Sunday, May 4, 2014

Shore Power is Coming! ... at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal


Since the announcement in April, 2011 that the DEAL WAS DONE to create the first shore power berth on the U.S. East Coast at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (BCT), it has been a slow, long wait for the Red Hook community wanting to see some physical proof that this plan was actually happening.

Well, it is happening - though there have been a couple of "speed bumps" along the way.

The change in the leadership of the Port Authority was one. In October, 2011, Chris Ward - a strong supporter of the shore power plan - announced he was leaving his Executive Directorship role at the PA and Pat Foye was coming in. After that change of leadership, the Port Authority started baulking at an extra $4.3 Million that was going to be required to get this plan up and running.

See this, from a post on this blog in March, 2012 -

"A few weeks back, there was the troubling news that that the Port Authority was balking at the revised cost of creating the shore power infrastructure at the terminal. They had okayed the original investment, but were questioning the extra amount that would be required. 

How much were we talking about here? According to this Brooklyn Eagle story (here), the shortfall was $4.3 Million.

When the Port Authority has already made statements saying that this plan would save Brooklyn residents $9 Million per year - let me say that again - PER YEAR - in health costs. When those health costs include, as stated by the EPA and many others, asthma, cancer, premature death, lung and heart disease. When those who disproportionately bear this burden are our most vulnerable - our children (Red Hook's kids already have 40% asthma rates), the elderly, minority and low-income communities. Why is this even a question?

Yes, the Port Authority is having budget problems, but on that matter they're talking about numbers in the billions of dollars. So to quibble over this relatively small amount, when the savings are so obvious and precious (we're talking about our kids here) - and knowing that the added investment pays for itself in 6 months - it seems very short sighted to be delaying this plan."

Well, in June, 2012, the people at the Port Authority finally came to their senses and gave their approval to the extra funding (story here). The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal shore power plan was a go!

Then came Superstorm Sandy. 

The storm and the damaging flooding that inundated our neighborhood in October, 2012 threw a wrench in the works of everything that was happening in Red Hook. The shore power plan was no exception. With the new reality of potential flooding, threats to infrastructure, housing, economic activity and more on everyone's mind, there was a lot to consider. The entire future of Red Hook seemed uncertain.

Many people asked in the last year or so, "Is the shore power plan happening?". "When is it happening?". We asked representatives of our elected officials for answers. The replies we received were all assurances that this plan was going ahead, despite the delays. But, people were still asking, "Where is the evidence?"

Then Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez got involved. A letter was sent from her office to the Port Authority asking for an update on the progress. Their response came in May, 2013, in the way of a letter to Congresswoman Velázquez, (and CCd to many of our other representatives), stating that the Port Authority was announcing it was ready to "initiate the construction and installation of Shore Power Technology at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook". They stated that the infrastructure would be ready "no later than the 2015 cruise ship season." View the entire letter here.

Well that was good news, but - again - where was the evidence?

Well last month, with Red Hook's future and resiliency looking better than ever, with new energy filling the neighborhood and an even greater sense of community involvement evident to all, the proof came that the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal shore power plan was truly happening.

Infrastructure!



These pieces of electrical infrastructure appeared on the cruise terminal site. The Red Hook Star Review posted a simple tweet on April 19th - "Shore power" - followed by a group of photos taken during a walk around the neighborhood, within which were photos of theses three pieces of "technology", for want of a better word that had been recently placed on the cruise terminal site. "A View From The Hook" took a look as well.  They look like transformers, but we haven't been able to find out exactly what the correct description of these items are, but they are obviously being installed as part of the coming shore power infrastructure. The Red Hook Star Review was right - 



Now we have it. The physical evidence that the shore power infrastructure is being built and on its way to being completed, with the promise of it being put into service "no later than the 2015 cruise season", as the Port Authority has stated.

