Flood Control Law and Regulation

July 11-24, 2023

Instructor, Lewis & Clark Law School

Downey Brand water law partner Scott Shapiro will be teaching a Flood Control Law and Regulation course this summer at his alma mater, Lewis & Clark Law School. It’s a two-credit, seminar-style course offered via Zoom, with a mixture of lecture, Socratic-style learning, and student-led discussion. The classes will be offered on weekdays from July 11 – July 24, from 9:00 am to Noon (PST).

Course Overview

While water law coursework is common in law schools, flood law coursework is not, despite the significant flood risk that exists in almost every state. Thus, a public agency lawyer representing cities, counties, or flood control districts will have to learn this unique area of law on the job. Further, the regulatory limitations on land development are key on the private side, and the interplay between Federal flood programs (such as the National Flood Insurance Program) and the Endangered Species Act, is the subject of myriad lawsuits. Key topics that will be discussed include:

  • Basics of hydrology and hydraulics
  • Flood damage reduction initiatives
  • Mechanisms of levee failure
  • Multi-benefit projects and environmental justice
  • The National Flood Insurance Act
  • FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program
  • Federal sovereign immunity for damage by flood
  • Truths and myths on climate change and flood risk with particularal attention to disadvantaged communities
  • Flood protection and the homeless
  • How does the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assess flood risk?

For more information and to enroll in the course, please contact [email protected]

More information about the course is available here.