Urban Flooding Bill Introduced in Congress

Urban flooding impacts people and communities all over the country, damaging homes and businesses, and polluting precious water resources. To address this issue, US Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Peter King (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Urban Flooding Awareness Act.

This federal legislation is designed to help develop a clear-cut definition of urban flooding, and requires a comprehensive study of the personal and social costs of urban flooding in America.

“Stronger, more destructive storms are pummeling urban areas at an alarming rate, threatening the quality of our drinking water, eroding our natural resources and creating massive amounts of property damage to individuals and business,” said Rep. Quigley. “By setting a clear definition of urban flooding and thoroughly studying the issue, we can better understand the risks and work together to develop thoughtful solutions that protect our local communities.”

“After natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy, it’s imperative we do more to understand how flooding can be predicted and prevented,” said Rep. King.

 Flickr Creative Commons/Christopher Swerin

The Urban Flooding Awareness Act (H.R.5521) is modeled on similar legislation passed this year by the Illinois General Assembly, and signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn. CNT led efforts to draft and advance the Illinois legislation, and is working with Congressmen Quigley and King to promote the federal bill.

“As rain events become more frequent and intense, urban flooding is becoming increasingly chronic and costly,” said Kathryn Tholin, CEO of CNT. “Our research shows that urban flooding isn’t restricted to designated floodplains. It’s an equal opportunity problem that can destroy homes, disrupt businesses, and devastate city budgets. The Urban Flooding Awareness Act will help American communities identify innovative solutions that can protect our investments and our environment.”

“With ‘100-year storms’ happening on an almost annual basis, it’s time to rethink how American cities deal with rain,” said Harriet Festing, CNT’s Water Program Director. “Through proactive policy, like the Urban Flooding Awareness Act, and resources like our Rain Ready initiative, we will be better able to quickly and cost-effectively address some of the climate change impacts already affecting our neighborhoods and communities.”

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