This is great news for our community. Finally, the cruise ships will be "plugging in" to the electric grid and will be able to stop idling their dirty diesel engines while in port at the edge of our dense residential neighborhoods. We'll all look forward to enjoying the improvements in air quality; the removal of the carcinogenic and asthma inducing substances that are emitted from those idling engines; improvements in the health of our children and the most vulnerable among us who are disproportionately affected by those pollutants; reduction in the burning of greenhouse gas creating fuels; and so many more benefits - both economic and environmental - that have been articulated in this blog over the last five years. 

We can now all believe it. 

In 2015, the Queen Mary II and other visiting cruise ships will finally be kicking their smoking habit, and the people of Red Hook and beyond will be breathing a little easier.


(5/5/14 - This post was edited for clarity and typos - I don't have an editor, people!)

OTHER SHORE POWER/ SHIPPING POLLUTION NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED 

(Though the NY press/ media is *still* negligently ignoring this issue)

Malta Today: Shipping's black cloud: "Rise in shipping pollution could end up killing 100,000s before new legislation is enforced"

Law 360: @EPA to enforce pollution rules for large ships in US waters. PM (soot), NOx, SOx

Port Strategy: "it is in ports near where people live that human health is most affected"

Shipping News: First Ship Plugged-In @ Port of Hueneme = 92% reduction in PM, 98% in NOx, 55% in GH gasses

Motorship: Taking shorepower to the next level: There will always be a market for shorepower in residential port cities

Ship and Bunker: T&E says don't delay rule "[NOx] is an invisible killer causing cancer and lung disease"

Ship and Bunker: Latest California Cold Ironing represents"the single largest reduction in air emissions by one project in the history of the county"

Port Strategy: There is a shore power standard so "ports in the US can use the same system as Denmark"


ABC News (Australia): Concern about cruise ship emissions in Sydney, Australia: Locals demand halt to cruise ships in harbour

The Packer: "Shore power in port helps maintains cold chain, reduce emissions"

Environmental Leader: All 13 international cargo terminals at the Port of LA and Port of Long Beach now power docked ships with electricity

Washington Times: February is "SHORE POWER NOW" month in Charleston.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Saturday, May 3rd. 11am-3pm: Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program Open House


Greetings Friends and Neighbors,

On Wednesday, April 23rd Gita Nandan and Danelle Johnson and several other members of the Red Hook Committee of Governor Cuomo’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program attended the final Conference in Albany, NY. While there, they presented two of Red Hook’s resiliency projects at the conference, and stole the show. Speaking to hundreds of attendees, representing 50 NYRCR Communities across New York State, Gita and Danelle shared Red Hook’s unique challenges and strengths, highlighting innovative approaches to improving the resiliency of the Red Hook Houses. Their presentation is in Part 2 of the conference videos here.

With the first phase of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program coming to an end, the Red Hook Planning Committee will be holding a final community engagement event to share with the community the contents of the Final Red Hook NYRCR Community Reconstruction Plan, the recommendations, and to discuss next steps for implementation. An Executive Summary of this Plan is attached. Details on the final public engagement are below and some background information follows.

You can find more information HERE


Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program

Open House

Realty Collective, 351 Van Brunt St

11am – 3pm on Saturday, May 3rd

1:30pm presentation by the Red Hook Planning Committee


Or visit our information booth at the Red Hook Spring Flea Market

PS 15 Yard – on Van Brunt St. between Wolcott and Sullivan

11am – 3pm on Saturday, May 3rd





See you there!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sat 2/22 and Sun 2/23, 11am - 6pm: OPEN HOUSE for "Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program" - COME ALONG!



Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program
Open House

Realty Collective, 351 Van Brunt St
Sat 2/22 & Sun 2/23 11am – 6pm


Only a few months of planning remain in the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program and the Committee is excited to engage the Red Hook community in the critical final phase of the program. The upcoming public meeting will be an important opportunity to gather community input on the top Priority Projects that may be recommended for funding with Red Hook’s $3M CDBG-DR allocation. We encourage everyone to attend this event and have your voice heard. At this event the Red Hook Committee will share ideas that its members have heard from you to date and answer questions you may have about the program and possible resiliency projects. Details for the event are on the attached flyer and as follows:


Experts will be on hand to discuss specific topics on Saturday and Sunday at the following times:

12pm-1pm: Infrastructure & Coastal Resiliency

1pm-2pm: Social Resiliency & Economic Development


Red Hook Resiliency Innovations event Sat 2/22, 3-6pm

Guest speakers to include: HUD Rebuild by Design, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) and Architecture for Humanity, and others.

