level, then when a failure occurs, as is likely in time, the resulting damages
will be greater than if there hadn`t been that confidence. But the alternative
to talking about a particular level is trying to make the levels appropriate for
given communities. What would be catastrophic for one community wouldn't
be for another community because of the social development that has taken
place in it. The kind of approach that I would hope will be adopted in time
is one in which communities develop combinations of solutions that are suited
to their particular conditions and history and that a federal policy could be one
that encouraged rather than discouraged it.
Q: But could community definition of what a catastrophe is be overruled by the
federal government that perhaps would be involved in emergency efforts after
a flood or in building the flood-prevention facilities in the first place? How
would that work?
A: The federal government has a variety of ways in which it can influence what
a community does. It can build works or not build works. And the
conditions under which it builds works, as the Corps knows, vary with the
community. It can provide flood forecasts, although I would say that to the
extent local communities can be encouraged to do their own flood forecasting
this is highly desirable. I believe the National Weather Service has moved
even more in that direction than before, toward providing the technical
facilities for a community to do its own flood forecasting.
It can provide insurance or withhold insurance in a number of ways. As was
indicated earlier, the ways in which the Federal Insurance Administration has
been providing insurance have had a net effect of increasing catastrophe
Then it can provide relief. We all know that no matter how tough the federal
government may be in saying it's not going to provide relief unless such-and-
such actions have been taken previously, it's going to find it very difficult to
carry out such a policy when a disaster strikes.
Q: Okay. Let me turn to another subject for a moment. In 1969 Congress
passed NEPA. I think we alluded to this before, but did you have any
involvement in the drafting of NEPA or any input at all into that whole
process by which NEPA was developed?