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Great Rivers Habitat Alliance v. Federal Emergency Management Agency

ELR Citation: 40 ELR 20212
Nos. No. 09-3183, (8th Cir., 08/12/2010)

The Eighth Circuit upheld a lower court decision dismissing on jurisdictional grounds environmental groups' claims that FEMA's approval of a levee violated the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) and the APA. In essence, the groups were challenging FEMA's flood elevation determination. Accordingly, the groups' APA claims were dismissed because the APA only grants judicial review of final agency action in cases "for which there is no other adequate remedy in a court." Here, 42 U.S.C. §4104(g), which concerns flood elevation determinations, provides an adequate legal remedy. As for the NFIA claim, the groups failed to exhaust their administrative remedies by filing a proper appeal with FEMA. Nor was the groups' challenge based upon the scientific or technical accuracy of the flood elevation decision, which would have rendered it an appeal under §4104(b).