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About the Scientific Resolution Panel (SRP)

Under contract with FEMA, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) 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.

Who May Serve on a Panel

Interested professionals must have a minimum of 10 years of proven experience with expertise in one of the following surface water hydrology, hydraulics, coastal engineering, and other relevant engineering and scientific fields or a related field:

  • Coastal storm and hydraulic engineering
  • Coastal geotechnical engineering
  • Water resource engineering (surface water hydrology, open-channel flow hydraulics, hydrologic engineering)
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Alluvial fan engineering
  • Levee analysis and mapping
  • FEMA guidelines and standards for flood risk analysis and mapping

They also must have expertise with riverine, lacustrine, coastal flood hazard, surveying, topographic information, hydrologic analysis, hydraulic analysis, coastal analysis or other pertinent experience applicable to the development of flood elevations and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).