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Sustainability at the Edge: The Opportunity and Responsibility of Local Governments to Most Effectively Plan for Natural Disaster Mitigation

March 2008

Citation: 38 ELR 10158

Issue: 3

Author: Patricia E. Salkin

Editors' Summary: The traditional link between disaster mitigation and local land use planning was highlighted by the Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA) of 2000, which emphasizes the need for mitigation coordination among state and local entities. In this Article, Patricia E. Salkin looks at the role of local governments in natural disaster mitigation, specifically, how local governments may use traditional land use powers, such as the police power, to protect against disasters. She cites DMA provisions that offer financial incentives to states that work with local governments to plan for growth and disasters; she also sets forth case studies to illustrate how states can create vertical links among federal, state, and local entities to coordinate disaster mitigation strategies.

Patricia E. Salkin is a Professor of Law and the associate dean and director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School. [Editors'Note: This Article appears in the book Losing Ground: A Nation on Edge, edited by John R. Nolon & Daniel B. Rodriguez, published in 2007 by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). The book can be ordered by either calling 800-433-5120 or logging on to the ELI website at http://www.eli.org.]

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