Group: FEMA policies in Puget Sound harm salmon



SEATTLE (AP) — The National Wildlife Federation says it plans to sue the federal government for failing to ensure its national flood insurance program in Puget Sound doesn’t harm endangered salmon or orcas.

By Thursday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was to ensure that 122 communities in Puget Sound met minimum building standards that don’t harm fish habitat.

FEMA regional administrator Ken Murphy said Wednesday the agency is on track and has been aggressively working with communities.

The conservation group says FEMA hasn’t fully implemented the requirements. The group on Thursday filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue FEMA and others.

In 2008, NOAA fisheries experts told FEMA that by underwriting flood insurance policies in Puget Sound, it encourages construction in floodplains in ways that likely harm federally protected fish. The agency called for reforms including limiting development in flood-prone areas.