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Contacts: John Atwood, (202) 482-4085
Monday, December 10, 2012
WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced $7.3 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming, to help communities in those states recover economically from recent natural disasters.
"The Obama administration is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters rebound and rebuild stronger than ever," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Blank. "The EDA grants announced today will help several communities that suffered extensive flood and other damage to rebuild infrastructure that is crucial for strengthening their local economies."
The investments announced today include:
"Due to climate change, extreme weather events like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are going to be more frequent not less in the years ahead. That's why every federal dollar spent now on resiliency measures will save more taxpayer's dollars in the future," said U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. "With this funding delivered by the Economic Development Administration, the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency will be able to identify the best plan moving forward."
"This is a critically important down payment in assuring that Connecticut is prepared to respond to what we know will be more frequent and more severe storms in the years to come," said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. I have called on the federal government to redouble efforts to protect Connecticut from these future hazards. This includes investing in comprehensive assessments to identify vulnerabilities in our infrastructure, transmission systems and flood control measures. I will continue to advocate for full funding for disaster relief for Connecticut."
"This is an incredibly important investment to attract new businesses and jumpstart economic development in Hudson Valley communities that are struggling to recover from natural disasters," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who advocated for this funding in October at OXYVITA in New Windsor. "We need to do more than just get back to where we were before these storms. We need a long-term strategy to strengthen our economy, open more businesses and create more jobs so the Hudson Valley can thrive for years to come. This targeted investment can help us - by equipping more entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn their good ideas into growing businesses."
"This federal funding will help rebuild the bulkhead, prevent future flood damage, and strengthen Rhode Island's economy by creating jobs and attracting further business and investment," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a member of the Appropriations Committee who has worked for over two decades to help direct more than $100 million in federal funding for upgrades at Quonset's railways, airport, and infrastructure."
"The port at Quonset is a valuable asset for our state's economy," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). "This funding will give businesses at Quonset peace of mind that their property is safe from storm damage, protecting existing jobs and encouraging the development of dozens more. Adding to the new control tower, pier and crane, it will help keep Quonset an economic engine for Rhode Island."
These projects are part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.
Within the context of the administration's National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), EDA serves as the Coordinating Agency on behalf of the Department of Commerce for the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. The activities consist primarily of improved information sharing and the leveraging of existing resources to make a positive impact for communities affected by disasters.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.