Regulatory Permitting

FEMA Consultation &
Variance Authorizations

Coastal Systems International, Inc. has become widely recognized as one of the nation's leading experts in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) technical analysis and regulatory interpretations. Our specialized team utilizes historic, meteorologic, hydrologic, and hydraulic data to interpret floodplain management regulations and evaluate Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). FEMA engineers and cartographers delineate SFHAs on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). SFHAs are those areas subject to inundation by a flood that has a one percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded during any given year. Coastal Systems reviews the design goals of a project to provide information to the project developer or architect relative to acceptable project design alternatives. In addition, Coastal Systems provides services to obtain variances from local floodplain ordinances, letters of no obligation from FEMA, and processes revisions to the SFHAs, as necessary, to meet project objectives.

Coastal Systems employs a variety of numerical modeling applications to assist in the analysis and design of project improvements and alternatives. Two modeling applications employed specifically for FEMA interpretations are the Wave Height Analysis for Flood Insurance Studies (WHAFIS) model and the Wave Run-up Model, which determine the height of run-up landward of the still water line. Coastal Systems has successfully implemented both applications on numerous projects requiring FEMA compliance interpretation or variance.

Coastal Systems' permitting and engineering team works closely with attorneys, developers, architects, local officials, FEMA representative consultants, and FEMA officials to determine the most efficient and cost effective design alternative for projects located within SFHAs.