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Grimm, Ignizio Seek FEMA Funds to Cover Exposed Pipeline on SI Shore
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Today, Congressman Michael G. Grimm (R-SI/Brooklyn) and Staten Island Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-South Shore) sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg urging the city to seek federal funding to cover an exposed pipeline along the shore at Yetman Avenue, and to make this part of a larger effort to restore the beach and barriers along the Sandy-ravaged shoreline. Under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, funding must be requested by the city for eligible beach restoration programs in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
“This is a matter of public safety, and we cannot afford to allow the southern shoreline of Staten Island to be neglected. I fought hard in Congress to secure Sandy relief aid, and now I want to ensure that those funds reach Staten Island to address all of our pressing recovery needs. Councilman Ignizio and I are urging the city to request the necessary FEMA funding to restore the sand that once covered the pipeline near Yetman Avenue and move forward with efforts to restore and strengthen the vulnerable coastline in the surrounding area,” said Grimm.
“Beach erosion throughout Staten Island has caused a problem for both homeowners and those who use our beaches. This exposed pipeline poses a danger to the public and needs to be made safe as soon possible. Rep. Grimm and I believe we must move forward immediately with beach restoration efforts in order to protect lives and property,” said Ignizio.
On Sunday, Rep. Grimm and Councilman Ignizio visited the pipeline to assess the extent of the damage. They have been working closely with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and NYC Parks Department, and have requested a timeline on the project. Grimm and Ignizio have suggested using the excess and unwanted sand from Prince’s Bay to cover the pipeline, and urge that a company be hired as soon as possible to complete the project.
The text of the letter is below:
March 19, 2013
The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of New York City
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
I am writing regarding the pipeline on the shore near Yetman Avenue, which has become exposed as a result of Superstorm Sandy. In order to protect the pipeline and the public from danger, I urge you to request Public Assistance funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover the pipeline with sand, and to make this part of a larger effort to restore and fortify the surrounding coastal area.
The exposed pipeline was brought to our attention by local residents who are concerned about public safety. In response, we have visited the site ourselves and are working with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the New York City Parks Department to address the safety risks. We are seeking a timeline for project completion as well as further information on how much sand is needed to cover the pipeline.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program is available to provide federal funding to address disaster-related impacts to public beaches that meet certain criteria. Eligible work may include either emergency protective measures or permanent restoration. We ask that you work with the New York State Emergency Management Office to request the necessary federal funding to cover the pipeline with sand, and to make this project a top priority.
In the interest of saving resources and providing greater efficiency, we suggest using the unwanted, excess sand from Prince’s Bay to cover pipeline near Yetman Avenue. This, of course, is just one crucial and immediate step in a larger plan to restore natural and man-made barriers to protect the coastal neighborhoods from future storms. The coastal area has suffered excessive damage and its residents have experienced great loss. As we move forward with beach restoration and mitigation plans, we look forward to working with you to protect this very vulnerable area along the southeastern shore of Staten Island.
Thank you again for your prompt attention to this matter. We remain available to assist in any way possible.
MICHAEL G. GRIMM VINCENT IGNIZIO
Member of Congress Councilman