Advocates Seek Public Comment Period on New Jersey Plans for $400 Million Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
April 8, 2013
Chris Sturm (csturmnjfutureorg) , Senior Director of State Policy
609-393-0008, ext. 114
$250 million expected to be allocated for post-Sandy property buyouts
A group of advocacy organizations from the planning, philanthropic, environmental and community development fields sent a letter today to Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin and Director of the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding Marc Ferzan, requesting the opportunity for public review of the governor’s plan for disbursement of approximately $400 million in anticipated FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding. It is expected that approximately $250 million from this program will be allocated for buyouts of properties vulnerable to repeated flooding and related damage from severe weather. Up to 7 percent of the funds can be used for planning activities related to mitigation.
“This mitigation funding is critical to helping ensure New Jersey can come through future storms with less damage than Superstorm Sandy caused.” said Peter Kasabach, executive director of New Jersey Future, one of the signatories to the letter. “We commend the administration on its commitment to rebuilding New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, and we recognize the urgency involved.
“However,” he added, “Public review and comment will help assure that sufficient funds are prioritized to planning for resiliency, and those areas and projects where the opportunity to reduce harm is greatest. A review period will also facilitate coordination with affected local governments and with the private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, thus helping to streamline the process and maximize the benefit received from these funds.”
The full letter may be found here.