We also have a few newsworthy pieces from the past few months to share:

The Committee held its 11th meeting on Monday, February 10th in which we discussed benefits, feasibility, and considerations of possible priority resiliency projects.

Youth from the Red Hook Initiative/South Brooklyn Community High School film production program completed a video documenting the November 19th Public Engagement at the Miccio Center. This will be featured at the public meeting as well.

On December 18th, the Red Hook Planning Committee partnered with Good Shepherd’s Services at the Beacon Center to engage teens in the NY Rising program. At this event, teens brainstormed with planners and Committee representatives about resiliency challenges and solutions for Red Hook.

The Committee applauds the incredible news from Governor Cuomo’s Office of a $200M New York City & New York State combined commitment for the development of an integrated flood protection system in Red Hook. This announcement provides great momentum to our work and is proof that Red Hook can and will become a more resilient community.

We hope to see everyone at the upcoming public event.

As always, thank you for your continued engagement in the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program.

Sincerely,

NY Rising Red Hook Planning Committee & Committee Co-Chairs

Gita Nandan

Ian Marvy

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nystormrecovery

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NYStormRecovery



Friday, December 13, 2013

Friends of The Earth: "Dangerous Levels of Deadly Soot" From Ships at Manhattan Cruise Terminal

QM2 at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal - photo: Joshua Kristal, South Brooklyn Post

In November, representatives from NABU, a German based environmental organization, visited New York to take pollution measurements at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. NABU had been taking these tests at different cruise terminal location around the world, so these New York measurements were going to provide valuable information about the emissions from idling cruise ships berthed at our city's primary terminal.

Friends of the Earth, who have been collaborating with NABU, just released the results of these tests in a press release (here).

"At each port -- New York, Venice, Italy and Hamburg and Rostok, Germany -- samples taken by NABU with an ultrafine particle counter contained hundreds of thousands of microscopic ultrafine particles of soot per cubic centimeter of air. In New York, the sample contained 201,000 ultrafine particles of soot per cubic centimeter while the cruise ship Norwegian Gem was idling on Nov. 15, 2013."

NUBU recorded video of their particle counter taking the measurements in real time as the Norwegian Gem idled at the Manhattan terminal.


Dr. Axel Friedrich, formerly an air quality expert with the German federal environmental agency, who led the testing, is quoted in the Friends of the Earth press release:

“These extremely high measurements at the cruise ship docks are from the use of heavy fuel oil or bunker fuel and lack of pollution control technology,” 

He stated that, without pollution control technology, such as the use of particle scrubbing or the use of shore power, "cruise ship engines must operate continuously at the dock to keep the lights on, releasing huge quantities of toxic gases that harm public health."

And there's more (from the press release): 

"Leif Miller, CEO of NABU, said the World Health Organization considers soot as carcinogenic as asbestos."

“These measurements now demonstrate for the first time how much worse air pollution in ports is made by the pollution from idling cruise ships,” said Miller. As the cruise industry continued to grow rapidly, this means that every year more and more passengers and residents of port cities are exposed to deadly soot. Since the technology needed to clean up emissions is here today, this is unacceptable.”

The release of the results of this study should give those of us who have been calling for the implementation of pollution mitigation practices - such as the use of shore power -  at all of our city's ports more impetus to keep doing so. The evidence is clear. These idling ships are pouring out huge quantities of carcinogenic emissions into our city's air and into our residents' lungs, and that is totally unacceptable - especially because it's totally avoidable.

