Tag Archives: #Trump

AIA NJ takes action to protect New Jersey from New Executive Order that exposes Government Infrastructure to Flood Risk

red_eagleOn Tuesday, August 15, President Trump issued a new executive order that rolls back Obama-era protections put in place to ensure that government-funded infrastructure projects in flood prone areas would be less exposed to flooding and the effects of climate change. Read more on this executive order here.

Illya Azaroff, AIA Regional Recovery Work Group, and a resiliency expert on AIA National’s Strategic Council says, “In the northeast alone 20% of the US GDP is accounted for from the Boston-Washington corridor or megalopolis. In that same 2% of US land area 48.6 million people reside and it is all connected by a tangled web of infrastructure that is very vulnerable to immediate shocks and stresses. Since Super Storm Sandy the way forward in not only this region but around the country has progressed toward comprehensive resilient building measures that account for risks of today and those predicted in the future. To reverse Obama era directives that aim to design for climate change across political and state boundaries is to say the least a short sighted failure of leadership. I believe the health safety and welfare of the public is at greater risk without these measures in place. ”

Here in New Jersey, we still hear residents speak of the effect of Sandy on our communities, the days before compared to the way things are now.  While the Obama regulations created a new landscape for many on the Jersey Shore, those changes brought a sense of security to people, allowing them to stay in their communities rather than relocating to higher ground. Will that now be ripped out from under our neighbors?

New Jersey’s environmental groups respond to the new executive order. See comments here.

AIA NJ is not in support of the new executive order. It goes against our core values:

  • We stand for a sustainable future
  • We stand for protecting communities from the impact of climate change

President Elect Verity Frizzell, AIA says, “Yes, there is some additional cost to raising projects another 2 or 3 feet, but it is nothing compared to the cost of rebuilding after a flood.  It shouldn’t cause any delays in permitting, at all, unless the original plans weren’t drawn to the higher standard and had to be re-drawn.  It is another example of our President’s shortsightedness and operating without full knowledge of the consequences of his decisions.”

AIA NJ President, Ben Lee, AIA has issued a plan of action that is already underway, with AIA NJ representatives scheduling Summer Recess meetings with our Congressmen and Senators,  and discussions with State Legislators being planned. Our Committee on the Environment is advising on the recommended plan for our state.