Bienville Parish Police Jury joins lawsuit against FEMA

By Paige Nash

The Bienville Parish Police jury unanimously voted to join Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry in litigation against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to challenge the Risk Rating 2.0 program.

This new program will increase the flood insurane rates for people in the state of Louisiana tremendously.

The Secretary/Treasurer of the Bienville Parish Police Jury Rodney Warren said, “A lot of parishes have joined in with the Attorney General’s office and they are suing FEMA to leave it alone, so that our citizens can still get flood insurance if they need it. The lawsuit has already started, but they are making provisions for additional parishes that want to join since so many were interested, so I thought we would go ahead and get in front of it.”

Landry along with many other parishes in the state announced this lawsuit earlier last month on June 1.

The main cause of concern with this newly established Risk Rating 2.0 program has been the lack of transparency from FEMA on how they are calculating the new insurance rates and the factors driving the drastic increases.    

According to Landry, for the past 52 years FEMA has based their insurance premiums on historical and identifiable data, but this new program has changed how they map areas and as a result making it difficult for homeowners in the state to afford their flood insurance.  

“Now placing Louisiana families on a path to foreclosure regardless of race or economic means, adding insult to injury, there’s no rhyme or reason for these changes,” said Landry. “90 percent of Louisiana ratepayers subject to an increase in their flood insurance premiums can expect to see their annual cost increase by 18 percent for the next ten years.” 

The lawsuit is made up of 112 pages and includes the support of 43 parishes, 12 levy boards and 10 states. 

According to the press release announcing the lawsuit being filed: 

“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.”

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