Friends of the Earth make the point that Carnival Cruise Lines, which operates all of the ships visiting the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, has installed some pollution mitigating technology on some of its ships, but Marcie Keever, oceans and vessels program director of Friends of the Earth U.S., states,

"It's unacceptable that some Carnival Corporation ships will be installing state-of-the-art air pollution controls, but not the entire fleet." She states, "It's time for Carnival to stop dragging its feet, not only on the health and safety of its passengers but of people in the ports where it calls. If Carnival cares about people and the planet, the company should install the most health-protective technology on all ships, across all of the lines it operates, to keep the air we breathe clean and healthy."

This is a great point. 

This should be a fleet-wide and port-wide practice. The same goes for the installation of shore power technology. In 2014, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook is scheduled to become the first port on the East Coast to offer shore power, allowing all of the visiting cruise ships to turn off their engines (that's called cold ironing), and "plug in" to the city's electricity grid while at port, totally eliminating all of those harmful substances we have been discussing and providing great health benefits to the terminal's neighbors and the residents of our city. 

These measures should be in place at all of our ports - including at container terminals - throughout our region. At the Ports of New York and New Jersey, the third largest port complex in the country, we should be implementing these life saving measures comprehensively - as is being done at the largest ports, the West Coast ports of LA and Long Beach. Just as Carnival is dragging its feet on pollution controls, so is the Port Authority of NY and NJ, which have been absolute laggards in addressing issues of port pollution. They are being left in the dust by their West Coast counterparts - and the residents of our city are being left in the soot!

Even if the Port Authority is dawdling on theses matters at our city's major container ports, the next easy step should be the one that is the clear consequence of the findings of the NABU study. 

The Manhattan Cruise Terminal - operated by the NYC Economic Development Corporation - should be the next terminal to be equipped with shore power technology, as is currently being done at its Brooklyn counterpart. The residents of Manhattan's West Side should no more be inundated by the tons of emissions and carcinogenic particles created by the visiting cruise ships - up to three at a time - idling at the edge of their residential neighborhood. Why should the vulnerable residents of that neighborhood - children, the elderly, people with respiratory illness - be subjected to these harmful substances? Especially when their fellow New Yorkers, in Red Hook, Brooklyn, who are neighbors to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, after years voicing their objection to this practice, have secured a solution - the use of shore power for the cruise ships visiting their neighborhood's terminal.

This NABU study should convince us all - the City's "Idle-Free NYC" rule should apply to ships, too - and the cruise ships visiting the Manhattan Cruise Terminal should be the next ones to comply.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

TONIGHT! Red Hook Innovations: Design Proposals and Big Thinking

Tonight, Monday November 25th, at 6:30pm at PS15, the New York Rising Planning Committee will host a forum where some "big ideas" regarding resiliency in Red Hook will be presented. As the planning committee co-chairs write -

"The evening will include a series of presentations by designers from around the city who are pushing the envelope and taking resiliency from concept to design. Presenters from the HUD Rebuild By Design Competition, Pratt's RAMP program, and Design Relief will each showcase their work focused on Red Hook."

Both BIG and HR&A, who developed plans for the Rebuild By Design competition, will present their ideas for Red Hook. You can view their plans and others at the Rebuild By Design site (HERE). A flyer with all the details is at the bottom of this post.


Long-Term Perspective – Harbor District: Red Hook - BIG TEAM

Long-Term Perspective – Harbor District: Red Hook - BIG TEAM




Red Hook Innovations: Design Proposals and Big Thinking

Monday, November 25th

PS15 Auditorium (71 Sullivan Street)

6:30 pm to 8 pm

SEE YOU THERE!

*

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Second Red Hook-Wide Public Meeting for NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program - 7pm, Nov. 19th, 2013 - ALL WELCOME!


Help Red Hook Strategize for the Future!




The NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program is holding its second Red Hook neighborhood wide meeting on Tuesday November 19th at 7:00, at the PAL Miccio Center (110 W 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11231) to help shape the future of resiliency in Red Hook.

