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Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA)

Mainstreaming Consideration of Climate Change

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CRRA Provisions

The Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA), as enacted in 2014, included five major provisions. The 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA, https://climate.ny.gov/) amended the CRRA as noted below:

  • Official Sea-level Rise Projections - CRRA required the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to adopt science-based sea-level rise projections by regulation.

  • Consideration of future physical climate risk - As originally enacted, the CRRA required applicants for permits or funding in a number of specified programs to demonstrate that future physical climate risk due to sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding had been considered in project design, and that DEC consider incorporating these factors into certain facility-siting regulations. The CLCPA amended the CRRA to include all permits subject to the Uniform Procedures Act (https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6081.html). The CLCPA also expanded the scope of the CRRA to require consideration of all climate hazards, not only sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding, in these permit programs.
  • Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act Criteria - CRRA added mitigation of risk due to sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding to the list of smart-growth criteria to be considered by state public-infrastructure agencies.

  • Guidance on Natural Resilience Measures - The CRRA required DEC, in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), to develop guidance on the use of natural resources and natural processes to enhance community resilience.

  • Model Local Laws Concerning Climate Risk - CRRA required DOS, in cooperation with DEC, to develop model local laws to increase community resilience.

Implementation Status

DEC has completed a summary of observed and projected climate change in New York:

Sea-level Rise Projections

In 2017, DEC adopted 6 NYCRR Part 490, Projected Sea-level Rise. This regulation established projected sea-level rise for three geographic regions of the state relative to a year 2000-to-year-2004 baseline. The projections are summarized in the table below. Note, however, 6 NYCRR Part 490 only establishes projected sea-level rise; it does not establish new standards or criteria for permit issuance or funding eligibility. Consult the express terms of the adopted regulation for definitions.

6 NYCRR Part 490, Projected Sea-level Rise. Inches of rise relative to 2000-2004 baseline.

Region Long Island New York City/Lower Hudson Mid-Hudson
Descriptor Low Low- Medium Medium High- Medium High Low Low- Medium Medium High- Medium High Low Low- Medium Medium High- Medium High
Time Interval 2020s 2 4 6 8 10 2 4 6 8 10 1 3 5 7 9
2050s 8 11 16 21 30 8 11 16 21 30 5 9 14 19 27
2080s 13 18 29 39 58 13 18 29 39 58 10 14 25 36 54
2100 15 21 34 47 72 15 22 36 50 75 11 18 32 46 71

Model Local Laws

The New York State Department of State has released Model Local Laws to Increase Resilience (https://www.dos.ny.gov/opd/programs/resilience/). These model laws, which local governments may adopt voluntarily to be more resilient to sea-level rise, storm surge, flooding and erosion cover five general topics:

  • Basic Land Use Tools for Resiliency
  • Wetland and Watercourse Protection Measures
  • Coastal Shoreline Protection Measures
  • Management of Floodplain Development
  • Stormwater Control Measures

Implementation Guidance

The CRRA requires DEC, in consultation with DOS, to prepare guidance on implementation of the statute, including use of natural resources and natural processes to enhance community resilience, commonly known as natural resilience measures.

Natural resilience measures are actions that conserve, restore or mimic natural landforms and processes to reduce climatic risks. DEC and DOS have prepared Using Natural Measures to Reduce the Risk of Flooding (PDF, 7.8 MB) to serve as a guide to selection and planning of natural resilience measures.

DEC has prepared, in consultation with DOS, State Flood Risk Management Guidance (SFRMG) (PDF). The SFRMG recommends flood-risk management guideline elevations that incorporate possible future conditions, including the greater risks of coastal flooding presented by sea-level rise and enhanced storm surge, and of inland flooding expected to result from increasingly frequent extreme-precipitation events. The SFRMG will inform DEC regulatory programs and other state agencies as they develop program-specific guidance to require that applicants demonstrate consideration of sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding, and incorporate such requirements into operating regulations. DEC may apply these guideline elevations in consideration of permits for siting of major projects and development of permit conditions intended to reduce significant future physical risk due to sea-level rise, storm surge or flooding.

As a companion to the SFRMG, DEC has developed a quick guide on Estimating Guideline Elevations (PDF).

DEC has also prepared Guidance for Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Assessment (PDF). This document is intended to guide state agencies as they assess mitigation of sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding in siting and design of public-infrastructure projects.


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