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A proposal creates a 'climate change superfund' to storm harden Long Island’s coastline

Streets flooded in the Staten Island borough of New York after Superstorm Sandy hit in October. The storm caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.
John Minchillo
/
AP
Streets flooded in the Staten Island borough of New York after Superstorm Sandy hit in October. The storm caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.

A proposed $75 billion “climate change superfund” in New York would help harden Long Island’s infrastructure in the face of storm events, which supporters of the bill say have only intensified with climate change.

The superfund measure would be partially funded by companies in the state that “contribute significantly” to greenhouse gas emissions. Charges would be based on the amount they produce.

The bill has the support of the nonprofit, Rebuild by Design. Their New York Atlas Disaster report finds Nassau and Suffolk counties are among the state’s regions most impacted by major weather events like hurricanes, winter storms and flooding.

According to the report, seven of these events hit Suffolk between 2011 and 2021, and five hit Nassau.

Opponents of the bill say this will only make things more costly for consumers, and will disincentive investment in New York state.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.