Please visit this website for more information about the program, project and up to date process - redhookcrp.wordpress.com

Over the past several months, this program's committee has taken our community's input and, with the help of our Planning Advisors, has identified and documented the many Needs and Opportunities pertaining to our waterfront community. You can see the final document published here -

http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/nyrcr/community/red-hook. 

There is the opportunity to provide additional input on this interactive map - http://redhook.nyrisingmap.org/page/about - where you can add your detailed ideas on the shape of Red Hook's future.

The next step is to create a set of Strategies, linked to our Needs and Opportunities. These Strategies will lead to specific projects to help us reach our resilient community goals. Identifying these Strategies is critical to laying the foundation.

We need your voice and input.

The event on November 19th will be a series of round table discussions so we can talk, neighbor to neighbor about our visions, ideas, and consider our neighborhood's future reconstruction.

Please come along!


Second public meeting on November 19th from 7:00 – 8:30pm at the PAL Miccio - 110 W 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

https://www.facebook.com/events/195387567311782/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Join the conversation using #NYRising

Twitter.com/NYStormRecovery

Facebook.com/NYStormRecovery

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Red Hook Residents Write A Letter To Congress: Pre-Sandy Changes In Flood Insurance Rules Will Be More Ruinous Than The Storm Itself. UPDATED 10/26: Bloomberg PRESS RELEASE; Rep. Maloney: Sunday Press Conference; New York Times Article, UPDATED 10/27: Velazquez Joins Maloney: PRESS RELEASE (SEE BELOW)

 Pioneer Street - courtesy of the SSAIL Facebook Page.

Red Hook residents are extremely concerned about the affordability of flood insurance for their homes. Anyone who attended the public meeting last week for the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan heard that concern stated over and over again, with many attendees saying it was one of the most important issues for Red Hook home-owners who are worried about the future affordability and viability of living in Red Hook.

As we know, after the destruction and upheaval that Superstorm Sandy caused, Red Hook residents struggled with getting fair compensation from their flood insurance companies for the damages they suffered. Some home-owners, nearly 12 months after the storm, are still waiting for satisfaction and are caught in a long-term legal fight to get that much needed (and deserved) payout.

Now, adding insult to injury, changes that were made to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by Congress via the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 (pre-Sandy) are making the renewal or purchase of flood insurance much more expensive - by a factor 60 in some cases (quotes of $36,000/year) - regardless of any reasonable measures that the home-owner might have made to protect or reduce potential damage to their homes from future flooding (raising mechanicals to upper floors, elevating electric meters, etc.).  These coming increases will restrict the community's ability to insure their properties; force residents out of their homes; drive down property values and affordability; and will have flow-on effects that may prove even more harmful to Red Hook's residential and commercial community than the storm itself. The fact is, if these increased costs do become insurmountable, this would have an enormous impact on the resilience and successful post-Sandy recovery of the neighborhood, which so many of us are working towards. It would be a disaster.

This is what Red Hook residents are so worried about.

To raise awareness of this issue, Red Hook home-owners have banded together to start a group called "Sandy Survivors for Affordable Insurance Legislation - SSAIL" (Facebook page here which has links to many stories on this subject). Additionally, a letter has been composed by residents of Pioneer Street (full disclosure: my street), in which they detail the terrible impact that the Biggert-Waters Act will have on the people living on this particular Red Hook street - impacts that will similarly be borne throughout the neighborhood.

I could outline the many arguments that are being made for rolling back this destructive law, but it's probably best if the reader takes a look at the points these Pioneer Street residents have compiled in the letter. It's pretty compelling.

The letter will be presented to the House Financial Services Committee by an organization called Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSI), which is representing many communities around the country that are being impacted negatively by the changes made by the Biggert-Waters Act.

Here is the letter - (PDF available here)

The historic Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, in New York City is home to many working and middle‐class families who have lived here for generations, as well as artists and small businesses which have contributed to the recent revitalization of this diverse waterfront community. Pioneer Street is one of the few preserved blocks in the neighborhood, comprised of nearly forty late 19th century brick row houses. These small, three‐story buildings, each between only 1500 and 1800 square feet, are mostly primary residences. Many also include a rental unit on one floor, and this income helps keep the neighborhood affordable by reducing the expenses of home‐ownership in New York City. In turn, this affordability helps keep property values in the neighborhood stable.

