Fitch: Sea Level Rise May Challenge Some Local US Governments

NEW YORK--()--Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: Sea Level Rise May Pose Challenges For Some US Local Governments

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=871212

The rise in sea levels already impacts some communities and, in the long term, may pressure some local governments' operations, capital funding requirements and indebtedness, says Fitch Ratings. Such risks include heightened damage from episodic events such as hurricanes and storm surges (event risks) in addition to more chronic damage from pervasive flooding and permanent loss of land. Further, citizens living in flood plains are facing higher federal flood insurance rates.

Revised zoning ordinances are evolving that may impose coastal or low-lying development moratoriums or mandate modifications to existing housing to better withstand expected storm surges. These developments will change the nature of shoreline development and may negatively affect local government operations as home owner cost increases and restrictions on new development place limits upon taxable resource growth.

To date, the sea level rise has not played a material role in Fitch's assessment of the fundamental credit characteristics of any of its rated issuers. Fitch's special report, "Event Risk and Overall Credit Resiliency," dated December 2014, provides more detail. However, there are real threats faced by governments in coastal areas. As the effects of sea level rise upon issuers' credit fundamentals become known and measurable, over time, these considerations may take on greater importance as a credit factor in Fitch's rating decisions.

For more information, see latest Fitch Wire+ research on this topic.

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com.

The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article, which may include hyperlinks to companies and current ratings, can be accessed at www.fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings.

Related Research

Event Risk and Overall Credit Resiliency

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=823370

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Larry Levitz, +1 212 908-9174
Director
U.S. Public Finance
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY
or
Eva Rippeteau
Associate Director, +1 212 908-9105
U.S. Public Finance
or
Richard Raphael, +1 212 908-0506
Managing Director
U.S. Public Finance
or
Rob Rowan, +1 212 908-9159
Senior Director
Fitch Wire
or
Media Relations:
Sandro Scenga, New York, +1 212-908-0278
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Larry Levitz, +1 212 908-9174
Director
U.S. Public Finance
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY
or
Eva Rippeteau
Associate Director, +1 212 908-9105
U.S. Public Finance
or
Richard Raphael, +1 212 908-0506
Managing Director
U.S. Public Finance
or
Rob Rowan, +1 212 908-9159
Senior Director
Fitch Wire
or
Media Relations:
Sandro Scenga, New York, +1 212-908-0278
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com