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HUD Calls for Smarter, Greener Sandy Rebuild Standards
Date : Mon, 19 Aug 2013 10:42:00 -0400
For Immediate Release
August 19, 2013
Contact: Jeff Tittel, Director, 609-558-9100
HUD Calls for Smarter, Greener Sandy Rebuild Standards
/Agency Plan Includes Updated Building Codes, Energy Efficiency and
Today HUD released their Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Strategy
Document.The Plan outlines resilient goals for rebuilding the New Jersey
Shore in an inclusive, transparent and sustainable way.The Plan promotes
regional coordination between government agencies and streamlining and
harmonizing the different levels of government.Promoting resilience
through long term, science based planning using up to date data is a key
part of the Strategic Plan.Reducing greenhouse gases and promoting
energy efficiency will be through all program areas, including
transportation and housing.Most importantly the Plan calls for looking
at current and future risks, including sea level rise climate change and
adaptation and mitigation planning.The Plan follows President Obama's
climate action plan through all disciplines of government.This program
has a Sandy focus but will become a national model.This is especially
important here in New Jersey where the Governor has been moving us in
the wrong direction.Jeff Tittel, Director of the NJ Sierra Club sits on
the Task Force that released the Strategy Document.
"We thank HUD for their leadership in moving rebuilding efforts forward
in a smarter and better way.This is especially important here in New
Jersey where Governor Christie is implementing policies that leave our
coast vulnerable to the next storm.Hopefully this will help us make
changes to state policy here in New Jersey," said Jeff Tittel,
Director, NJ Sierra Club."This report lays out an important program to
make our state more resilient.It will help protect the environment, grow
our economy, and protect the state from climate change."
Jeff continued,"While HUD is announcing these plans on climate
Governor Christie is going in the opposite direction.This report calls
for a transparent, open process, climate change and sea level rise
adaptation, energy efficiency, and green infrastructure.Gov. Christie is
doing everything behind closed doors with no mention of climate change,
sea level rise, or adaptation.This report shows what we should be doing
and are not."
On _energy_ HUD is calling for not just hardening the grid, but making
it more resilient including distributive generation, microgrid, combined
heat and power, smart grid, renewable energy and energy efficiency.They
are also calling for developing a backup system of power for
communications and data such as cell towers.Instead the Governor has
removed New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI),
which would have lowered greenhouse gas emissions from our state's power
plants and also provide funding for clean energy projects. In addition
each year the Governor continues to raid the Clean Energy Fund, money
which would go towards renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
The Governor has waived permits for infrastructure rebuilding instead of
requiring elevating, hardening or moving vital infrastructure to help
_Building Codes_would be updated under the HUD plan to the most up to
date international ICC code for energy efficiency and building.They have
to be damage resistant and resilient codes and the latest versions.When
the new codes come out next year they have to be adopted. The Governor's
administration has not required this as part of rebuilding.
The HUD plan would also require Green Infrastructure: the use in
rebuilding of natural systems and engineered systems that mimic natural
systems.This will include blue and green roofs, restoring marshes and
coastal wetlands.The Governor has not proposed a plan to pull back from
environmentally sensitive areas and allow for more space to restore
natural systems and add dunes along our coast.The only buyouts financed
by the administration have been along the Raritan River.Installing that
green infrastructure is critical to protecting the state from future storms.
Climate and sea level rise are addressed in the HUD report while
Governor Christie has shelved the science in New Jersey.Instead of
moving forward with sea level rise and climate change adaptation
planning, the Governor cut the DEP Office of Climate Change and has
stopped progress under previous administrations to implement hazard
planning to address sea level rise. He has not required programs and
mapping to deal with sea level rise, climate change, and adaptation and
mitigation for those impacts.
"If we do not care about climate change when we rebuild we not only
jeopardize future federal funding but will continue to put people in
harm's way.The Governor cannot fix the problem when he denies the role
of climate change in impacting our state," said Jeff Tittel.
The HUD plan will encourage regional coordination where the Governor has
not for infrastructure or rebuilding.The HUD plan will help with the
coordinate efforts between municipalities and government agencies on
rebuilding shared infrastructure, where there has been no leadership at
the state level.
This will also include forwater resources.The HUD plan looks at all
areas of water resources: coastal protection , stormwater, drinking
water.The program will tie water resources with green infrastructure.It
will be a systems approach that is integrated and managed at all
levels.All the different types of water resource management need to be
coordinated at regional level and there will be a study by the Army
Corps of Engineers (ACOE )taking in most of the Atlantic sea
board.Instead the Christie administration has been trying to rollback
DEP rules that protection our water resources.
HUD is also calling forrenewable energy and green infrastructure as
more cost effective than traditional.Governor Christie has rolled back
our renewable energy targets under the Energy Master Plan, almost
crashing the solar market.After almost three years since the Offshore
Wind Economic Development Act was passed we still do not have wind
turbines off our coast.
Other program areas addressed in the plan include business, insurance,
housing, and small business.Under insurance the plan includes hazard and
The HUD report calls for an inclusive, transparent process.We have not
seen that in New Jersey where the Governor appointed a Czar to oversee
rebuilding efforts and there have been no public community meetings or
hearings at the state level on the strategy for rebuilding our shore.
"We strongly support this program to make our coast more resilient as we
rebuild from Hurricane Sandy.Including energy efficiency, distribute
generation and renewable energy in rebuilding our grid is critical for a
more resilient future.Having the most up to date building codes will
further help save people money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Green
infrastructure will not only help alleviate the impacts of future
extreme weather events but improve the environment.More important this
will help further President Obama's bold Climate Action Plan, help
create jobs, grow our economy and protect us from future storms.This
proposal is a national model to deal with sea level rise and climate
disruption.This is rebuilding smarter and better, while the current New
Jersey plan is not stronger than the storm," said Jeff Tittel.
Jeff concluded, "Will Governor Christie follow these plans or will he
follow his national political agenda at the expense of New Jersey's
environment and economy.He could end up jeopardizing not only rebuilding
or coast but future federal funding."
Access the full Strategy Document here:
-- Kate Millsaps Conservation Program Coordinator NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club 609-656-7612 _________________________________________________________ NJ-Sierra-Chapter-Ex-Committee List Info & Archives: http://lists.sierraclub.org/archives/NJ-EXCOM.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Received on 2013-08-19 07:42:00
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