Pierce County has earned a new flood rating from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a result of its floodplain management activities. The new rating means that unincorporated Pierce County residents living in a mapped floodplain will enjoy lower flood insurance premiums effective May 1.

Pierce County is now the third community in the United States with a Class 2 rating under the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System, which recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities.

The program reduces flood insurance premium rates for property owners in communities that implement activities above and beyond the basic requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. Pierce County has held a Class 3 rating since 2008.

King County and Tulsa, Okla., also have a Class 2 rating. Roseville, Calif. is the only community with a Class 1 rating.

Nationwide, there are 1,211 communities that participate in the Community Rating System, with 33 in Washington. Pierce County has participated in the Community Rating System since 1995.