The Obama administration has doubled its Hurricane Sandy fund to $10.4 billion, demanding that those seeking “recovery funds” prove that their repairs and construction will help fight climate change--or at least survive it.
The Housing and Urban Development Department, in setting another $5 billion aside, stipulated that each grant applicant “include climate change impacts” and factor in the potential for a global warming rise in sea levels.
The administration has made fighting climate change a major focus of the fund to help coastal regions from Maryland to New York rebuild after being smacked by the storm a year ago.
“One year later, it’s clear these communities continue to be challenged by the sheer scale of this devastating storm, requiring further investment to make certain these needs are met,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who chaired President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. “These resources are making a difference helping individuals, families, and businesses to get back on their feet and come back stronger and more resilient than ever.”
The funding scheme backs up an August report in which the administration said cities hit hardest by Sandy need better construction to respond to the stronger storms caused by climate change. The new funding plan requires that recognition. From HUD:
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Each grantee must update its impacts and needs assessments and conduct a comprehensive risk assessment in order to inform infrastructure investments. The risk assessment must:
-- Include climate change impacts.
-- Use information and data provided by the gederal government, including “Regional Climate Trends and Scenarios for the U.S National Climate Assessment. Part 1. Climate of the Northeast U.S.” and the “Sea Level Rise Tool for Sandy Recovery”, or comparable peer-reviewed information.