Northeast
USACE - NY District

NY - Rep. Maloney Urges Reinstatement of Critical Coastal Resiliency Study

NEW YORK, NY– Responding to the indefinite suspension of a critical NYC coastal resiliency study, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) wrote a letter to Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), urging the study’s immediate reinstatement.

She also argues, “[c]limate scientists predict that New York City could sustain severe flooding, similar to that experienced during Hurricane Sandy, every five years. Long-term mitigation strategies can take decades to implement, and it is crucial that the feasibility study continue without any further delay. Quite frankly, the lives and safety of millions of Americans are at stake.”

Full text of the letter below and a PDF here.

Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite
Chief of Engineers and Commanding General
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CECS-C)
Government Accountability Office Building
441 G Street, NW, Attn: CECS-C
Washington, D.C. 20314


Dear Lieutenant General Semonite:

               The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently announced that the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study (HATS) is being suspended indefinitely due to a lack of funding for the study in the agency’s work plan for 2020. This decision to cancel an in-progress study is highly unusual and goes against the USACE’s mission to reduce the risk of natural disasters. Additionally, this study was funded by Congress in 2016 for a period of six years. USACE’s decision to suspend the study would forfeit the work already completed in addition to the significant taxpayer funding already expended.

               Hurricane Sandy wrought devastation, including the deaths of 285 people and the displacement of thousands.  New York City alone saw 53 fatalities and nearly $20 billion in damages.  Hurricane Sandy also resulted in the first multi-day, weather related closure of the New York City Stock Exchange since 1888.  As sea levels continue to rise at an alarming rate, the City is even more vulnerable to future storm surges and flooding. Climate scientists predict that New York City could sustain severe flooding, similar to that experienced during Hurricane Sandy, every five years.  Long-term mitigation strategies can take decades to implement, and it is crucial that the feasibility study continue without any further delay.  Quite frankly, the lives and safety of millions of Americans are at stake.  I urge you to restore the funding and reinstate the study immediately, consistent with all applicable rules and regulations.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Shelby Garner in my district office at (212)-860-0606.

Very truly yours,

Carolyn B. Maloney

MEMBER OF CONGRESS

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See press release