September 08, 2017

Van Hollen, Schatz, Booker Introduce Legislation to Ensure Roads, Bridges Can Withstand Flood Damage

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Flood Risk Management Act of 2017 today to ensure that infrastructure projects that received federal funding - including major roads and bridges across our country -are built to withstand flood damage like we're facing with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Understanding the dangerous consequences of floods, the Obama Administration set standards in 2015 to make sure that FEDERAL projects were able to survive the impacts of flooding. The order also took into account how climate change is impacting weather and sea levels. But last month, President Trump signed an executive order that would undo this important work. This legislation is a common sense measure designed to codify those standards. Doing so will protect our nation's infrastructure, conserve valuable federal resources, safeguard businesses from flood damage, and keep communities safe.

"Around the country, Americans stand with the residents of Texas and the Gulf Coast as they face unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey and possible devastation from Hurricane Irma. As we work to provide the federal support they need to save lives and rebuild after this storm, it is more important than ever to ensure our roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure are able to withstand the impacts of flooding," said Senator Van Hollen.

"It has been devastating to see the impact of Harvey on our communities, and now we are preparing for another storm that, rightfully, has everyone on edge," Senator Schatz said. "Our bill ensures that the federal government will account for extreme weather like these storms when constructing new infrastructure. Clearly, now is not the time to roll back flood regulations, but rather time to cement them."

"Recent extreme flooding events, including the largest rainfall event in U.S. history last month in eastern Texas, have made clear we need to be doing everything we can at the federal level to prepare for and mitigate the threat of climate change and severe weather," said Senator Booker. "In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I saw firsthand that a critical part of our disaster preparedness strategy must be building resilient infrastructure that can withstand major flood damage, save taxpayer dollars, and protect the American people."

The destruction facing Texas and the Gulf Coast serve as a stark reminder that we must prepare our nation's critical infrastructure to deal with flooding. If we don't invest when our roads and bridges are being built, we risk the lives of American families and ultimately spend more taxpayer dollars to repair them after floods occur.