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VA AG Mark Herring Invites Scott Pruitt to Witness Effects of Sea-Level Rise Firsthand

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Good stuff from AG Mark Herring’s office; let’s reelect this guy next Tuesday!

HERRING INVITES PRUITT TO HAMPTON ROADS TO WITNESS EFFECTS OF SEA LEVEL RISE FIRSTHAND
~ In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Attorney General Herring encourages the EPA to hold a hearing in Hampton Roads on its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan ~
RICHMOND (November 1, 2017)-As the EPA and its new administrator Scott Pruitt consider whether to repeal President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Attorney General Mark R. Herring wants to make sure that Virginia’s voice is heard, especially the voice of Hampton Roads. In a letter to EPA Administrator Pruitt, Attorney General Herring has requested a public hearing in Hampton Roads on the EPA’s plans to repeal or rollback the Clean Power Plan, a comprehensive national plan to reduce carbon emissions and address sea level rise and other effects of climate change. Attorney General Herring cites Hampton Roads’ unique vulnerability to sea level rise as an important reason to consider the area, writing that “conducting a hearing in Hampton Roads will enable you to hear first-hand from our residents that already experience the serious impacts of climate change as part of their daily lives.”
“Scott Pruitt and the EPA need to understand the real world impact of sea level rise and the consequences of walking away from our carbon reduction goals. Communities like Hampton Roads, which are already threatened by sea level rise, will face higher costs and even more irreversible damage if we continue to kick the can down the road,” said Attorney General Herring. “Sea levels in Hampton Roads have already risen more than a foot in the last 80 years, with more expected in the years ahead. So before Mr. Pruitt abandons the best hope for addressing climate change and sea level rise, I want him to meet face to face with the people he’ll be deserting.”
In his letter, Attorney General Herring cites the costs of nuisance flooding and ongoing sea level rise in Hampton Roads, as well as the astronomical costs that communities will have to incur to deal with rising sea levels in the years ahead.
“The Hampton Roads area has seen the highest rates of sea level rise along the East Coast.  Ordinary rain events now cause flooding in the streets of Norfolk, including large connector streets going underwater, impacting homeowners’ access on a regular basis…The city of Norfolk alone will need at least $1 billion in the coming decades to replace current infrastructure and keep water out of the city’s homes and businesses. Costs from three feet of sea-level rise in the Hampton Roads region are expected to range between $12 billion and $87 billion.”
Attorney General Herring also highlights the national security implications of unchecked sea level rise in Hampton Roads.
“Hampton Roads is home to a significant number of military installations potentially impacted.  As an example, Naval Station Norfolk, the largest navy base in the world, is currently replacing 14 piers due to sea level rise, at a cost of $35-40 million per pier.”
Attorney General Herring is part of the coalition of states, cities, and counties that is defending the Clean Power Plan against legal challenges in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.