Last week, Gov. Cuomo announced that he has signed into laws the “Community Risk and Resiliency Act,” which is intended to get the state and local governments to plan for the effects of climate change by developing more resilient infrastructure, while also reducing the cost of rebuilding after natural disasters.
The new law requires State agencies to consider future physical climate risks caused by storm surges, sea level rise or flooding in certain permitting, funding and regulatory decisions, including smart growth assessments, the siting of wastewater treatment plants and hazardous waste transportation, storage and disposal facilities, design and construction regulations for petroleum and chemical bulk storage facilities and oil and gas drilling permits, and properties listed in the state’s Open Space Plan, among others. It also requires the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to adopt official projections for sea level rise by 2016, and to update their projections every five years.
Gov. Cuomo said:
“The new reality of extreme weather has had painful consequences for New Yorkers in virtually every region of our state, but today we’re taking another step forward in our goal of building back better, stronger, and more resilient than ever before. This new law contains a comprehensive package of actions that help strengthen and reimagine our infrastructure with the next storm in mind. I am proud to sign this legislation as we continue to move New York forward to a cleaner and more resilient future.”