State, local officials file lawsuit against FEMA

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is kicking off the start of hurricane season on a very serious note.

Landry, joined by other state and parish officials, announced the lawsuit against FEMA on June 1, the first day of hurricane season.

“The Risk Rating 2.0 has become a natural disaster of its own,” Landry said.

Landry announced the lawsuit after backlash over the agencies’ new flood insurance policies. Last year, FEMA introduced “Risk Rating 2.0,” changing the way the agency assesses flood risk, by determining risk for individual homes, instead of an entire area.

“The people behind me, and many other elected officials, including congressional members have been asking FEMA for greater transparency to understand how they are coming up with exorbitant policy premium increases,” Landry said.

FEMA said the new methodology would produce more accurate rates for a specific property, but lawmakers, parish officials and homeowners are calling this catastrophic.

“If they don’t take a stand now against FEMA and their bureaucratic policy, they’re going to drive all of Cameron Parish residents and businesses out of the parish,” Parish Administrator Katie Armentor said.

Armentor tells 7News, the police jury voted unanimously to join in on the lawsuit, making it one of 43 parishes to join.

“That’s what the old policy did so well,” Armentor said. “Our old flood insurance and policy gave you that credit because you mitigated against future damage. They’re not receiving that credit. They’re almost actually being punished because they are on the coast, and that’s not fair.”

FEMA says it does not comment on pending litigation.