Mayor Bloomberg Signs Legislation to Strengthen Building Standards and Enhance Their Resiliency

October 2, 2013

Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

“The next six bills before me today are a product of the Building Resiliency Task Force, an expert panel convened after Hurricane Sandy to outline steps to fortify New York City’s buildings and strengthen building standards. Their report includes thirty-three recommendations that address resiliency in a wide range of buildings – including commercial buildings, multi-family residences, hospitals and 1- to 3-family homes – and offer options to help existing buildings become more resilient and strengthen the City’s Building Code and Zoning Resolution to ensure future construction meets the highest level of resilience.

“Introductory Number 1086-A is sponsored by Council Members Fidler, Chin, Comrie, Dickens, Gonzalez, Koo, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Mendez, Rose, Van Bramer, Rodriguez, Brewer, Jackson, Williams, Barron, Gennaro and Mealy. This legislation requires that new toilets and faucets in buildings be able to operate without an external supply of electrical power. These buildings will be required to have at least one lavatory faucet in a bathroom or toilet room that can operate normally with an internal power source for at least two weeks. It can be powered either through manual operation or built in battery backup.

“Introductory Number 1088-A is sponsored by Council Members Gennaro, Brewer, Chin, Comrie, Fidler, Gonzalez, James, Koo, Koppell, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Mendez, Palma, Rose, Van Bramer, Rodriguez, Barron, Eugene, Greenfield and Mealy. This legislation requires a study and pilot program on the possible use of permeable materials on roadways and sidewalks to be followed by a report to the City Council on the results of the pilot within one hundred twenty days following the conclusion of the pilot.

“Introductory Number 1090-A is sponsored by Council Members Ignizio, Chin, Comrie, Fidler, James, Koo, Lander, Mendez, Richards, Rose, Brewer, Jackson, Mark-Viverito, Williams, Barron, Eugene, Gennaro, Greenfield, Mealy and Van Bramer. This legislation requires the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability to conduct a study in consultation with the Department of Buildings on the effects of wind on existing buildings. A report will be submitted to the Mayor and Speaker of the City Council within two years.

“Introductory Number 1095-A is sponsored by Council Members Nelson, Chin, Comrie, James, Mendez, Richards, Rose, Brewer, Jackson, Mark-Viverito, Williams, Barron, Eugene, Gennaro, Greenfield, Mealy and Van Bramer. This legislation requires the creation of a manual on flood construction and protection standards.

“The Department of Buildings will create a manual explaining in detail the flood construction and protection requirements and standards applicable in the City. The manual shall include a description and explanation of material requirements; specifics on what equipment must be protected from flooding; and the application of the flood construction and protection requirements.

“Introductory Number 1098-A is sponsored by Council Members Richards, Chin, James, Koo, Koppell, Lander, Mendez, Rose, Brewer, Jackson, Mark-Viverito, Williams, Barron, Eugene, Gennaro, Mealy, Van Bramer and Crowley. This legislation requires that buildings in flood-prone areas be equipped with devices to prevent the intrusion of sewage from the public sewer system.

“During severe storms, backwater from the public sewer system can cause overflow in buildings located in flood zones. This legislation will require backwater valves to help prevent this. Backwater valves and other automatic backflow devices will also protect plumbing systems and components that have openings below the flood level elevation. Additionally new systems and components, including plumbing fixtures, will be required to be elevated above the flood elevation specifications.

“Introductory Number 1105-A is sponsored in conjunction with the Mayor by Council Members Gennaro, Brewer, Comrie, Koo, Koppell, Richards, Vallone, Chin, Barron, Lappin, Eugene, Greenfield, Van Bramer and Williams. This bill assigns to the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability the responsibility of planning for resiliency and climate change and beginning in 2015, and every four years thereafter, OLTPS will include in their plan that is submitted to the Mayor and the Speaker of the City Council a list of policies, programs and actions that the City will undertake relating to resiliency issues.

“I would like to thank Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland, Sergej Mahnovski, Director of OLTPS, Daniel Zarilli, Director of Resiliency at OLTPS and their staff, along with my Brian Flynn from the Office of City Legislative Affairs for their work on these bills. I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation.”

Contact: Marc LaVorgna/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958