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About the Scientific Resolution Panel (SRP)

Under contract with FEMA, the National Institute of Building Sciences (the Institute) will establish SRPs for the purpose of performing independent reviews of scientific and technical data used by FEMA to develop flood hazard determination data for the National Flood Insurance Program's Flood Insurance Rate Maps. SRPs will review FEMA's flood hazard data and the flood hazard data submitted by the community to determine which studies are technically and scientifically more accurate and render a written decision that denies or accepts the alternative flood hazard data submitted by a community. The decision of the Panel will serve as the recommendation to the FEMA Administrator for resolution of the conflicting data.

SRPs are established to achieve the following benefits to both FEMA and communities. The SRP will:

  • Offer a process deemed neutral for all parties.
  • Offer the best independent scientific and technical expertise available to review and decide on conflicting flood hazard data and flood maps.
  • Provide faster resolution to community challenges of proposed flood hazard data.

An SRP is not intended to be the first step toward resolution. Historically, FEMA has used community consultation to resolve appeals and challenges to proposed flood hazard data. FEMA continues to be committed to the concept of community consultation to resolve conflicting data in an interactive, less structured process, which usually leads to satisfactory resolution. This consultation process is also effective in cases where the community's challenge of the technical or scientific data does not meet the statutory or regulatory requirements for an appeal of FEMA's flood maps. On occasions when community consultation cannot produce a mutually acceptable resolution, the SRP will be made available.