December 15, 2010 – Coushatta, LA: The Town of Coushatta, Louisiana has awarded a 2-year agreement to the Louisiana Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) to provide NFIP Flood Plain Management Services that include the following:
- Flood Zone Permitting
- Flood Way Verification
- Flood Plain Program Document Management
- Elevation Certificate Tracking
- Photo Management
- Building Permit / Flood Permit Integration
- Electronic Web-Based NFIP Management
- Flood Plain Enforcement
- Community Rating System Implementation
- Flood Insurance Rate Map Management
- Full Permit Documentation Reviews and Plan Review
- Posting / Notification Monitoring
- Ordinance Review and Revisions
- Map Printing (Including dFirms)
- Electronic Data Backup
- Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan Reviews
With increased activities in the construction area, as well as increased land disturbance due to the exploration and discovery of the Haynesville Shale and pipeline construction, flood zone / storm water and ground water management issues have been on the forefront of regulation requirements in North Louisiana. Coushatta decided to combine all of these services into one, for efficiency. IBTS was engaged to assist the city with the work because the city staff’s workload has grown, and the time, experience and effort required for these services is tremendous.
Contributing to the complexity is the fact that Louisiana’s new, statewide Uniform Construction Codes (LSUCC) needed to be blended with the regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure that Federal, state and local construction codes are all in accordance, so that Coushatta’s Flood Insurance Program would not be placed in jeopardy. Anytime a developer / contractor disturbs more than 1 acre of land, extensive storm water permits are required to ensure that erosion controls are maintained, and entrance into the municipal’s storm water runoff system are minimized. Louisiana IBTS, as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to working with Louisiana jurisdictional offices on code and safety issues, is helping Coushatta to navigate what is essentially new territory in coding and permitting.
To further assist the industrial permit applicants, IBTS has opened up their offices and software so that applicants can apply for permits online, or at IBTS’s offices directly. Enabling a “one stop shop” for flood, storm and ground water industrial services will make the process much easier for applicants, as many are not located in the Shreveport / Bossier Area. Coushatta also liked the idea of providing a single place for all industrial applicants to process permits and submit the required documentation.
IBTS will ensure that all processes developed are viable and sustainable to provide efficiency and full compliance with all required laws, ordinances and codes. IBTS will also provide Web-based software that will allow the permits and documentation to be process in tandem with the building permits. This permitting software will enable all documents to be attached and tracked with a specific permit. IBTS is providing this service in order to ensure full compliance with the documentation of the National Flood Insurance Program, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, as well as other state and local rules and regulations.
IBTS has appointed Greg Blount, Louisiana Branch Manager, and Steve Quaid, Louisiana IBTS Building Official, to function as the primary staff for this project. Mr. Quaid will also serve as the Certified Flood Manager for the project, while Mr. Blount will be responsible for policy, client satisfaction and overall management of the contract.