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DOEE DC Floodplain Regulation Updates: What's Next

In Washington, D.C., the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is leading efforts to update the regulations that guide land development within the City’s FEMA-mapped floodplain areas. The updates are in support of efforts to prepare the District for climate change and its resilience to large storms and rising sea levels. For developers, the proposed regulation changes may impact density, restrict subgrade uses, and increase construction costs.


The proposed updates are expected to roll out in 2022 and will be enforced six months after publication (with some exceptions). After 12 months, there will be no exceptions.

The proposed updates are likely to include changes to:

  • Regulated Areas

  • Design Flood Elevations

  • Mixed-Use

  • Insurance Requirements

  • No Adverse Impact

  • Hazardous Materials

  • Historic Structures

  • Critical Facilities

  • Buffer Areas

Throughout the process, Bohler DC Partner, Mike O’Hara, has provided feedback on the proposed changes through the District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA) as a stakeholder representing the development community.


Additionally, Bohler DC engineers and permit expediters are currently examining the proposed changes in coordination with the District of Columbia. The Bohler DC team is engaging directly with the DOEE to implement the new designs on an active multi-block project that lies within the floodplain.


Feedback to Law: What's Next?


The DOEE will incorporate the feedback it receives from a large team of stakeholders, district agencies, and community interest groups into a revised draft. From there, the agency will begin the formal process of converting the draft into law.


Once the updates are official, our DC team will seek to identify potential challenges and impacts to developers. Both civil engineering and permitting teams will collaborate in an effort to mitigate affects and find creative solutions.


Bohler DC engineers and permit expediters have successfully executed more than a dozen projects located within the floodplain. The team helps owners and developers navigate the complicated process which allows them to move forward with confidence.


Find more detailed information on the proposed changes here.


Wondering how potential changes may affect your projects? Contact Bohler DC for information on how to keep your projects moving forward.