“Storms, floods, droughts, and other natural hazards are combining with sea level rise and other effects of climate change to disrupt the functioning of the nation’s transportations systems,” said Joseph Schofer, professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate dean at the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, and chair of the committee that wrote the report. “Investing in resilience will require us to make carefully considered choices about how we spend money today to generate benefits that may not be realized until long into the future.”
To guarantee that resilience is a routine and deliberate element of selecting transportation investments, the report recommends that Congress consider a requirement that all federally funded projects involving long-lived assets undergo well-defined resilience assessments that account for the risks from natural disasters and changing climate conditions. These assessments should be integrated into environmental impact statements or other evaluation efforts, such as during BCA. The Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) should also promote the use of BCA that take into account resilience benefits.