CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NOAA GRANT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2016

Contact: Caryn Shinske          (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna       (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine         (609) 292-2994

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NOAA GRANT TO DEVELOP COASTAL RESILIENCY PLAN FOR MONMOUTH COUNTY TOWNS
NEARLY $900,000 COMMITTED TO ADDRESS IMPACTS OF COASTAL HAZARDS IN TWO RIVERS REGION OF NORTHEAST MONMOUTH COUNTY

(16/P6) TRENTON – The Christie Administration today announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded New Jersey a nearly $900,000 Regional Coastal Resilience Grant to help communities in 15 municipalities in northeastern Monmouth County develop a regional plan to address the impacts of coastal hazards and storm surge.

The planning project, called New Jersey Fostering Regional Adaptation through Municipal Economic Scenarios (NJ FRAMES), partners the Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Management Program with the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR), the Louis Berger Group, the Rutgers Climate Institute and the Borough of Oceanport as the representative of the Two River Council of Mayors.

Project partners will use a scenario-based approach to help the Two Rivers Council determine and understand the range of costs and benefits of planning resiliency decisions in communities surrounding the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers. Using a vigorous public stakeholder process that includes the visions of the involved communities, the NJ FRAMES project is expected to produce a plan identifying independent and regional measures that maximize efforts to improve resiliency.

“Addressing flooding hazards for New Jersey’s coastal communities is a critical component of the Christie Administration’s plans to enhance flood resiliency statewide,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “The expertise of coastal scientists, combined with the input of affected communities and residents will help us identify these important next steps to be taken to protect this region from the effects of devastating floods.”

Since Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, DEP’s Coastal Management Program has worked with an extensive network of partners to assist New Jersey coastal communities to reduce vulnerabilities to coastal hazards. That work further highlighted the need to focus on comprehensive regional planning as a vital strategy for building coastal resiliency.

“The challenges confronting our nation’s coastal communities are incredibly complicated  – effective solutions are going to require strong science, ingenuity and collaboration if they are going to safeguard and ensure the future vitality of our economy and valuable natural resources,” said Dr. Jeffrey Payne, Acting Director of the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. “The projects that have been approved for funding represent opportunities to do just that. We are excited about what these partnership projects will accomplish at the local level and the positive impact this program will have on our nation.”

Projects recommended for funding by NOAA improve coastal risk assessment and communication, promote collaborative approaches to resilience planning, and better inform science-based decision making and implementation.

The Two Rivers Council of Mayors works to solve common issues in their communities located along the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers. NJ FRAMES will build upon the cooperation of 15 communities in eastern Monmouth County, which comprise the Two Rivers Council of Mayors and other adjacent communities.

The mayors of these communities seek to take a regional approach to hazard mitigation by coordinating regional projects that build on existing protections in each of their towns: Eatontown, Fair Haven, Highlands, Little Silver, Long Branch, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury Borough, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.

“This project is an outstanding opportunity for all of our towns to coordinate and directly engage local residents and business owners in order to create a regional plan that will allow us to become physically, economically, and socially more resilient,” said Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey. “I am thrilled to lead this project on behalf of the Two Rivers Council of Mayors in partnership with Commissioner Martin and the other Two Rivers municipalities.”

“This award is thrilling for the Two Rivers Council of Mayors,” said Two Rivers Council Chairman Donald Burden, who also is Mayor of Shrewsbury. “As we are faced with the increasing likelihood of severe weather and repetitive flooding within the Navesink and Shrewsbury River Basin, these are the type of projects we need to implement in order to make informed decisions when planning for the future.  Undoubtedly, our taxpayers will be the primary beneficiaries of this critical regional planning effort.”

For more information about NOAA’s Coastal Resilience Grants Program, please visit: https://coast.noaa.gov/resilience-grant/

For detailed descriptions of the six projects nationwide receiving NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants, including NJ FRAMES, please visit: https://coast.noaa.gov/resilience-grant/projects/

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Supreme Court Stay of EPA Power Plan

Supreme Court Stay of EPA Clean Power Plan

 

Greetings

 

Late on Tuesday, the US Supreme Court issued a stay of the EPA Clean Power Plan. As a result, the EPA cannot take actions to implement the rule until legal challenges are heard and resolved. This means that states most likely do not have to file their preliminary plans with the EPA in September.

