From DNA Info:
The state just released a long-anticipated report on how to combat rising sea levels — New York Harbor is expected to rise 2 to 5 inches within the next 20 years — but the city isn't on board.
Adam Freed, deputy director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, is worried that the state's recommendations will restrict development in the city, which could hurt the region's economy.
The state Sea Level Rise Task Force wants to add extra regulatory hurdles for development projects in potential flood zones and encourage local governments to move critical infrastructure elsewhere.
Those proposals and others the state is recommending "have the potential to add substantial costs and time to development projects and infrastructure investments," Freed said in a Dec. 14 letter to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which is spearheading the sea level plan.
"Implementing these measures without a thorough understanding of the cost and time implications or the scope of their reach is premature," Freed added.
Two weeks after receiving Freed's comments on the draft report, the state released a final version Dec. 31 that still includes the measures Freed opposed.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Conservation said other members of the Sea Level Rise Task Force thought the new regulations were important, so the state did not want to remove them.
The Sea Level Rise Task Force's report is just a recommendation, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo would have to take action to implement it.
Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The report, which is several years in the making, covers New York State as a whole, but it also mentions New York City as one of the most at-risk areas for flooding.
The sea level in New York Harbor has risen over 15 inches in the past 150 years and is expected to rise another 2 to 5 inches within the next 20 years, according to the report.
More than 215,000 New York City residents live in an area that has a 1 percent chance of flooding each year, according to federal standards.