Hearing

Progress Report: Hurricane Sandy Recovery – One Year Later

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0 Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 10:00 | Contact:

2167 Rayburn House Office Building

This oversight hearing of the Full Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will examine the status of Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and federal agencies’ progress in implementing recovery objectives, allocating assistance funding, and meeting associated deadlines.

Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey on October 29, 2012, was responsible for an estimated 131 deaths and $50 billion in economic losses.   Congress subsequently approved the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act to provide emergency disaster assistance, and this measure also included the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation to reform, speed up and streamline federal disaster recovery programs.  Oversight of recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy and other disasters continues to be a priority for the Committee, and agencies in the Committee’s jurisdiction will provide a progress report on their ongoing efforts.

Summary of Subject Matter

Witnesses:
  • Honorable Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration | written testimony
  • Honorable Victor M. Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration | written testimony
  • Honorable Joseph Szabo, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration | written testimony
  • Elizabeth A. Zimmerman, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency | written testimony
  • Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers | written testimony


Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA)

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Hearing on  “Progress Report: Hurricane Sandy Recovery – One Year Later”
November 14, 2013
Opening Statement
(Remarks as Prepared)

The purpose of today’s hearing is to review the progress of the gathered agencies in implementing the recovery objectives, and meeting programmatic deadlines authorized and mandated in the “Sandy Supplemental.”

Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29, 2012 as a Category 1 Hurricane just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Sandy was responsible for more than 130 deaths and $50 billion in economic losses.  As a result of the storm, the President made major disaster declarations for 12 states and the District of Columbia.

In response to this historic natural disaster, last January, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the combined Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 and the Sandy Recovery Improvement act of 2013. Known collectively as the “Sandy Supplemental,” the law provided $50.5 billion to certain federal agencies who support disaster recovery and assistance. 

The law also authorized much needed reforms and streamlined disaster assistance programs authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.  Key reforms include expedited debris removal, public assistance alternative procedures, federal assistance to individuals and households, and streamlined environmental review of hazard mitigation projects.

Since Hurricane Sandy devastated the east coast, federal agencies have worked together with state and local partners to get storm affected areas and its citizens back on their feet.  Much has been accomplished, but there is still considerable work to do. The Committee is committed to continued oversight of recovery efforts, and to working with the agencies represented in this morning’s hearing to achieve programmatic goals laid out in the “Sandy Supplemental.”

I look forward to hearing from the witnesses on the important progress made to date and how the Committee can partner with agencies to ensure ongoing efforts are efficient, and that any challenges to recovery efforts be addressed promptly.

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