Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New York Mayor DeBlasio Releases 2015 Climate Report

Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the release of the New York City Panel on Climate Change’s 2015 report, Building the Knowledge Base for Climate Resiliency, focused on increasing the current and future resiliency of communities, citywide systems, and infrastructure around New York City and the broader metropolitan region.
The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) is an independent body that advises the City on climate risks and resiliency. As the best available data, NPCC science informs the City’s comprehensive climate policies, including its multilayered, citywide resiliency plan and sweeping sustainability initiatives—in line with President Obama’s recent Executive Order. The NPCC worked in partnership with the City, including with the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Mayor’s Office of Operations, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Today’s NPCC report provides climate projections through 2100 for the first time, for temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise, representing advancement in the science. New topics covered in the report also include public health, with a focus on extreme heat events and coastal storms and enhanced dynamic coastal flood modeling, which incorporate the effects of sea level rise. 
The full reportBuilding the Knowledge Base for Climate Resiliency: New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report.
The City is announcing today new progress as it implements a comprehensive resiliency plan based on the NPCC’s science, including the kickoff of scoping and preliminary design work on the Lower East Side integrated flood protection system, the launch of the first-ever comprehensive regional analysis of New York City’s food supply chain resiliency, key steps forward to combat the urban heat island effect, and the start of an approximately $100 million shoreline investment program to protect the most vulnerable waterfront communities.
Additionally, Mayor de Blasio will launch NPCC3, which will build on today’s report, and, in particular, look at climate risks through the lens of inequality at a neighborhood scale in a report due early next year. NPCC3 will also focus on ways to enhance coordination of mitigation and resiliency across the entire New York metropolitan region.
In addition to providing climate projections through 2100, NPCC2’s new content today includes:
  • New coastal flood risk maps to the end of the century for the current 100-year (1 percent annual chance of occurrence) and 500-year (0.2 percent annual chance of occurrence) coastal flood events.
  • Enhanced dynamic flood inundation modeling of future coastal flooding that includes the effects of sea level rise. 
  • A review of key issues related to climate change health risks relevant to the citizens of New York City. 
  • A process for enhancing a New York City Climate Resiliency Indicators and Monitoring System. 

Key Recommendations and City Action
The City is announcing new progress on a number of key projects, including:
  • The launch of scoping and preliminary design work on the Lower East Side to implement a $335 million integrated, neighborhood-sensitive flood protection system to mitigate risk and help connect the community with the waterfront. This project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design competition, runs from East 23rd Street to Montgomery Street and is intended to be just the first phase of a larger project that will ultimately provide coastal resiliency for all of Lower Manhattan. To that end, the City has already allocated additional funds to advance planning and preliminary design south of Montgomery Street.
  • The Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR), partnering with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), has also launched the first-ever, comprehensive regional resiliency analysis of New York City’s food supply chain network. The study will examine key distribution assets both locally and in surrounding jurisdictions, examine regional transportation routes, and work with the city’s food community to help ensure continuity of operations during a disaster.
  • To combat the urban heat island effect, as of the end of 2014, NYC Cool Roofs has coated over six million square feet of building roofs with reflective paint to address the climate change risks associated with urban heat. The City’s recent green buildings plan commits to coating at least one million square feet a year more to continue mitigating the urban heat island effect and provide energy savings in affordable housing, public buildings, and non-profit organizations. ORR has also convened urban heat island experts to advance research and understanding on this issue, and continues to focus its heat response protocols on vulnerable populations.
  • ORR and NYCEDC have also launched an approximately $100 million shoreline investment program to protect the most vulnerable waterfront communities, including Coney Island Creek and Staten Island’s South Shore, and other low-lying parts of the city that will be evaluated as part of the first phase of work. This will include a nine-month first phase to identify and prioritize approximately 43 miles of at-risk shoreline, following by design and construction of site-specific resiliency measures that might include bulkhead upgrades, revetment installation, and living shoreline treatments.
The City has already implemented short-term measures to immediately reduce risk. For example:
  • 4.15 million cubic yards of sand placed on city beaches.
  • 26,000 linear feet of dunes on Staten Island alone, with additional dunes on the Rockaway peninsula.
  • 10,500 linear feet of bulkhead repairs around the city.
  • Updated building and zoning codes, including 16 new local laws to improve residential and commercial resiliency.
  • $1 billion in resiliency investments being made by ConEd to harden critical assets like substations and other critical distribution equipment.
  • Reforms to FEMA’s national flood insurance program, critical flood insurance affordability studies, and education efforts for homeowners across the city.
Additional longer-term measures are being advanced all across the entire city, including but not limited to:
  • Over $450 million to construct new armored levees and other infrastructure along Midland Beach and Staten Island’s East Shore, to substantially reduce risk in the future, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State.
  • Substantial investment in the next phase of coastal protection in the Rockaways and the communities surrounding Jamaica Bay, in partnership with the Army Corps and State.
  • T-groins and beach nourishment in Sea Gate, on which ground was broken on Saturday, in partnership with the Army Corps and the State.
  • Dunes and other coastal protection in Breezy Point.
  • Integrated flood protection system measures in Red Hook.
  • Over $15 million in natural infrastructure resiliency projects funded by the Department of Interior in Jamaica Bay, the Bronx River, and elsewhere.
  • Additional coastal protection projects funded by the federal Rebuild by Design program (in addition to the Lower East Side flood protection system), including:
    • Hunts Point Lifelines—food distribution center investments in coastal protection, waterfront access, and energy resiliency.
    • Living Breakwaters—natural infrastructure investments in wave attenuation off of Staten Island’s South Shore, being implemented by the State.
  • Major investments in the Staten Island Bluebelt and other stormwater infrastructure across the city to better accommodate increasing precipitation.
  • Key resiliency upgrades at critical facilities, such as hospitals like Staten Island University Hospital, Coney Island Hospital, Bellevue, and more.
  • NYCHA recovery and resiliency funds to elevate boilers and install emergency generators and flood protection systems.
  • Agency recovery and resiliency funds to restore and protect critical City agency services like schools, parks, and other facilities.
  • Major flood and coastal protection studies, including at Coney Island Creek, Gowanus Canal, Southern Manhattan, and Newtown Creek, to evaluate the feasibility of additional tidal barrier and surge barrier investments.
  • Department of City Planning Resilient Neighborhoods studies to advance land use measures to support the vitality and resiliency of individual communities in the flood zones.
  • Small business resiliency support, including new resiliency technologies to be applied through the NYC: RISE competition and assistance through Business PREP, a new program to provide small businesses with education and technical support to enhance their resiliency.
The City is also taking dramatic steps to reduce its contributions to climate change, including becoming the largest city in the world to commit to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That commitment kicks off with Mayor de Blasio’s sweeping 10-year green buildings plan, One City: Built to Last, to retrofit public and private buildings, while creating green jobs and generating operational savings. (Office of the Mayor of New York)

No comments: