Floodplain Plan Review Unit
The DPIE Floodplain program administers local and federal floodplain permitting requirements. These requirements are meant to limit property damage and protect lives. The program is managed to comply with FEMA rules and regulations. Prince George’s County is approved by the FEMA Community Rating System (CSR) program, which then allows County residents access to more affordable, federally backed flood insurance. The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The DPIE Floodplain Unit maintains an inventory of previously approved floodplain studies, models, plans, and permit approval documents.
The DPIE Site/Road Plan Review Division Floodplain Unit reviews Floodplain Studies, Floodplain Delineations, and Floodplain Impacts related to issuance of Site/Road Permits. The Floodplain Unit reviews and approves:
- Floodplain Studies, Delineations
- Floodplain Information Requests/Inquiries (FINQ)
- Floodplain Waivers
- Final Subdivision Plats with respect to Floodplain
- Site Development Concepts, Grading Permits and Street Construction Permits related to Floodplain
- Floodplain Easements
- Floodplain Elevation Certificates
- FEMA CLOMR and LOMR applications
Floodplain Approvals — Projects That Require Floodplain Approvals
Floodplain studies and delineations are required for all streams in Prince George’s County with a cumulative drainage area of 50 acres and more. Permit applicants/engineers are strongly encouraged to submit a Floodplain Inquiry (FINQ) at the onset of a new permit project through momentum.
Floodplain approval is required for all locations in Prince George’s County as described above except the City of Laurel and projects on State and Federal land.
Floodplain Approvals — Step by Step
STEP 1: Permit applicants/engineers should submit a Floodplain Information Request/Inquiry (FINQ) before purchasing land and as the initial step in the permit process. DPIE reviews and responds to FINQs to advise if there is no floodplain (FP) on property or approved FP studies are available for the property and to advise if a FP study is required. Please provide this DPIE FP response letter when you apply for a permit.
STEP 2: Permit applicants/engineers should submit a Floodplain study/delineation to the DPIE Site/Road Plan Review Division at the initial stage of the entitlement/permit process. DPIE reviews and approves the Floodplain Study/Delineation for Existing Channel Conditions. The Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M–NCPPC) requires this floodplain approval prior to approving the Natural Resource Inventory (NRI). DPIE requires this approval prior to the Site Development Concept approval.
STEP 3: Some activities in the floodplain are permissible by County Code 32-205(b), such as road crossings and utility construction. Other activities in the floodplain are not permissible unless a floodplain waiver is approved by DPIE. Consult with County Code 32-206 for further guidance. If a floodplain waiver is required, DPIE typically requires this prior to approval of the Site Development Concept.
STEP 4: During the Grading Permit Stage, DPIE reviews impacts to the 100-year floodplain. If the permit project impacts the 100-year floodplain, the permit applicant/engineer is required to secure a Floodplain Approval for Proposed Channel Conditions prior to issuance of the grading permit.
STEP 5: Final Subdivision Plats are submitted to DPIE for review of floodplain, floodplain easements and other water/sewer approvals. During this submittal, the DPIE floodplain engineer confirms that a valid FP delineation has been approved and the required FP easements are included on the final subdivision plats.
STEP 6: CLOMR — Some projects that involve modification to the FEMA floodplain require a Conditional Letter of Map Revision. The engineer must submit the CLOMR to DoE. Both DPIE and DoE pre-review these submittals, prior to the engineer submitting these to FEMA. DPIE is now requesting that permit applicants secure this approval during the concept or grading permit stage of the project.
STEP 7: LOMR — Projects that involve modification to the FEMA floodplain require a Letter of Map Revision after the floodplain has been field surveyed. The engineer must submit the LOMR to FEMA for approval and provide evidence of the approved LOMR to the DPIE floodplain engineer prior to closure of Grading Permits and issuance of U/O Permits.
STEP 8: Elevation Certificates — After any building is built in or near the FEMA and County floodplain, a flood elevation certificate must be submitted to DPIE floodplain engineer for approval, prior to the U/O Permit.
STEP 9: FEMA Floodproofing Certificate — After an existing building in the FEMA floodplain is modified, for which flood proofing was required, a flood proofing certification must be submitted to the DPIE FP engineer for approval, prior to the U/O Permit.
Floodplain Approvals — Codes, Standards and Guidelines
The floodplain requirements in Prince George’s County are defined by the County Code and the Prince George’s County Stormwater Management Design Manual and Techno-grams. Refer to the following:
- Prince George's County Code, Subtitle 23 — Division 4 – 32-202 through 213
- Prince George's County Stormwater Management Design Manual
- Techno-gram 004-2020 — Floodplain Requirements and Procedures
- Techno-gram 007-2016 — Application of 24-hour Rainfall Intensity of 7.4 Inches versus 8.5 Inches in Computing Discharge of 100-Year Storm Event
Floodplain Forms and Checklists
The DPIE website includes many helpful forms and checklists. Go to:
- Design Review Checklist 100 Year Floodplain
- Floodplain Easement Boilerplate
- Floodplain Information and Requirements
- Floodplain Information Request Form (aka Floodplain Inquiry)
- Submittal Checklist 100 Year Floodplain
- Attachment A Floodplain Notes and Table
- Attachment C-1 — FEMA Elevation Certificate and Instructions
- Attachment C-2 — County Elevation Certificate
- Attachment D — Declaration of Covenant Floodplain
- Floodplain Exhibit A
US Army Corps of Engineers Resources:
- US Army Corps of Engineers main site
- US Army Corps of Engineers Training Documents
- Introduction to HEC-RAS, User Manual 4-18
- Application Guide 4-19
- Reference Manual 4-19
The following floodplain fees are assessed, depending on the submittal:
- Floodplain Information Request (Inquiry) — $55 per property inquiry
- Floodplain Modeling (GIS by County) (1 residential lot) — $275
- Floodplain Modeling (GIS by County) Existing Conditions — $2750 per tributary
- Floodplain Modeling (GIS by County) Existing and/or Proposed Conditions — $3850 per tributary
- Floodplain Study/Delineation Review — $0.55 per linear foot of stream
- Floodplain Study/Delineation Review — $220 per structure
- Floodplain Study/Set Elevation — $55 per residential lot
- All of the above fees are subject to a 5% technology fee.
Floodplain Inspection Requirements
Any unauthorized impacts or changes to the 100-year floodplain are subject to County and state inspection and enforcement. Violations are issued and fines can be assessed for such violations.