Executive Order 11988: Construction in Floodplains

Executive Orders

This 1977 Executive Order directs federal agencies to avoid to the extent possible the long- and short-term adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of floodplains and to avoid direct or indirect support of development in floodplains wherever there is a practicable alternative. Each agency is responsible for evaluating the potential effects of any action it may take in a floodplain.

Before taking an action, the federal agency must determine whether the proposed action will occur in a floodplain. For major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, the evaluation will be included in the agency's NEPA compliance document(s). The agency must consider alternatives to avoid adverse effects and incompatible development in floodplains. If the only practicable alternative requires siting in a floodplain, the agency must: (1) design or modify the action to minimize potential harm; and (2) prepare and circulate a notice containing an explanation of why the action is proposed to be located in the floodplain.