State lawmakers take step to streamline flood prevention and management

The New York Senate unanimously passed a key piece of legislation that would streamline how the state responds to flooding.

Jonathan Gordon

Feb 20, 2024, 11:49 PM

Updated 59 days ago

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The New York Senate unanimously passed a key piece of legislation that would streamline how the state responds to flooding.
State Sen. Shelley Mayer's bill would create the Office of Flood Prevention and Mitigation. The department would be tasked with identifying high-risk flood-prone areas, coordinating mitigation projects, and assessing resiliency needs to prevent future storm damage.
Mayer authored the bill after several severe storms struck the area causing life-threatening infrastructure damage and in some cases deaths.
"That agency would direct you to the appropriate place and be a point of expertise so that we're not guessing on what's the best approach to mitigate future flooding," State Senator Shelley Mayer said.
The senator said now is a critical time to address this issue because of the rapid changes to our climate and the increased frequency of these once-in-a-lifetime storms.
She's optimistic the governor would be on board with this bill if it gets to her desk.
Queens Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz is the lead sponsor of the Assembly version of this bill which is still waiting for a committee vote before it can go before the entire chamber.
State Sen. Pete Harckham has also introduced a separate piece of legislation that would create an annual $500 million fund for state water-related resiliency projects.


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