Trump administration rolled back Obama-era directive that would have improved climate resilience of communities and infrastructure
Washington (September 12, 2017) – In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in a letter today called on the Trump administration to rebuild hard-hit communities to ensure they are better protected from flooding, more severe storms and other impacts of climate change. During the first half of 2017, the United States experienced a rapid succession of disaster events, which included two flooding events and six severe storms, with losses exceeding $1 billion dollars each.
“Rebuilding efforts must give Americans in the impacted regions confidence that they will be better protected against devastating flooding and other climate impacts in the future, as well as reassure Americans across the country that their tax dollars are being spent sensibly,” writes Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and co-Chair of the Senate Climate Change Task Force. “We know that the impacts of climate change will only increase in the future and we should ensure that we seek to build our infrastructure to withstand these impacts.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.
Last month, the Trump administration rescinded President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13690 that established a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which was created by a bipartisan task force of state, local, and tribal leaders and aimed to avoid wasting taxpayer dollars on risky and poorly-sited infrastructure projects, while creating standards to ensure that hospitals, community centers, and other public infrastructure in flood-prone areas are built to withstand growing flood risks. In his letter, Senator Markey calls on President Donald Trump to reverse his decision and require that any post-hurricane rebuilding using federal taxpayer dollars is consistent with the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. According to hazard mitigation experts, every dollar invested in pre-disaster resilience saves $4 in rebuilding costs in the aftermath of a storm.