 

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and NJ Board of Public Utilities have both had staff working to evaluate the steps for New Jersey to take and what type of plan to submit, even though we were one of 29 states seeking the stay.

 

Wednesday morning, the Clean Air Council was briefed by DEP staff on the issue.

 

Why this is good for NJ:

The Clean Power Plan would have required states to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a specific percentage over the next several years. But New Jersey has already been reducing its greenhouse gases; in fact, it’s a leader in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Power Plan didn’t provide the state any credit for many of the actions of our businesses and utilities.

 

When looking at the different states, New Jersey was given some of the most stringent goals. In fact, it was the most stringent in the entire PJM region (electric grid). Ironically, power plant emissions are not the state’s biggest problem. While power plant emissions account for the majority of GHG emissions in the country, the biggest emitter in New Jersey is transportation.

 

Clean Air Council Public Hearing:

The Clean Air Council will take up this topic at the annual public hearing, April 28, 2016. More information can be found here.  There is a wealth of information related to the CPP as well. The DEP also has a breakdown on the rough accounting for a hypothetical NJ rate based program (in 2030 based on 2012 electric generation).

 

 

NJ Bans Additional Loans for Companies in Default Status

NJ Bans Additional Loans for Companies in Default Status

Recently, Gov. Chris Christie announced that he signed a new bill into law that would prohibit the state of New Jersey from subsidizing low-income property developers who defaulted on state loans. According to a report by the Washington Times, the bill was initially proposed after a company received several millions of dollars from New Jersey while in default status for previously secured loans.

For the full article please visit its original source at,  http://taxtrustestatenews.com/new-jersey-bans-additional-loans-for-companies-in-default-status/

Protecting Communities and Reducing the Cost of Flood Disasters

In 2013, the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force adopted a higher flood standard for the Sandy-affected region to ensure that Federally funded buildings, roads and other projects were rebuilt stronger to withstand future storms.  The strengthened standard is similar to flood risk standards in place in the States of New York and New Jersey.  The Sandy Task Force also recommended that the Federal Government create a national flood risk standard for Federally funded projects beyond the Sandy-affected region. In the President’s Climate Action Plan, he followed through on this recommendation by directing agencies to update their flood-risk reduction standard to ensure that federally funded projects across the country last as long as they are intended.  Over the past year, Federal agencies collaborated on this update.  The new standard announced today gives agencies the flexibility to select one of three approaches for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design, and construction.  They can:

  • Use data and methods informed by best-available, actionable climate science;
  • Build two feet above the 100-year (1%-annual-chance) flood elevation for standard projects, and three feet above for critical buildings like hospitals and evacuation centers; or
  • Build to the 500-year (0.2%-annual-chance) flood elevation. The new flood standard will apply when Federal funds are used to build, or significantly retrofit or repair, structures and facilities in and around floodplains to ensure that those structures are resilient, safer, and long-lasting. It will not affect the standards or rates of the National Flood Insurance Program. Each agency will carefully consider how to appropriately apply this standard, and consider robust public input before deciding how to implement it.

To read the flood-risk reduction standard, click here.

To read the Executive Order, click here.

To protect their homes, businesses and vital infrastructure from disasters, at least 350 communities across the country – ranging from Dallas and Nashville to Denver and Tulsa –and the States of Indiana, Montana, New York and Wisconsin have already adopted standards that either meet or exceed this new Federal standard.  The Administration today is also releasing proposed guidelines – which will be available for 60 days of public comment — that when finalized will provide guidance to agencies on implementing the new standard.  Once public input has been considered, including from a series of public listening sessions that will be held across the country, and the guidelines are finalized, agencies will implement the Standard through their own rulemaking or other procedures, which also will incorporate input from the public and stakeholders.

Posted by Barlo & Associates Architects, LLC