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Welcoming remarks by Gregory Nadeau, Acting Administrator, FHWA

Gulf Coast Study Roll-out Webcast

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 2 p.m.

Thanks, Gloria, and hello everyone.

It’s my pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the Department and all our modal administrations, each of which took part in this groundbreaking study.

I’m especially pleased that we’re joined by so many people from state DOTs, MPOs and other transportation agencies. You’re exactly the people we’re trying to reach!

We think you’ll find the resources we’re rolling out today very useful in protecting your infrastructure from extreme weather events and planning for the future risks of climate change.

In any given year, our transportation system can experience searing temperatures, ice storms and blizzards, flooding, and other extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent and severe as the climate changes.

Events like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina have made us more aware how vulnerable our coastal cities are to rising sea levels and the risk of more intense storms.

And it’s not just our coastal states that are affected.

The past 3 years have seen Presidentially-declared disasters in 48 of the 50 states.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the federal government in understanding the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, and working with partners like you to address the risks.

The Department has developed a policy statement and an action plan for responding to climate change, building on much of the good work done by our modal administrations.

I’m proud of the leadership role FHWA is playing on this issue.

Last month, I signed an internal directive – FHWA Order 5520 – that lays out policies and responsibilities related to climate change and extreme weather events.

The Order is an important step in making this issue an integral part of our agency’s programs.
At FHWA, we’re constantly working to protect the safety of the traveling public and safeguard the significant investment that taxpayers have made in our highway system.

Climate change and extreme weather events present significant and growing risks to the safety, reliability, effectiveness, and sustainability of the Nation’s transportation infrastructure and operations.

It’s vitally important that we work together to address these risks.

We hope that the resources and tools we’re rolling out today will help in your efforts to make our transportation system more resilient.

With that, I’ll turn it over to your host for today, Rob Hyman, a member of the team that led the Gulf Coast 2 study.

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Page posted on May 19, 2015.
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