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Pascrell, Velázquez Lead New York and New Jersey Colleagues Supporting Harbor and Tributaries Study

Work critical to protecting communities from future storm damage and flooding

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-07) today led their colleagues in the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to extend the deadline of a water resources management study critical to the region. The approvals for the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries focus area study are needed to protect tristate communities in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“As you know, the expected six-year study is a critical component to protecting our communities in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. We support this study because it is intended to assist the USACE with determining methods to address navigation, storm damage reduction, environmental restoration, multi-purpose watershed reviews to address coastal resiliency, and flood and storm damage reduction or environmental restoration,” the members write. “Specifically, Congress noted the importance of completing this study to mitigate against future damage. We hope you will approve utilizing this congressional authority and the request for a study deadline extension. Both approvals are needed to get the focus area study moving forward.”

The letter was signed by Reps. Pascrell, Velázquez, Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-17), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08), Andy Kim (D-NJ-03), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-07), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05), Grace Meng (D-NY-06), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-06), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10), Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12).

The text of the members’ letter to USACE is provided below.

 

March 2, 2021

 

The Honorable Scott A. Spellmon

Chief of Engineers and Commanding General

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

441 G Street NW

Washington, DC 20314-1000

 

We write in strong support of the Congressionally authorized reprogramming of funds to support the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries focus area study. Additionally, we support a study deadline extension because the COVID-19 pandemic and funding constraints have caused completion delays. These approvals are needed to ensure the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) can address a variety of water resource problems in our communities, including navigation, flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, and hurricane and storm damage reduction.

As you know, the expected six-year study is a critical component to protecting our communities in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. We support this study because it is intended to assist the USACE with determining methods to address navigation, storm damage reduction, environmental restoration, multi-purpose watershed reviews to address coastal resiliency, and flood and storm damage reduction or environmental restoration.

As intensifying coastal storms and sea-level rise linked to climate change are expected in coming years, the previous administration’s senseless decision to discontinue this needed work must be reversed.

To complete this important study, Congress provided USACE the authority to reprogram funds in the FY21 Omnibus Division D report.[1] Specifically, Congress noted the importance of completing this study to mitigate against future damage. We hope you will approve utilizing this congressional authority and the request for a study deadline extension. Both approvals are needed to get the focus area study moving forward.

The New York and New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries focus area study is an important foundation to our community’s management of future flood risk. Thank you for your time and attention to our request. We look forward to working with you to protect our communities.

Sincerely,



[1] https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20201221/BILLS-116RCP68-JES-DIVISION-D.pdf


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