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Judge tosses suit challenging FEMA flood mapping in S.W. Ill.

(St. Louis Public Radio)
A levee in Granite City, Ill.

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit three southwestern Illinois counties filed to block the U.S. government from declaring the region's levees functionally useless.

U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert called the lawsuit moot Monday, after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in court it had no plans to pull the accreditation of the region's levees as part of a levee-mapping effort.

The counties sued in November 2010 over the mapping change that Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties said could have saddled thousands of property owners with higher, unaffordable insurance rates.

The maps would have shown the area as a high-risk flood zone if FEMA rescinded accreditation of the 64 miles of earthen Mississippi River levees.

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