FEMA Science Panel Unofficially Suspended

As of February 19, 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) had not met in almost five months. According to FEMA officials, meetings could not be held between October 2018 and February 2019 because TMAC lacked a quorum. To meet its quorum requirements, TMAC must have at least 11 members, who are appointed by the FEMA administration. While the administrator has made the necessary appointments, most have yet to receive security clearance from the White House and Department of Homeland Security. As a result, TMAC currently only has four members, and cannot engage in any work.

TMAC was established by Congress in 2012 to provide scientific advice to the National Flood Insurance Program and “ensure that flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) reflect the best available science and are based on the best available methodologies for considering the impact of future development on flood risk.” TMAC last met in September 2018, when its members discussed work on a report, intended to provide FEMA with advice on updating and improving FIRMs. Work on the report has since stalled