The Utah Natural Hazards Workshop
 is designed for everyone involved in making community development decisions:  Legal experts, community officials, developers, architects, engineers, government leaders, and floodplain managers are strongly encouraged to attend.  This course teaches Natural Hazards and how they affect all aspects of community development, using both Utah and nationally recognized experts in the fields of law, planning, architecture & low impact design and engineering.

This workshop will: 

a) explain the ancient legal roots of the National Flood Insurance Program and “No Adverse Impact,” or :Safe Development”;
b) demonstrate how floodplain management and other forms of regulation designed to prevent harm can be structured to avoid much, if not all, of the uncertainty surrounding the “Takings” issue;
c) explain how property rights principles support floodplain and other natural hazard regulations;
d) demonstrate that local floodplain management designed upon the “Safe Development” or “No Adverse Impact” concept is not anti-development but rather protects property rights,
e) examine legal risks for areas protected from flooding by dams and levees;
f) demonstrate how to successfully negotiate towards a safer community future;
g) and, explore opportunities for floodplain managers to work more closely with stormwater and wetland experts in recognition of the flood protective qualities of wetland”

Workshop Presentations


Reviews / Comments

  • Barbara McEvoy, CFM, Natural Hazard Specialist, Floodplain Management and Insurance Mitigation, FEMA Region 8 — “I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for a great workshop. The agenda promised to go over “no adverse impact”, the takings issue, property rights, levee flooding risk (legal), negotiations at the community level, and whole community planning. Along with Mr. Watson, Dr. Salah, Mr. Mallory and Ms. Soutiere and Jerolleman, Ed Thomas did an excellent job covering those important issues. I felt that the workshop audience was sufficiently diverse with representation from many private and government sectors. I also enjoyed the interaction between the lecturers and the audience.
    Mr. Thomas was very generous with his praise and support of both our agency and yours which translated well with the public. It was very exciting to roll up our sleeves, at times, and work on some of the real issues that come out of the NFIP. I was especially interested in the legalities associated with levee ownership and liability during a failure. I also liked Mr. Watson’s examples of good architecture design that incorporates All of the watershed into ‘smart growth’ and community planning. He is obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about sustaining clean, clear water.
    I thought that Mr. Thomas did a great job explaining to us how complex he issues are and how the judicial system strives to answer some of the questions based on our constitution. This is a moving target in our program and it was great refresher with the new cases.
    All in all, I was impressed by how well you put this workshop together and am excited to participate any time in the future. In fact it would be great to bring this same group out to Denver some time.
    Thanks again.”