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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LGEAN Update is a biweekly newsletter published by the International City/County Management Association. Its purpose is to keep you up to date on the latest environmental information of interest to local governments.



Brownfields National Training Conference Call for Ideas Announced
The Brownfields 2015 Call for Ideas is open from now until November 3, 2014! Your ideas for interactive, insightful, and engaging educational sessions are being sought for Brownfields 2015. Submit your ideas for educational sessions tailored to encourage conversations and participation from attendees. Click here for more information.


Request for Proposals: 2015 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants
EPA's Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). Opportunities for funding include Brownfields Assessment Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; Assessment Coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years) and Brownfields Cleanup Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years). The proposal submission deadline is December 19, 2014. Find out more here.

Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) Grants for Rural Waste Systems
Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) Grants for Rural Waste Systems support non-profit organizations that provide technical assistance and/or training to associations on a wide range of issues relating to delivery of water and waste disposal service. These associations are located in rural areas or cities and towns with a population of 10,000 or less. Grant assistance is available to qualified applicants to identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste disposal problems, to improve operation and maintenance of existing water and waste disposal facilities and to assist associations in preparing applications for water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas. An applicant must file the application with the appropriate Agency office between October 1 and December 31 each fiscal year. Find out more here.

Environmental Solutions for Communities Initiative
In 2012, Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) launched the Environmental Solutions for Communities initiative, designed to support projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. This five-year initiative is supported through a $15 million contribution from Wells Fargo that will be used to leverage other public and private investments with an expected total impact of over $37.5 million. Grants will be offered once a year to support priority projects in states and communities where Wells Fargo operates. Additional priorities and funding guidelines may be found within the program’s RFP. In addition, funding available under this new partnership will also be used to leverage resources associated with other NFWF funding opportunities. Find out more here.

National Disaster Resilience Competition
In partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition. Today, HUD Secretary Julian Castro was joined by Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, in announcing that eligible states and localities can now begin applying for funds. Representatives from eligible communities will have the opportunity to attend Rockefeller-supported Resilience Academies across the country to strengthen their funding proposals. Get the fact sheet here.

2015 Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) Program
The SDAT program is a community assistance program that focuses on the principles of sustainability. SDATs bring teams of volunteer professionals (such as architects, urban designers, landscape architects, planners, hydrologists, economists, attorneys, and others) to work with community decision-makers and stakeholders to help them develop a vision and framework for a sustainable future. The SDAT program is based on the AIAs goal of helping communities create a sustainable relationship between humans, the natural environment, and place. By achieving balance between cultural, environmental, and economic systems, communities can sustain a place as a stage for human settlement. Find out more here.

Army Corps Accepting Water Resources Project Proposals
Under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which became law in June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) is accepting proposals from local governments for feasibility studies and modifications to authorized water resources development projects. The request is open until December 3, 2014. WRRDA authorized flood protection, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects to help upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure. A key WRRDA provision allows local project sponsors to submit proposals to Army Corps, which in turn will submit a list to Congress for authorization. Find out more here.


WEBINAR: Climate Communities Weekly Webinar - Preparing Communities for Climate Impacts – October 30, 2014 @ 2:00 PM EDT
Every week, Climate Communities provides local leaders with informative discussions on sustainability best practices, funding opportunities and cutting-edge policies. Climate Communities hosts weekly training webinars every Thursday at 2 pm Eastern for its members on federal funding opportunities, best practices and other key sustainability issues of importance to local governments. Climate Communities is a national coalition of cities and counties that is educating federal policymakers about the essential role of local governments in developing new approaches to create livable communities, reduce energy use and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Click here to find out more and register.

WEBINAR: Designing and Planning for Healthy Cities – October 30, 2014 @ 12:45 PM EDT
The environment that we construct affects both humans and our natural world in myriad ways. There is a pressing need to create healthy places and to reduce the health threats inherent in places already built. However, there has been little awareness of the adverse effects of what we have constructed-or the positive benefits of well-designed built environments. Click here to find out more and register.

WEBINAR: How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR® October 30, 2014 @ 1:00 PM EDT
Learn about applying for ENERGY STAR Certification in Portfolio Manager. Understand the value of the ENERGY STAR certification, see the step-by-step process of applying, and gain tips to help your property get from application to award. In addition to the above trainings, the following ENERGY STAR Low Carbon IT webinars are offered monthly. Click here to find out more and register. Click here to find out more and register.

WEBINAR: Preview of EJSCREEN - EPA's Environmental Justice Mapping and Screening Tool November 7, 2014 @ 2:00 PM EDT
U.S. EPA invites communities to a webinar presentation the soon-to-be-released EJSCREEN – EPA’s environmental justice screening and mapping tool. The purpose of the webinar is to give local governments a preview of the new screening tool used by EPA to help the agency assess the potential for disproportionate environmental impacts and other significant environmental justice concerns for vulnerable populations. Please reference the attached fact sheet for more information. To attend, please RSVP to Kevin Olp by COB November 5 at or (202) 564-5423 so that EPA can provide meeting materials prior to the webinar.

WEBINAR: Creating a Green Infrastructure Plan to Transform Your Community – November 18, 2014 @ 3:00 PM EDT
Green infrastructure approaches, such as incorporating trees and rain gardens into street designs, can help communities better manage stormwater while achieving other environmental, public health, social, and economic benefits, allowing communities to achieve more for their money. This webinar, Creating a Green Infrastructure Plan to Transform Your Community, will discuss how three different organizations (a regional association of governments, a local government, and a nonprofit organization) have developed and implemented plans for using green infrastructure to achieve multiple goals. Click here to find out more and register.


California city nears 75 percent recycling rate
The city of Bell Gardens, Calif. is on its way to becoming one of the first cities in Southern California to achieve a 75 percent recycling rate ahead of its California's 2020 mandate. This is thanks to a collection method that doesn't require residents to separate out recyclables. Trash is sorted at a material-recovery facility owned by a residential-trash contractor. Read the full story here.


EPA Releases Guidance to Improve Schools' Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency
Wednesday, October 17, 2014 -- The U.S. EPA released new guidance to help school districts protect indoor air quality while increasing energy efficiency during school renovations. "This guidance provides common-sense solutions for improving energy efficiency and indoor air quality in schools across the country," said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "By using these guidelines, school districts can cut their energy bills and help ensure that students have a healthy and safe learning environment." The practices outlined in the new guidance support schools as healthy, energy-efficient buildings that play a significant role in local communities. Click here to learn more.

U.S. Water Systems, Deteriorated and Slow to Change, Need New Strategy And Money 
Friday, October 15, 2014 -- The venerable water utilities of the United States, the essential guardians of public health and enablers of economic growth for more than two centuries, are showing signs of significant wear. A striking new report from the Johnson Foundation, arguably the most thorough and candid assessment of the condition of Americas largely publicly-owned water transport, supply, and treatment industry, asserts that American cities and their residents could face water cuts and unreliable service if utilities do not modernize and reinvest. Click here to read more. 

Assistance to Communities for Integrated Planning of Stormwater and Wastewater Projects
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has provided $335,000 in technical assistance to five communities to help them develop components of integrated plans for wastewater and stormwater management. "EPA is committed to helping communities meet their requirements and goals for water projects that benefit public health, the environment, and the local economy," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Integrated planning provides the important flexibility that cities and towns need to address water challenges in an efficient and effective manner."The projects will also provide useful information and transferable tools for other communities interested in integrated planning. Click here to read more.


Click here for upcoming events relating to local government and sustainability!


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