Monday, March 19, 2018

City Council Hearing On Flooding Scheduled

The Boston City Council Committee of Planning, Development and Transportation will be holding a hearing to discuss flooding and legislative funding on:

Monday, March 26
11 am
Boston City Hall
Ianella Chamber 
5th Floor

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend and testify.  If you have not testified at a Council hearing before, please arrive (5) minutes before the call of the hearing to sign up and become familiar with the hearing format, testimony locations, and sound system. Please bring fifteen (15) copies of any written documentation you wish to present at the hearing. If you know of others who may be interested in this hearing, kindly notify them. Written comments may be made part of the record and available to all Councilors by sending them by email, fax or mail to arrive before the hearing, please see details at the end.

Docket 291 is sponsored by Councilor Michelle Wu and is as follows:

The City of Boston is extremely vulnerable to flooding from multiple sources: coastal flooding, as rising sea levels meet more intense weather patterns; riverine flooding, as the Charles River, Neponset River, Mother Brook and others swell with more intense rain events; and stormwater flooding, as the city's drainage system struggles to absorb and manage runoff; and

On January 5, 2018, Boston experienced a record-breaking flood as the high tide reached its highest level since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1921, which not only beat the record set during the Blizzard of 1978 but also occurred much more suddenly, over a single tidal cycle. During this storm, severe flooding restricted access and caused damage to roads, public transportation, and many buildings; and

The City of Boston's Climate Ready Boston initiative released a vulnerability assessment in 2016 estimating that sea levels could rise 10 feet by the end of the century and 37 feet by 2200, nearly double the previous predictions, with East Coast communities bearing a disproportionate impact from accelerating melt of the ice sheets covering Antarctica; and

The City of Boston has also published a Coastal Resilience plan for East Boston and Charlestown, including proposed defenses that would cost $200 million in East Boston and $62 million in Charlestown, and similar studies are being completed for South Boston, Fort Point, and the Seaport; and

Funding for additional major infrastructure projects will be needed to adapt and protect the city from increasingly frequent flooding, including the potential for a major seawall in Boston Harbor, reconstruction of roadways, and renovation of many homes where residents cannot afford the entire cost of adaptation; NOW

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the appropriate committee of the Boston City Council hold a hearing to discuss flooding in the City of Boston and the legislative, funding, and governance structures needed for the city and residents to adapt, and that representatives from the Boston Planning and Development Agency, Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Energy, Environment, and Open Space Cabinet, other interested parties, and the public be invited to testify.
The hearing will be broadcast: Live on Comcast Channel 8/RCN 82/Verizon 1964 and streamed on Boston.gov

Committee Liaison: Juan LopezMail Address: Boston City Council, One City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA  02201Telephone Number: (617) 635-3041 Fax Number: (617) 635-4203  E-mail: juan.lopez@boston.gov - plandev@boston.gov

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