00 PM Eastern- CRS Webinar Series: Drainage System Maintenance
Sep 18, 2014, 1:00 PM Eastern- Elevation Certificates

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you!

Alex Sirotek, GISP, CFM
FEMA Region 1 Service Center
99 High Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110