Waterlines - News from the Division of Water


Division of Water
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Fall 2023

The New Elevation Certificate

By Doug Wagner, Division of Water

FEMA recently released a new Elevation Certificate (EC) so beginning Nov. 1, local officials should no longer accept previous versions of the form unless the certification is completed and submitted prior to then. Previously submitted versions of the form are still valid for any structure that has not been changed since that version was submitted. The guidance memorandum can be viewed at FEMA Elevation Certificate & Floodproofing Certificate Guidance.

The new EC has undergone substantial changes and modifications to include two new sections. The instructions are now clearer to simplify the completion of the form. The EC requires more detail about venting (flood openings) and requires the first-floor height, which is different than the lowest floor elevation. Section G is now a recommended section and not optional like the previous versions. Section H, a new section, was added specifically for insurance purposes. Remember, with Risk Rating 2.0 the EC is no longer required for flood insurance purposes but is required for any new or substantially improved structure to verify compliance with local ordinances. Individuals will receive the most beneficial rate, the one from the rating engine or the one using information provided on the EC.

Below, I will review a few of these changes. To review the certificate and instructions in their entirety, you can download the new EC here: Elevation_Certificate.pdf.

Venting information is the first item for review in Section A. The venting information is further broken down for enclosures and attached garages. The user has the option to insert both engineered and non-engineered opening information. Then the net free open area or coverage area for all vents is shown in lines A8f and A9f. There is also the question, “Is there at least one permanent flood opening on two different sides of each enclosed area?” that was not on the form previously but is required to determine compliance to local flood hazard ordinances and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements. The instructions also require a copy of the Individual Engineered Flood Openings Certification, or the ICC-ES report be attached to the EC and engineered vents net open area should be entered in A8d or A9d as appropriate. If the information is not attached openings should be reported as non-engineered.

In section B, the community’s name and number have been split into separate entries. The instructions state that all applicable flood zones that the structure is located in be entered. The source of the BFE “FIS profile” is now simply “FIS” to indicate that any of the applicable data tables from the FIS may be used. The final addition in this section is a question, “Is the building located seaward of the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA)?

In section C there were only minor changes of reformatting and the addition of “Natural” or “Finished” grade choices for C2f & C2g.

Section D only had the addition of the certifiers email address.

Sections E and F (for AO zones only in Indiana) did not have any changes other than the addition of an email address for the certifier in section F.

In section G, community information G2 now has two options G2a & G2b. G3 is a new question for the community official when there are specific corrections to information in section A, B, E, & H. G11 was also added asking if a variance was issued. If so, describe in the comments and attach documentation.

Section H was added for flood insurance purposes only. This section may be completed by the homeowner, insurance agent, or local official. The information is then certified in section I unless it is the local official who will indicate that in Section G2b and certify in section G.

The requirement for photos has been updated to a minimum of four, one showing each side of the structure. This replaces the two in previous versions with the only exception being row homes or townhouses that have a common wall with the structures next to them.

In summary, the instructions on this new form must be read and followed since they are much clearer than previous versions.

2023 INAFSM Conference


Indiana Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management Conference

By Doug Wagner, Division of Water

The Indiana Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management (INAFSM) will hold its annual conference Sept. 13-15 at Belterra Casino in Florence, IN. With 40 plus educational sessions, there is sure to be something of interest for anyone working in floodplain or stormwater management. There are opportunities to earn professional development hours and network with other professionals in your field as well.

Scholarships are available that cover registration fees for the event. For more information about the conference or to register, visit INAFSM’s conference page at inafsm.memberclicks.net/2023-annual-conference.


The Indiana Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management was founded in 1996 by professionals interested in and responsible for floodplain and stormwater management in the State of Indiana. INAFSM members include federal, state, and local agency staff, engineers, consultants, planners, elected officials, members of academia, students, and floodplain residents.

Division of Water Updates Website

By Doug Wagner, Division of Water

The Division of Water has recently made some updates to its website.

In June we added eleven training videos covering several National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) topics. Most of these videos are between five and 15 minutes in length. The videos provide an overview of topics we regularly hold more detailed workshops on. There are also Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workshops posted on the page with registration links. Floodplain Administrators should check the page regularly for new events that are posted as they are scheduled. You can access the videos and posted events at dnr.IN.gov/water/events-and-training.

In July the “flood maps” page was updated with a new look and instructions for public users to access the hydraulic model library. You can view the updates at dnr.IN.gov/water/surface-water/indiana-floodplain-mapping.

Update to Region 5 NFIP Data Requests

By Doug Wagner, Division of Water

This is an important update regarding the management of requests for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) data in FEMA, Region 5. As you may already be aware, these requests are subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, as well as other relevant statutes, regulations, and policies.

