The Federal government agrees to back flood insurance in exchange for communities enacting and enforcing floodplain regulations. The minimum standards can be found in Chapter 44 of Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR 59 and 60). All 39 local communities and 1 Tribal Nation in Rhode Island enforce the minimum standards.

Rhode Island Floodplain Management Standards

State Building Code

The Rhode Island Building Code Commission has adopted and incorporated the 2021 International Codes (effective January 2024) into the Rhode Island State Building Code. The vast majority of the regulations required by the NFIP are included within the International Building Code and the International Residential Code.

Local Ordinances

While most floodplain requirements have been incorporated into the Rhode Island State Building Code, some additional provisions and regulations may be required by a community. If you have specific questions pertaining to floodplain management, mapping initiatives and products, and building regulations in floodplains please contact the floodplain administrator in your community.

Communities participating in the NFIP are required to adopt, enforce and maintain a local floodplain ordinance as a stipulation of compliance with the program. The purpose of this ordinance is to ensure public safety, minimize impact to persons and property from flooding, protect watercourses from encroachment, and maintain the capability of floodplains to retain and carry off floodwaters. The local floodplain administrator is typically the municipal official responsible for overseeing the enforcement and update of the document.

Additional Resources