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Disaster Mitigation Through Land Use Strategies

September 2007

Citation: ELR 10681

Author: John R. Nolon

Editors' Summary: The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina brought to public attention the role of land use planning in mitigating natural disasters and which level or levels of government should decide whether and how to undertake this planning. In the Upper Mississippi River Basin, 6 federal agencies, 23 state agencies in 5 states, and 233 local governments share jurisdiction over various areas of activity on the river; the complexity and disorganization of this legal framework stifles effective action. In this Article, John R. Nolon calls for cooperative federalism and a clarification of agency roles as a remedy for this complexity. Through case studies and analysis, he explores how federal and state framework laws can be linked vertically and horizontally to facilitate disaster mitigation planning.


John R. Nolon is Professor of Law, Pace University School of Law, Director of the School's Land Use Law Center and its Joint Center for Land Use Studies, and a Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. [Editors' Note: This Article appears in the book Losing Ground: A Nation on Edge, by John R. Nolon, published in 2007 by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). The book can be ordered by either calling ELI at 800-433-5120 or logging on to the ELI website at http://www.eli.org.]

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