To streamline the process and ensure efficient handling of these requests, FEMA has established a dedicated mailbox specifically for state and local officials to submit their NFIP data inquiries, which is FEMA-R5-NFIP-DataRequest@fema.dhs.gov. FEMA kindly requests that you use this mailbox exclusively for NFIP data requests and related matters. To reduce any ambiguity, please use official letterhead or send your request from an official email address (like floodplainmanager@city.gov. Townclerk@email.com could be anyone).

When using this dedicated mailbox, please keep in mind that requests must still adhere to any existing process requirements established by program offices, the Privacy Office, or other components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This may entail submitting a formal request letter, an Information Sharing and Access Agreement (ISAA), or any other applicable data sharing agreement. To ensure a smooth process, please complete the request template and include it with your initial email when requesting data. Email FEMA at that address for the template.

By centralizing NFIP data requests through this dedicated mailbox, FEMA’s objective is to enhance efficiency and ensure the proper handling of inquiries. If you have any questions or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to James Sink directly, james.sink@fema.dhs.gov.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we sincerely appreciate your cooperation in adhering to the designated process for NFIP data requests.

Please note: FEMA-R5-NFIPOutreach@fema.dhs.gov has been retired. It was replaced with the new dedicated address.

Required Floodplain Administrator Training

By Doug Wagner, Division of Water

Recent legislation affects the floodplain administrator in your community. On July 1, Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 242 became law and added IC 14-28-3-7.2 as follows:

Sec. 7.2. After June 30, 2025, an individual may not serve as the floodplain administrator of a county or a municipality unless the individual has successfully completed:

(1) the Certified Floodplain Manager program of the Association of State Floodplain Managers; or

(2) another course or training program for local floodplain managers:

  (A) approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency; or

  (B) approved by the department for the purposes of this section.

A flyer providing information on the new requirement including the training options available and the reporting process can be viewed online here.

The Floodplain Administrator and designated staff authorized and directed to enforce the provisions of your floodplain ordinance need to complete the training. Other staff that work with permitting in flood hazard areas are encouraged to attend.

If you have any questions concerning the new training requirements, please email the Floodplain Management Section at dowfpm@dnr.IN.gov.   

Upcoming Training Opportunities


(Information from FEMA, ASFPM, and other websites)

Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)

ASFPM has an online training program, and new training is added regularly. See floods.org/training-knowledge-center/ for more information.

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI)

In-person classes have resumed at EMI in Emmitsburg, MD, however EMI still offers many courses through self-study webinars. Currently, E0273: Managing Floodplain Development through the NFIP is scheduled for October 2023 and February, March, April, and September 2024. For additional information on EMI classes and webinars, please visit EMI’s training calendar website at training.fema.gov/emicourses/schedules.aspx and its course catalog at firstrespondertraining.gov/frt/npccatalog/EMI.

FEMA Region 5 announces continued training opportunities

FEMA Region 5 is conducting regular webinars on various topics such as floodplain management, flood insurance, and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements to educate and train community officials on managing their community’s floodplains. Each webinar lasts an hour, and one ASFPM CFM CEC is available by attending a session. The virtual webinar is open to all; however, local and county officials working in emergency management, building code administration, and floodplain management are strongly encouraged to attend. The webinar is presented by FEMA Region 5’s Mitigation Division, Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch.

For more information on the series or to register, see dnr.IN.gov/water/events-and-training.


Indiana Department of Natural Resources

A New Elevation Certificate Workshop will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. – noon in-person at the Indiana Government Center South building conference room 22. The two-hour workshop will also be offered virtually Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. ET and Thursday, Nov. 16, 2-4 p.m. ET. For more information on the workshop or to register, see dnr.IN.gov/water/events-and-training.

For other upcoming events and training hosted by the DNR Division of Water, check dnr.IN.gov/water/events-and-training. We will post training videos and other opportunities as they are developed or scheduled.

Save the Date: The Operation Stay Afloat Conference will be held on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at the Indiana State Government Center South building conference area. More details, call for abstracts and exhibitors will be released in the coming months as the conference is planned.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security

Please visit the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s training calendar for upcoming courses and trainings at oas.dhs.IN.gov/hs/training/public/calendar.do.


The Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) exam is now digital and may be taken at your convenience at a Meazure Learning (formerly Scantron) test site or from your home or office. For information on the exam or to register visit ASFPM’s website, floods.org/certification-program-cfm


Thanks to those contributing to this issue: Dave Knipe, Jennifer Ware, Anita Nance, Darren Pearson, Alysson Oliger, Moumita Mukherjee, Marty Benson, Don Kaczorowski, and Ed Reynolds.

Editor – Doug Wagner

The work that provides the basis for this newsletter was supported by funding under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in the publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the federal government.

Waterlines is produced quarterly as a public service by the DNR Division of Water.

Waterlines is available on the Web at dnr.IN.gov/water/publications/waterlines-newsletter/.


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