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New York Building Congress and advocacy groups celebrate the passage of Intro. 1620 in the New York City Council

The legislation requires the City to develop a five-borough resiliency plan that must be updated every 10 years

October 7, 2021 By Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The New York Building Congress and other leading organizations today applaud the New York City Council’s passage of Intro. 1620, which requires the City of New York to develop a Climate Adaptation Plan every 10 years that considers and evaluates various climate hazards impacting the Big Apple and its more than 500 miles of shoreline. The Legislation calls on the City to identify the neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to various climate hazards, particularly those that are disproportionately burdened by the effects of climate change.

“The devastation from Hurricane Ida was just another in a series of reminders that we must upgrade our existing infrastructure and invest in new resilient measures,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the New York Building Congress. “As climate change increasingly becomes an everyday threat, New York must adapt as it always has when met with a challenge. The New York Building Congress thanks the New York City Council, Council Member Brannan and former Council Member Constantinides for taking this action, which will give us a blueprint to build a more resilient future. Now we need Washington to meaningfully fund infrastructure projects before another violent storm strikes.”

“This plan is the epitome of long overdue,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, prime sponsor of Intro. 1620 and Chair of the Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts. “By committing to a five-borough resiliency plan today, the city is bridging a major gap. New York City has never before put together a comprehensive plan to protect all New Yorkers from the inevitable effects of climate change. The climate crisis is here and we can no longer treat it as some abstract future. In passing this bill we promise to take our new reality seriously. Resiliency is a requirement of our most fundamental responsibility in city government: the safety of all New Yorkers.”

“With the possibility that billions in federal resiliency dollars will come to our region, we commend the New York City Council for adopting a forward-thinking strategy. This bill takes into account many of the hazards posed by climate change, layered in multiple strategies, and centers on prioritizing the communities most at risk,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “We anticipate this five borough adaptation plan focuses decisions on municipal capital investments and helps secure federal funding.”

“Climate change is the challenge of our time,” said former City Council Member Costa Constantinides, CEO of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens. “Our City needs to be fully prepared with a five-borough resiliency plan for every community to deal with the effects of our changing climate. Today the New York City Council passed a holistic plan to prepare and make us more resilient. Congratulations to Justin Brannan, Speaker Johnson and all of the advocates who worked so hard to move this bill forward.”

“As we continue to experience intense storms, our most vulnerable residents are at risk from higher floodwaters. The New York League of Conservation Voters supports the passage of Intro 1620, which will help New York City adapt to our climate crisis and protect our communities. This legislation will make sure that we have the plans in place to protect all neighborhoods from rising sea levels, violent weather and coastal erosion. We look forward to building a more equitable, resilient and sustainable city,” said Julie Tighe, President, New York League of Conservation Voters.

Council member

Councilmember Justin Brannan. Photo courtesy of Brannan’s office

The legislation passed today requires the City to develop a five-borough resiliency plan. It must consider factors that include extreme storms, sea level rise, tidal flooding, extreme heat, extreme precipitation, extreme wind, wildfire and flooding surge events associated with a storm. The plan must then be developed and released to the public byCarlo September 30, 2022 and updated every 10 years thereafter.

The New York Building Congress, which represents more than 550 organizations who employ over 250,000 trained professionals and skilled tradespeople, has increasingly called for all levels of government to invest in resilient infrastructure. In a November 2019 Crain’s New York Business piece, Scissura and Brannan stressed the need to invest in making tunnels, water mains and other underground infrastructure more resilient. The Building Congress also published Building the Future of New York: Resiliency covering the risks and opportunities presented by climate events, and recommendations for addressing its impact. In recent months, the organization has pushed for Washington to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure package as well as for New York State to advance the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act.

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