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Assembly Panel Approves Zwicker, Swain & Carter Measure Adding Climate-Related Threats to Hazard Mitigation Plans

(TRENTON) – To prepare New Jersey for potential hazards caused by climate change, Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset), Lisa Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic) and Linda Carter (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union) sponsor legislation approved by the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources on Wednesday that would require State and county hazard mitigation plans to include climate change threat assessments, and hazard prevention and mitigation strategies.

Hazard mitigation plans are required under federal statute to address future environmental concerns because climate change significantly impacts rainfall, sea levels, temperature and can cause severe weather.  The bill (A-5797) would prepare the State through plans adopted by the State Office of Emergency Management, or by county offices of emergency management as a requirement for federal disaster funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Upon committee approval of the measure, Assembly members Zwicker, Swain and Carter issued the following joint statement:

Preparing for climate change is something that cannot wait and that we must strategize for now.  Precautionary hazard plans should be developed for any future climate threats New Jersey may face.  By utilizing the best available science in the creation of hazard mitigation plans, we will be able to combat the effects of climate change, and properly protect our State and its residents.”