Pioneer street itself is approximately seven and a half feet above sea level, and even though it is located well inside New York Harbor, and not subject to any wave action or moving water, the flooding that resulted from Super Storm Sandy did inundate the lowest, “garden-­‐level” floors of all of our homes, which are a few steps down from the street. This was the first flooding of this kind in well over 100 years, if ever. The damage from this stillwater flooding was significant, but not crippling. Mostly, it was mechanical equipment, electrical service, insulation and finishes that needed repair. Only a few homes had any structural damages, and this was typically minor. Almost all of these homes were fully repaired within six months, and most homeowners were able to continue to live in their homes during the repairs. Although the storm was devastating, its effects were relatively short-­‐lived.

This will not be the case with the Biggert‐Waters Flood Reform Act, which threatens long­‐term and irreversible damage to our homes, our neighborhood, and our community. This so‐called reform act, which was passed months before Sandy, calls for dramatic and unprecedented increases in flood insurance premiums for policies administered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These premiums will be set primarily according to the elevation of a home relative to a base flood elevation, which is approximately twelve feet above sea level on Pioneer Street, regardless of when the homes were actually constructed. This is a departure from the previous regulation, which did distinguish between pre‐existing houses and new developments. As a result, Red Hook homeowners may see premiums rise as much as sixty times their current rates, from as little as $1,600 per year to as much as $36,000. According to FEMA, the only way to afford these crippling rates would be to literally raise our homes by as much as 8 feet.

The 19th Century, joisted­‐masonry construction of our houses makes them impossible to elevate. In order to avoid these new premiums, our only option would be to tear down our entire block – forty Civil War Era houses – and rebuild from scratch, which is not financially feasible for any of us because like most Americans, most of our net worth is in our homes, and subject to mortgages which we work very hard to pay off.

Our intimate knowledge with the flooding caused by Sandy, and our associated experience filing flood insurance claims through the NFIP, uniquely qualifies us to evaluate the proposed changes to this program. To be blunt, we are confused as to how the new, unsubsidized premiums can be justified as "actuarial". These yearly premiums represent, on average, somewhere between 33% and 200% of the actual settlements paid out by the NFIP to Red Hook policy‐holders following Sandy. This for an event with a probability of occurrence of 1/100, according to FEMA’s own flood maps (in truth, Sandy is likely the worst flood in 500 years of recorded NYC history, arguably making it less likely). Even if we were to assume that the frequency of these events will increase twofold over the next fifty years, and factor in generous allowances for overhead and administration, the numbers don't come close to adding up. In fact, the premiums would be unjustifiable even if these policies had paid out 100% of their value ($250k) following Sandy, which they did not.
No rational homeowner would participate in this program at these rates, since it would be vastly cheaper to self‐insure. This will deplete the insurance pool, leading to more deficits for the NFIP. In addition, those of us who are required by their mortgagees to carry such insurance will be caught between a rock and hard place; unable to afford their homes as result of these crippling flood insurance premiums, yet also underwater on their mortgages and unable to sell and relocate because of the effect mandatory insurance at unjustifiable prices will have on property values.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to Biggert‐Waters’ “reforms” which can improve the solvency of the NFIP without victimizing homeowners. A team of New York City experts under the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) proposed several such alternatives. For example, offering homeowners the option of lower cost, high deductible policies would help mitigate some of the severe affordability issues that Biggert‐Waters threatens, would continue to protect homeowners from catastrophic loss, and would ease future demands on the NFIP by reducing smaller, non‐catastrophic repetitive claims. Similarly, the NFIP could offer credits – substantial enough to serve as an effective incentive – against insurance premiums for proven flood design improvements, such as elevating sensitive equipment and electrical service, avoiding the use of permeable construction materials like BATT insulation or drywall, and employing flood vents to equalize hydrostatic pressure across structural walls in the event of severe flooding to prevent serious structural damage. These design improvements alone would have reduced the Sandy flood damage experienced in Red Hook by upwards of 66% for most properties.

