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Surface Water


Community Assistance Program (CAP)


The Department’s floodplain management program is funded primarily by FEMA’s Community Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP derives its authority from the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, and from 44 CFR parts 59 and 60. CAP provides funding to the Department’s Flood Mitigation Section to provide technical assistance to Arizona communities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and to evaluate community performance in implementing NFIP floodplain management activities.


The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 prohibits the Director of the NFIP from providing flood insurance in a community unless that community adopts and enforces floodplain management measures that meet or exceed minimum criteria in 44 CFR Part 60.3. These floodplain management measures can take the form of floodplain management ordinances, building codes, or zoning provisions together with their administration and enforcement. 


One of the main objectives of the CAP is to ensure that jurisdictions adopt and enforce their local floodplain management ordinance [link to Floodplain Management Ordinance] in accordance with the NFIP and the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.). The CAP is intended to help the Department’s Flood Mitigation Section identify, prevent, and resolve floodplain management issues in Arizona communities participating in the NFIP before flood events occur.


The FEMA Region IX office and the Department’s Flood Mitigation Section negotiate an agreement of the floodplain management activities to be completed and the communities to be visited each year in return for FEMA funds. To receive the FEMA CAP funds, there is a 25 percent non-federal match by the Department.

To assist communities, the CAP activities include:

  • State Model Ordinance Research and Development
  • Ordinance Assistance
  • Mapping Assistance
  • General Technical Assistance
  • Outreach, Workshops and Other Training
  • Coordination With Other State Programs and Agencies
  • Tracking and Reporting Floodplain Management Data
  • Community Assistance Visits (CAV) and Community Assistance Contacts

The Community Rating System (CRS) was created to encourage communities to establish sound floodplain management programs that recognize and advocate community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.  This program provides residents who live in CRS communities with discounted flood insurance premiums. (CRS list.doc  Word Icon)


Community Assistance Visit (CAV)


As of January 2009 there are 102 NFIP participating communities in Arizona. It is the goal of the Department to visit 20% of the communities each year to provide updates on state and federal floodplain management program changes, to provide technical and programmatic assistance, and to verify that development in floodprone areas is compliant with local floodplain management regulations.  The communities are listed in the CAV schedule as part of the Community Assistance Program (CAP) agreement between FEMA and the Department.


The Community Assistance Visit (CAV) is a major component of the NFIP’s CAP.  The CAV is a visit to a community that serves the dual purpose of assuring that the community is adequately enforcing its floodplain management regulations and providing administrative and technical assistance in accordance with NFIP requirements. It is the intent of the Department to visit each community once every five years. A CAV can be scheduled sooner than every five years if assistance is requested by a community, there are floodplain management staff changes, or compliance problems arise.


Generally, a CAV begins with a field assessment tour of identified Special Flood Hazard Areas to photograph and record data of new construction in the floodplain.  This is followed by an office meeting with local officials to discuss the floodplain management ordinance and overall program, an inspection of community permit files, and a compliance report to FEMA and the local elected officials.  If any administrative problems or potential violations are identified during a CAV, the community will be notified and given the opportunity to correct them.  The Department’s Flood Mitigation Section and FEMA work closely with community staff to help them bring their floodplain management program into compliance with NFIP requirements.  The community assistance may result in future workshops or technical training from the Department or FEMA staff.   When the community does not take action to correct program deficiencies or violations, the Department and FEMA initiate enforcement action against the community.



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