Bill That Includes Esty's Infrastructure Improvement Amendment Signed Into Law


Date: Oct. 1, 2015
Location: Washington, DC

President Obama signed into law the bipartisan National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015, H.R. 23. The bill reauthorizes the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, a federal disaster recovery program that helps develop and encourage the implementation of cost-effective mitigation efforts to improve resiliency and reduce the impact of hurricanes and tornadoes. As a Member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that disaster mitigation would include a focus on infrastructure, such as roadways, cell towers and electrical towers. Esty's amendment is included in H.R. 23.

"In Connecticut, we are still recovering from the devastating effects of multiple severe storms, which shattered communities and killed hundreds of residents in the Northeast," said Esty. "Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we do everything in our power to prevent these storms from taking more lives and wrecking more havoc on our infrastructure and our economy. Windstorms impact all 50 states and my amendment will help ensure that disaster mitigation funds are used to improve the resiliency of our critical infrastructure. I am proud to see the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act signed into law with my amendment included."

Esty's amendment defined and added the term "lifelines," to the bill. Adding this definition provides the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction specific direction on the most important research topics. Additionally, the amendment will help the involved agencies work effectively and efficiently towards the goal of reducing the impact of windstorms on our infrastructure.

Esty is one of eight coauthors of H.R. 23, introduced by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were 25 major disasters from 2011-2012 that surpassed $1 billion in economic losses. This new law reauthorizes and focuses the mission of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program which carries out research to help mitigate damage from windstorms, including hurricanes and tornadoes.