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JONES INTRODUCES BILL TO AID NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) introduced legislation to correct a 30-year old federal mapping error that has wrongly prohibited a significant portion of North Topsail Beach homeowners from accessing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bill – H.R. 4311 – would replace the existing incorrect Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) map for North Topsail Beach with an accurate one. The bill has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee for further consideration.
In 1982, Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act in order to discourage development of previously undeveloped coastal areas around the country. Under the Act, areas previously undeveloped would be included in CBRA zones, and would not be eligible to access the NFIP. In implementing the Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly designated the northern end of North Topsail Beach as a CBRA zone despite the fact that it was already under development and had a full complement of infrastructure in the ground. The Town of North Topsail Beach has done extensive research to document the existence of that infrastructure.
“This is about equitable treatment under the law,” said Congressman Jones. “Areas that were already under development when the law was passed in 1982 were not supposed to be designated as CBRA zones. The federal government made an error with North Topsail Beach, and that error needs to be corrected.”
“Amending the CBRA map to reflect the facts on the ground in 1982 is an issue incredibly important to the residents and businesses of North Topsail Beach,” said Steve Foster, Town Manager of North Topsail Beach. “We are grateful that Congressman Jones is championing legislation that will fix this problem and we hope the House will pass the bill quickly so the Senate can follow suit."