Biggert‐Waters tries to balance the flawed design of the NFIP on the backs of innocent, hardworking homeowners in neighborhoods such as ours. This is an outrage, especially because so many good alternatives exist. Biggert‐Waters needs immediate and dramatic reform along with an affordability study that accurately reflects the repercussions the removal of these subsidies will have on average working class Americans. We implore you to get to work.

UPDATE 10/27

PRESS RELEASE: BEFORE ANNIVERSARY OF SUPERSTORM SANDY, REPS. MALONEY, VELÁZQUEZ SOUND ALARM ABOUT DRASTICALLY INCREASING FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUMS FACING NEW YORKERS, MANY OF WHOM ARE SUPERSTORM SANDY VICTIMS


Red Hook's Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-7) joined Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), New York City property owners, co-op residents, insurance experts, small-business owners and community advocates today outside 200 East End Avenue, an Upper East Side co-op building that, after recouping from $4 million of damage after Hurricane Sandy, could be hit with sky-high flood insurance premiums through the National Flood Insurance Program, as a result of the the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Other attendees from around New York City are also facing the reality of soaring flood insurance premiums that are unaffordable and could prevent people from purchasing insurance. Congresswoman Maloney called for a delay in the rate increases, many of which took effect on Oct. 1, and could raise New Yorker’s premiums by $5,000-$10,000, according to a recent City report.


“The flood insurance program should not harm New Yorkers with unreasonable rate increases. We must work together to find a solution that protects New Yorkers in high-risk flood areas,” said Congresswoman Velázquez.

Read the entire press release HERE


Photo Caption: Congresswoman Maloney (NY-12) (center), is joined by Congresswoman Velazquez (NY-7), homeowners, advocates and community members from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens to call on Congress to delay drastic increases in premiums for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.


UPDATES 10/26:


PRESS RELEASE: MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY DEMONSTRATING NEW FEDERAL FLOOD MAPS AND RULES WILL SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE COSTS


"The Number of Families Required to Pay for Federal Flood Insurance will Double When New FEMA Maps are Complete; Congress and FEMA Must Ensure that Coverage Is Not Cost Prohibitive"


“For thousands of New Yorkers, the difference in the cost of insurance as a result of Federal policy changes is the difference between being able to stay in their neighborhoods and having to move,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We will continue to lobby the Federal government to implement solutions to help New York City residents mitigate the significant rise in their flood insurance costs and help New Yorkers damaged by Hurricane Sandy to recover and rebuild.”

Press release here

Click here for study.



ADVISORY - SUNDAY, OCT. 27 PRESS CONFERENCE ON FLOOD INSURANCE

REP. MALONEY SOUNDS ALARM ABOUT RISING FEDERAL FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUMS

~Rep. Maloney, residents, small-business owners, members of insurance industry call for delay in drastic premium hikes for federal flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program~

New York, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) will be joined by New York City residents, members of the insurance industry, community advocates and small-business owners on Sunday, Oct. 27, 12 noon, in front of 200 East End Avenue, between 89th and 90th Streets, in Manhattan, to highlight the fact that many property owners are facing drastically high increases in their federal flood insurance premiums, as a result of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. 200 East End Avenue is a Co-Op building that suffered millions of dollars of damage in Hurricane Sandy. But, as a result of Biggert-Waters, it could see an unaffordable increase in premium rates for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Press Contact – Nick Moroni (212) 860-0606, (646) 831-1649



NY TIMES ARTICLE: Insurance for Floods May Force Relocations - HERE

"The number of properties in New York City that will be required to have federal flood insurance will nearly double in 2015, and the accompanying higher premiums may mean that many city residents will have to relocate, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Friday."

“We’ve got to figure some ways to solve the problem,” Mr. Bloomberg said during his weekly radio program on Friday. “An awful lot of people just don’t have the money. It’s the old blood from a stone problem.”



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