NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) – Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry along with other parish officials throughout the state announced a lawsuit against FEMA Thursday morning.
The lawsuit is being filed as a result of FEMA’S Risk Rating 2.0 program also known as Equity and Action 2.0 increasing flood insurance rates for people in Louisiana. Jeff Landry says homeowners are seeing the opposite benefits of taking the necessary steps to protect against flooding and possibly lowering their flood insurance rates. “You know how much your flood premium is and you think well if I elevate my home, that should increase the safety of my home right? And certainly, my flood insurance shouldn’t go up. If anything, maybe it should go down and yet the opposite has happened.”
Joined by local and state leaders Thursday morning, Landry announced a lawsuit against FEMA. This comes after a call for transparency from the federal agency on how they now calculate insurance rates. Landry says after fifty-two years of basing flood insurance premiums on historical and discernable data, FEMA’s new Risk Rating 2.0 system has changed how they map areas making it difficult for homeowners to afford their flood insurance rates.
“Now placing Louisiana families on a path to foreclosure regardless to race or economic means, adding insult to injury, there’s no rhyme or reason for these changes. “
Parish presidents like Matthew Jewell of St. Charles Parish says, they support the lawsuit and are included in it because it is important to be accurate when measuring how homeowners should be properly protected. Jewell says what they want is transparency. “We want to make sure that the model that they have is accurate. And we want to know what they see as are risk. Because on the round parish presidents and these leader behind me want to make sure that we are actually protecting life and property.”
Other officials like Liz Murrill, Louisiana’s solicitor says they did not set out to sue FEMA, but because there is a lack of communication on the increased rates and how it is calculated, action needs to be taken. She says, “they have doggedly refused to give the information that would explain to us why these dramatic increases are being imposed on the people of our state and the people of other states.”
The 112-page lawsuit includes 43 parishes and 10 states calling FEMA’s new rating system a badly flawed program. Officials say they want to fix flood insurance not just for Louisiana, but for all of America.
If you would like to view a brief summary of the lawsuit, click here.
From the press release, the list of states and parishes joining and supporting the lawsuit are:
“Joining the State of Louisiana in this litigation – being filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana – are the State of Florida, the State of Idaho, the State of Kentucky, the State of Mississippi, the State of Montana, the State of North Dakota, the State of South Carolina, the State of Texas, the State of Virginia, Acadia Parish, Ascension Parish, Assumption Parish, Avoyelles Parish, Bossier Parish, Caldwell Parish, Cameron Parish, Catahoula Parish, Claiborne Parish, Concordia Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish, Evangeline Parish, Franklin Parish, Grant Parish, Iberville Parish, Jackson Parish, Jefferson Parish, Jefferson Davis Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Livingston Parish, Madison Parish, Orleans Parish, Plaquemines Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, St. Helena Parish, St. James Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, St. Landry Parish, St. Mary Parish, St. Tammany Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Tensas Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Vermilion Parish, Vernon Parish, Washington Parish, Webster Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, West Feliciana Parish, Winn Parish, Bossier Levee District, Fifth Louisiana Levee District, Grand Isle Independent Levee District, Lafourche Basin Levee District, North Lafourche Conservation Levee and Drainage District, Ponchartrain Levee District, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West, South Lafourche Levee District, St. Mary Levee District, St. Tammany Levee District, East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1, City of New Iberia, Town of Jean Lafitte, Town of Grand Isle, and Association of Levee Boards of Louisiana.”