Legal Implications: Planning for Sea Level Rise

APA Florida Chapter


Friday, September 8, 2017
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. EDT


This session panel will discuss the legal implications of planning for sea level rise including planning requirements, takings and liability for planning (or not planning). The session will provide updates on state and national cases, policies and regulations with new issues to be aware of when planning for adaptation and sea level rise.  The discussion will also include any Florida legislative updates in this area as well as a forecast on what the new Federal administration’s actions mean for state and local governments. Examples, defensible solutions and planning approaches will all form the basis of case studies to be discussed.

The legal issues surrounding climate change and sea level rise are evolving in the midst of a rapidly changing legal, regulatory and planning landscape both at the State and Federal levels, placing more emphasis on action at the local level.  This Session is a specific planning-related training effort for incorporating these issues into planning processes to avoid legal pitfalls consistent with the National APA's Policy Guide on Climate Change.  This session is non-promotional because it involves speakers from academia and representing the private/public sector with general information supportive of these planning issues.

This session discusses legal foundations such as cases, regulations, policies and approaches to address climate change in various decisions such as land use, infrastructure planning and capital budgeting.  This session will also focus on the practical implications of planning for climate change and sea level rise such as need for transparent data.  For instance, infrastructure maintenance and abandonment, liability associated with stormwater, locating development projects and floodplain management will all be discussed.  Multiple case studies will be presented that highlight new approaches (and legal exposure) to consider for climate change and liabilities associated with not considering them.  Another key highlight will be the co-benefits such as insurance mitigation discounts and other incentives. 

 Given the efforts to shift Federal and State programs and policy initiatives, this session clearly communicates and educates on a timely topic with linkages to incorporating future climate, sea level rise and infrastructure assumptions into Comprehensive Plans (such as Peril of Flood amendments), capital plans, codes and planning initiatives and requirements for doing so.  The methodologies are presentation of specific case studies and examples of actions to address future flood risk.  The presentation format is powerpoint, facilitated Q&A and audience input.  This session discusses these evolving legal issues focusing on the benefits of addressing them proactively.




Thomas Ruppert

Confirmed Speaker

A licensed Florida attorney, Ruppert’s work focuses on hazard mitigation, post-disaster recovery planning, environmental protection, marine spatial planning, and associated long-term challenges and opportunities of Florida’s coastal communities. He provides assistance to agents and local governments served by Florida Sea Grant. His areas of expertise include beach and ... Read More

Erin Deady, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Erin L. Deady, P.A. specializes in sustainability, climate, environmental, land use, water law and securing grants for clients. Clients include local governments, Special Districts, private sector, agricultural and Tribal entities specializing in development and regulatory issues, Gulf of Mexico & Everglades Restoration, energy finance tools, code development and all types ... Read More

Contact Info

Henry Bittaker,