The Business Council supports A. 6558B / S.6617B, which would amend the environmental conservation law, the agriculture and markets law and the public health law, requiring the consideration future physical climate risk due to sea level rise, and/or storm surges and/or flooding, based on available data predicting the likelihood of future extreme weather events, including hazard risk analysis data if applicable.
The Business Council supports the stated intent of the legislation which is to ensure that state monies and appropriate permits include a consideration of the presumed effects of climate change and extreme weather events. This legislation has been substantively amended to ensure the stated intent of the sponsor.
The Business Council is the leading business organization in New York State, representing the interests of businesses statewide. New York in the past few years has been witness to numerous major weather events, including Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and recently Super Storm Sandy. In the wake of these events lives, homes, businesses, and resources were lost.
As a result of Super Storm Sandy in total 130 lives were lost, more than 8 million homes and businesses lost power across 16 states, upwards of 40,000 people in New York City alone were displaced and relocated. On Long Island 100,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged. All across New York business was also directly affected. More than 265,000 businesses were directly damaged or destroyed by the storm; many more were unable to open due to power loss, or the inability for people to travel. The members of the Business Council are not insulated from the effect of severe weather.
For these reasons, The Business Council supports the adoption of A.6558B / S.6617B, and urges the passage of this legislation and looks forward to work with the DEC and other stakeholders on the adoption of the guidance documents.