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NY State: Responding in Emergencies like Sandy

Cesar Perales, Secretary of State of New York, detailed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for New York. Check back with Patch for more on his presentation

 

Cesar Perales, Secretary of State of New York, detailed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for New York. He presented a powerpoint and fielded questions at Ramapo Town Hall Monday night. He looked at several aspects from economic development to education standards.

Earlier Patch Posts on Cuomo's State of the State plan:

  • Cuomo Seeks $8.75 for Minimum Wage
  • Government Reform to Aid Local Municipalities

Cuomo's plans includes lowering the regional greenhouse gas emission cap, Recreate NY-Smart Home, and other initiatives. Perales’ presentation went over a few nature-related facts to lead into Cuomo’s emergency preparation plan:

  • Climate change is real
  • Inarguable that the sea is warmer and there is a changing weather pattern.

Must lower the Regional Greenhouse Gas Emission Cap:

  • 9 states participate in the CO2 cap & trade program.
  • Current cap is 165M tons of CO2 and is well above the current emissions level of 91M tons of CO2.
  • CO2 emissions have declined over 30% since the cap was established.
  • Working w/ other states we propose lowering the cap on CO2 emissions to a level that guarantees we will reduce emissions below current levels.

Increase local renewable power sources

  • Propose increasing the use of alternative power (distributed generation of electricity) using renewable sources, natural gas, and energy storage to reduce dependence on centralized power plants and avoid outages.

Cuomo's plan focuses on understanding the needs of coastal communities. Many pose special challenges because they are man made.The state proposes the Recreate NY-Smart Home: Home construction mitigation grant program

  • Propose the RECREATE NY-HOME BUYOUT: Home buyout program for homeowners who want to relocate
  • Harden our infrastructure
  • Harden the NYC subway system by having flood-proof subways and bus depots with vertical roll-down doors, vent closures, inflatable bladders, and upsized fixed pumps (with back-up power sources).
  • Harden our airports. Install elevated or submersible pump control panel, pump feeders and tide gates at airports
  • Harden our fuel delivery system.. Require that gas stations in strategic locations have on-site back-up power capacity and create a Strategic Fuel Reserve to protect NY from temporary disruptions in fuel supply.
  • Harden our utilities. PSC will require utilities to submit detailed implementation plans to harden their facilities, including raising substation wall and elevating transformer installations.

Cuomo plans to redesign the power system

  • Moreland Commission said: “Put real regulatory and enforcement teeth into the Public Service Commission, which for far too long has been a toothless tiger.”
  • In the presentation, "When it comes to the Long Island Power Authority...it never worked. It never will. The time has come to abolish LIPA"
  • The state's plan is to privatize Long Island service which will be overseen by newly empowered PSC
  • The new structure must protect ratepayers and tax consequences must keep rates low

Cuomo also plans to establish a world class emergency response network by creating a Statewide Volunteer Corps.

  • Create uniform training/protocols of all emergency personnel; SUNY/CUNY will create a program certificate for all emergency workers in the state; and we will create a new statewide stockpile
  • Capitalize on the NY spirit of volunteerism
  • The Corps will mobilize and organize volunteers based on their skills, interests and resources.
  • Establish a statewide NFP Network to help coordinate Emergency Response
  • Citizen Education Campaign: Prepare all citizens to be “in home first responders.”

"We’re responding to the crisis of Superstorm Sandy," said Perales. "We want to train people so they can respond. We want to prepare volunteers so they can help. (During Sandy) all kinds of volunteers came forward and we had no way of organizing them. I think we can establish a network of volunteers."

Cuomo is also disappointed in the amount and speed of federal aid for Hurricane Sandy.

"Right now the concern for us is that Congress has got to come across the money that we’re entitled to. When you had Katrina, no one hesitated to provide them the money they needed," said Perales.

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