Washington, D.C. — When the new Congress considers upgrading the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, lawmakers must do so in ways that help states and localities plan for the effects of more extreme weather and other climate change threats, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress.
“It’s past time for Congress to support equitable and resilient infrastructure policies to improve the health, safety, and well-being of all communities,” said Kristina Costa, co-author of the analysis and a senior fellow at CAP. “Any infrastructure bill that fails to help communities build for the future is a waste of taxpayer dollars and needlessly puts lives, homes, and communities at risk.”
The analysis recommends five ways an infrastructure package can build help cities and states build resilience to more severe weather and other climate change threats:
- Create State Future Funds: These are federally supported revolving loan funds that encourage innovative transportation systems, energy infrastructure, and flood protections in areas that need them the most.
- Increase funding measures taken before disaster strikes to make infrastructure and communities more resilient in the face of more powerful floods, winds, fires, or hurricanes.
- Reduce flood risks in communities by strengthening federal building requirements.
- Protect communities from toxic pollution by accelerating Superfund site cleanup.
- Create a disaster deductible that would establish a threshold states would need to meet to access aid from the Federal Emergency Management Association to encourage more forward-thinking and equitable development and land-use policies.
Read the analysis: “5 Ways the New Congress Should Support Resilient Infrastructure” by Kristina Costa and Cathleen Kelly.
For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202-478-6327.