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2013 NYS Initiatives
Rebuild NY

In just two years, New Yorkers have witnessed firsthand the destructive force of three powerful storms that have crippled the state: Irene, Lee and most recently Sandy. Each has taken an immeasurable toll on communities. Precious lives have been lost, and homes and businesses destroyed. Extreme weather is the new normal. The Governor outlined a series of proposals for the state to fortify and upgrade the systems that can paralyze us when they fail during an emergency.

New York Housing Conference CEO, Judy Calogero:
"The new funding couldn't come soon enough with federal disaster aid stalled in Washington and some 305,000 homes and apartments destroyed or damaged by Sandy's fury."

AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel:
"AARP fully agrees with the Governor and the Moreland Act Commission's call for better oversight and performance of our utility industry to protect ratepayers."

Environmental Advocates of New York, Rob Moore, Executive Director
“In his State of the State address, the governor committed to lowering emissions of climate-altering pollution from power plants. Governor Cuomo was right when he said ‘we need to act, not simply react.’”

Harden our Infrastructure: The Governor outlined a series of proposals designed to harden New York's infrastructure to better withstand future major storms.

To build a more resilient Harbor, a long-term strategy will need to be developed that includes conserving and rebuilding natural systems that were lost to centuries of man-made activity, plus the building of additional barriers where needed. The state will work with other government partners to timely complete a comprehensive engineering evaluation of proposals, including potential barrier systems.
Flood-proof subways and bus depots with vertical roll-down doors, vent closures, inflatable bladders, and upsized fixed pumps (with back-up power sources) are all options to harden New York's subway system.
Redundancies must be built into the fuel system, and generators and pumping systems must be readily deployable. The Governor proposed that gas stations in strategic locations be required to have on-site back-up power capacity to protect New Yorkers from temporary disruptions in fuel supply.
The Public Service Commission will require utilities to submit detailed implementation plans to harden their facilities, including raising substation walls and elevating transformer inst allations.
Flooding and storm surges from Lee, Irene, and Sandy resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to waste water treatment plants and the release of hundreds of millions of gallons of raw and undertreated sewage. To prevent a repeat of this scenario in the short-term, the existing wastewater treatment plants need to be repaired and mitigated to withstand higher flood levels.


Redesign Our Power System: The electrical power grid and the structures that control it must undergo a fundamental redesign that improves performances and protects ratepayers.

Based on the Moreland Commission's recommendations, the Governor proposed giving the Public Service Commission the regulatory and enforcement teeth it needs to improve oversight and regulation of the state's utilities.
Hurricane Sandy revealed systemic flaws and weaknesses in LIPA's structure. As recommended by the Moreland Commission, the Governor proposed privatizing Long Island service which will be overseen by a newly empowered PSC. The new structure must protect ratepayers.


Ensure that Healthcare Facilities are Resilient: The Governor proposed to update the Department of Health's review of applications for new and substantial expansion of hospitals and nursing homes to consider location and infrastructure vulnerabilities. Under the proposal, healthcare facility applicants would be required to address the risks associated with being in a vulnerable location.

Improve the Resilience of Our Buildings: The Governor proposed updating the State Building Code to promote smarter, resilient building performance, as well as increased survivability. These changes would impact new construction and major renovations to existing construction, and would take into account the impact on different geographies and building types and consider factors such as effectiveness for protecting health and safety, as well as cost.

Provide Assistance to Property Owners to Mitigate or Sell Properties in Vulnerable Areas: The Governor announced that the state will use various strategies to assist home and business owners whose properties were damaged in Hurricane Sandy to mitigate for the future or, if they choose to do so, to sell their properties and relocate.

The Recreate NY-Smart Home program will provide critical financial assistance to property owners to mitigate their properties for future threats.
This program will be designed for homeowners who want to relocate.


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