NJ, NY Senators seek to incentivize model code compliance in Sandy’s wake

Source: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

In tandem with promotion of the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act (see companion item), a U.S. House bill it authored, NRMCA is acknowledging Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for introducing the complementary Safe Building Code Incentive Act in the Senate.

Co-sponsored by New Jersey and New York colleagues Frank Lautenberg, Charles Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand, it would provide states that enforce statewide model building codes with an additional 4 percent of post-disaster relief assistance. The bill applies valuable lessons learned from natural disasters by making homes and business built today stronger than those lost to superstorm Sandy, NRMCA contends, adding that building codes are the simplest and most effective means of mitigating against disasters, as they save lives and reduce damage plus the need for future federal aid.

The latest official estimates indicate damages associated with superstorm Sandy exceed $80 billion. In New Jersey alone, more than 70,000 buildings were seriously damaged. The Safe Building Code Incentive Act stands as a way to reduce the exorbitant costs stemming from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, and to make communities safer, NRMCA affirms. Under the proposed law, 16 states currently enforcing model building codes would be eligible for additional assistance—New Jersey and New York among them. A recent Congressional Budget Office analysis has found that where federal dollars are spent on pre-disaster mitigation programs, “on average, future losses are reduced by about $3 for every $1 spent on those projects…”

“When communities are built to resilient, robust standards, we help to ensure that the places where we live, learn, work, worship and play are safe and sustainable,” says NRMCA President Robert Garbini. “We applaud Senator Menendez for his leadership on this issue.”