Climate Resiliency

In addition to reducing GHG emissions, the Port Authority is developing strategies to reduce the risks, such as increased flooding and storm surges, more frequent storms and heat waves, and sea level rise, posed by climate change to Port Authority facilities and regional transportation infrastructure.

Following Superstorm Sandy, the Port Authority created a Storm Mitigation and Resilience Office to coordinate both short-term storm recovery projects as well as long-term climate resiliency planning efforts across the PA.  Resilience projects include backflow prevention and drainage infrastructure at airports designed to accommodate future sea level rise, climate-informed flood protection measures across the PATH rail system, and an integrated, campus-wide flood protection system for the World Trade Center.  A cross-departmental resiliency working group is working to integrate resilience strategies and risk assessment into all aspects of capital planning and facility operations.

To ensure that climate resiliency is considered in every Port Authority project, in 2015 the Port Authority adopted Design Guidelines for Climate Resilience.  Our building standards go well beyond code requirements and represent a risk-informed approach to building our region’s infrastructure.

Design Guidelines for Climate Resilience

Collaboration

Because the Port Authority and our tenants and customers rely on the regional transportation system, we cannot act alone to reduce climate change's risks.

The Port Authority was a member of the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which was formed by the New York City Mayor’s Office to determine what infrastructure could be at risk from the effects of climate change and to develop coordinated adaptation strategies into long-term planning processes.  An article published in Civil Engineering "Anticipating Climate Change" presents a summary of the Port Authority's participation on the Task Force and lessons learned for Port facilities.

The agency also supported ClimAID, a study funded by New York State that assesses the potential impacts of climate change statewide, and identifies ways to mitigate them.

The Port Authority also provided extensive input to the New York State Climate Change Action Council and the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force. Both groups have released studies examining ways New York State can both respond to and reduce the risks associated with climate change.  The Port Authority also worked with the New York State Department of Environmental Protection during their formation of New York’s Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA), which establishes official sea-level rise projections and requires the consideration of climate risk in permit and funding applications and facility-siting regulations.

New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report

Port Authority Comments for Climate Action Plan

NY State Sea Level Rise Task Force Report

Port Authority Comments Sea Level Rise Task Force Report

New York State Community Risk and Resiliency Act

 


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