North Topsail Beach mayor testifies before a House natural resources subcommittee

Published: Friday, April 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM.

North Topsail Beach Mayor Daniel Tuman testified earlier this month before a House Natural Resources subcommittee in support of H.R. 187. The Town of North Topsail Beach has been working with Congressman Walter B. Jones (and Senator Kay Hagan – who has introduced a companion bill in the Senate) to correct a decades-old federal mapping error that wrongly prohibited a significant portion of North Topsail Beach from accessing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and other Federal programs. In 1982, the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) – enacted to discourage development of previously undeveloped U.S. coastal areas – incorrectly classified most of the northern part of North Topsail Beach as “undeveloped,” thus making the area ineligible to access the NFIP. Congressman Jones’ bill would replace the existing CBRA map with an accurate one.

Mayor Tuman testified that the Town previously submitted sufficient evidence to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showing that the town had already been residentially zoned and platted by Onslow County, was under development, and had a full complement of infrastructure in the ground prior to its erroneous inclusion in the Coastal Barrier Resource System (CBRS). Tuman emphasized that H.R. 187 follows the letter of the CBRA statute and accounts for areas of North Topsail Beach that were found by two federal government agencies to have been developed prior to the mapping. He stated, “My testimony is not about the healthy debate over human habitation of coastal barriers, the environmental impact of coastal barrier development, or the wisdom of shoreline protection and beach nourishment. My testimony and H.R. 187 is about the fair, equitable, and proper application of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act.”

The subcommittee hearing was the next step in the process to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. The subcommittee adjourned after Chairman John Fleming stated that there may be more questions from the subcommittee members. 

Prepared Statement of Mayor Daniel Tuman before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs — H.R. 187

April 8, 2014

“Mr. Chairman and members of this distinguished Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to

provide you with factual information in support of H.R. 187. Together with its Senate counterpart, S.

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