As part of climate week, Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled two environmental initiatives aimed at improving resiliency. Both projects could help city residents mitigate damages from the kind of flash flooding that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Ida earlier this month.
Gov. Kathy Hochul says New York will lead the way when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases that result in global warming. And in the meantime, steps are being taken to make sure New Yorkers are better prepared for more severe weather.
“We are in sync with the goals of the Biden Administration. We want to continue to be aggressive and bold because we have no choice,” Hochul said Tuesday. “This is not just a job. Your job, my job, it demands full actions. I’m an impatient person anyhow, this is right up my alley.”
Hochul delivered remarks on what’s called the Green Roof of the Javits Center. One cause of flash flooding comes from water runoff from buildings, overwhelming the 100-year-old sewer system. That’s part of what led to such extensive flooding in Queens from the remnants of Ida.
The green roof is designed to absorb rain water and prevent building runoff.
Hochul is releasing $600 million in state funds to help communities fortify infrastructure and prevent flooding.
“Ultimately, all of that is going to I go into climate resiliency and infrastructure to reduce storm water damage,” said Basil Seggos, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner. “Queens is absolutely eligible. The application period is going to start in November. We encourage all communities to reach out to us right away.”
Next year, voters will choose whether to approve a $3 billion environmental bond act in a referendum, which was passed by state lawmakers. Hochul wants to increase the price tag to $4 billion. That money will also be used for resiliency projects, but the legislature would have to vote next year to allow the $1 billion increase.
“Those conversations are ongoing. They are partners of ours,” said Hochul. “They were very supportive of $3 billion, and in the context of what they all witnessed in their own districts from past storms, I believe there will be whole-hearted support. So we’ve started those conversations already, and I feel very good about them.”
Hochul spoke a little bit more about her announcement from Monday that the state is building two new transmission lines to deliver clean energy to New York City. The first will carry Hydroelectric power from Quebec, the other will carry wind and solar generated energy from upstate New York. These lines will replace transmission lines that were carrying fossil fuels energy.