By Elise Viebeck - 11/27/12 08:36 PM EST
A parallel letter also went to Craig Fugate, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Tuesday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has asked the federal government for tens of billions of dollars to aid in clean up for the storm, which hit his state on Oct. 29.
He and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) have met with the state's congressional delegation to discuss the lobbying effort.
"Hurricane Katrina, in many ways, was not as impactful as Hurricane Sandy, believe it or not," Cuomo said Monday in a comment that has caused controversy.
"Because of the density of New York, the number of people affected, the number of properties affected was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than Hurricane Katrina. That puts the entire conversation, I believe, into focus."
Sandy, one of the costliest disasters in U.S. history, affected millions of people.
Among the environmental toxins present in storm-damaged areas are mold, which exacerbates respiratory conditions such as asthma and can lead to chemical emissions as it breaks down building materials.
Floodwaters in Brooklyn were also known to contain oil, raw sewage and industrial chemicals, posing a range of health risks to local residents.