Infrastructure protectionSandy relief bill says rebuilding effort should take into consideration climate-related risks

Published 19 December 2012

The $60 billion Sandy relief bill being debated this week in the Senate does not specifically mention the words climate change or global warming, but it implicitly raises topics and themes which are part of the climate change discussion; the bill says that federal, state, and local agencies engaged in the post-Sandy rebuilding effort should take into consideration “future extreme weather events, sea level rise and coastal flooding”

The Senate begins debate this week of the administration request for a $60 billion package in disaster relief funds for states which suffered the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

Scientists point to Sandy and the damage it left in its wake as disasters we are likely to experience more of as a consequence of climate change, and the Hill notes that the bill, while not specifically mentioning the words climate change or global warming, implicitly raises topics and themes which are part of the climate change discussion.

The bill, for example, urges consideration of the effects of rising sea levels in the rebuilding effort.

The bill says: “In carrying out activities funded by this title that involve repairing, rebuilding, or restoring infrastructure and restoring land, project sponsors shall consider, where appropriate, the increased risks and vulnerabilities associated with future extreme weather events, sea level rise and coastal flooding.”

The bill also says that that federal agencies, in partnership with state and local governments, should seek to ensure that recovery and rebuilding plans “reduce vulnerabilities from and build long-term resiliency to future extreme weather events, sea level rise and coastal flooding.”

The Hill notes that the bill also makes money available for “regional projections and assessments of future risks and vulnerabilities.”

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