Rebuilding and Learning from Hurricane Sandy
(Climate Action Plan, pp. 13–14.)
- In August 2013, the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force (HSRTF) is to deliver to the President a rebuilding strategy for Sandy-affected regions, with precedents for use elsewhere.
- The Task Force and federal agencies are to pilot new ways to support resilience in the Sandy-affected region, including a regional “Rebuilding by Design” competition to generate innovative solutions to enhance resilience.
- The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is to dedicate $5.7 billion to four of the area’s most impacted transit agencies, including $1.3 billion for locally prioritized projects to make transit systems more resilient to future disasters.
- The FTA is to develop a competitive process for additional funding to identify and support larger, stand-alone resilience projects in the Sandy-affected regions.
- The Department of the Interior (DOI) is to launch $100 million competitive grant program to foster partnerships and promote resilient natural coastal systems while enhancing green spaces and wildlife habitat near urban populations.
- An additional $250 million is to be allocated to support projects for coastal restoration and resilience across the region.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and partners are to conduct a $20 million study to identify strategies to reduce the vulnerability of Sandy-affected coastal communities to future large-scale flood and storm events.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to strengthen long-term coastal observations and provide technical assistance to coastal communities.
Implementation, Progress, and Outcomes
August 12, 2013: DOI launched a $100 million Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program, to be administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). (Heather Zichal, Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change, White House Blog (Sept. 20, 2013, 10:36 AM); Press Release, DOI, Secretary Jewell Celebrates Progress of Urban Parks Agreement, Resilience Work with City of New York (Aug. 12, 2013).) Grants from $100,000 to $5 million will be awarded to projects that assess, restore, enhance, or create wetlands, beaches, and other natural systems to better protect communities as well as fish and wildlife species and habitats from the impacts of future storms and naturally occurring events. (Press Release, NFWF, Grants for Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Projects Now Available (Oct. 29, 2013).)
August 19, 2013: HSRTF issued its Rebuilding Strategy. (Press Release, HSRTF, Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Releases Rebuilding Strategy (Aug. 19, 2013).) A Fact Sheet is available for download.
August 26, 2013: The Department of Energy (DOE) and NJ Transit announced a partnership to explore the design, construction, and implementation of an advanced microgrid system to make NJ Transit more resilient in the face of extreme weather. (News Release, DOE, Energy Department Partners with State of New Jersey to Study Ways to Improve the Reliability of New Jersey’s Transit System in Aftermath of Superstorm Sandy (Aug. 26, 2013); News Release, NJ Transit, Making NJ TRANSIT Stronger and More Resilient (Aug. 26, 2013).)
November 27, 2013: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published “Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York.” The report presents the observations and conclusions of the Mitigation Assessment Team that FEMA deployed after Sandy to study damage to buildings that the storm caused. The report contains recommendations for measures that can be taken to minimize future damage to structures and related utility systems. Topics covered in the report include building codes and standards; flood protection; residential construction; critical facilities and key assets; and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The full report is available for download. (FEMA P-942, Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York, fema.gov (last visited Dec. 2, 2013).)
December 23, 2013: The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced approximately $3 billion in funding for projects that strengthen the resiliency of public transportation systems affected by Hurricane Sandy. FTA will award the funds on a competitive basis for projects that protect critical transit infrastructure from being damaged or destroyed by future natural disasters. Public transportation providers that serve portions of the states where President Obama issued a major disaster declaration in the wake of the October 2012 storm are eligible to apply for funding through FTA’s Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program. This covers Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The Notice of Funding Availability for Resiliency Projects in Response to Hurricane Sandy is available here. (See Press Release, DOT, U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $3 Billion to Strengthen Resiliency of Transit Agencies Affected by Hurricane Sandy (Dec. 23, 2013).)
This page was last updated on Feb. 5, 2014.