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LGEAN

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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.

 

EPA UPDATE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to ensure that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, signed this June 22, 2016, delivers on the promise of better protecting the environment and public health. This bipartisan bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) outlines a number of responsibilities for EPA that must be completed within a tight timeframe. The new law, which received bipartisan support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, includes much needed improvements such as: mandatory requirement for EPA to evaluate existing chemicals with clear and enforceable deadlines; new risk-based safety standard; increased public transparency for chemical information; and consistent source of funding for EPA to carry out the responsibilities under the new law. The new amendments to TSCA will help bring significant improvements to public health as EPA continues to take the steps necessary for its successful implementation. For more information, click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Funding Opportunity: Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small Public Water Systems to Provide Safe Drinking Water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting applications from eligible applicants to provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to help such systems achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and to provide training and technical assistance for small publicly owned wastewater systems, communities served by onsite/decentralized wastewater systems, and private well owners to improve water quality under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Training and technical assistance activities provided to these systems, communities and private well owners should be made available nationally in rural and urban communities and to personnel of tribally owned and operated systems. For more information, click here.

Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-OW-OGWDW-16-02
Closing Date: September 30, 2016 at 11:59 PM ET
For questions, contact Ellen Tarquino at smallsystemsRFA@epa.gov

Funding Opportunity: Environmental Health Cohorts Maintenance and Infrastructure (R24)
Applications from eligible entities are currently being accepted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to provide support for the maintenance of existing environmental epidemiology cohorts and their associated biorepositories; for the collection or development of additional measures; to facilitate follow-up of study participants especially during key windows of susceptibility, and to provide a structure to facilitate broader sharing of data and resources with the scientific community. The goal of this program is to provide stability to existing EECs by supporting the necessary infrastructure to retain trained field personnel essential to continue ongoing longitudinal data collection, to follow-up study participants, and to preserve the integrity and quality of specimen collection. Each resource grant is expected to focus on activities that will enable efficient planning and operation of cohorts in preparation to (1) maintain the scientific integrity of the resource and community engagement; (2) prepare for future scientific needs and direction; (3) promote engagement of new disciplines in the field; and (4) facilitate scientific collaborations across cohorts. For more information, click here.

Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-ES-16-004
Closing Date: October 10, 2016 at 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization
For questions, contact Barbara Gittleman at barbara.gittleman@nih.gov.

Funding Opportunity: Smart City Air Challenge
EPA is challenging communities across the country to collect data using hundreds of air quality sensors as part of the Smart City Air Challenge. The agency is offering up to $40,000 apiece to two communities to help them develop and implement plans for collecting and sharing data from air quality sensors. To qualify for the challenge, communities will need to submit plans for deploying hundreds of air quality sensors and managing the data they collect. The award money only covers part of the program costs, so communities will need to partner with sensor manufacturers, data management companies or others to get resources and expertise to implement their plans. For more information, click here.

Closing Date: October 28, 2016 at 4:00 PM ET

Funding Opportunity: National Internet-based On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) Information Exchange
Applications from eligible entities are currently being accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain, update, and improve an Internet-based information clearinghouse to facilitate the accurate and timely exchange of technical information related to vehicle on-board diagnostics (OBD) testing with state inspection and maintenance (I/M) programs, the automotive industry, and the general public. This project will also serve automotive technicians by providing current information about OBD technology, OBD training opportunities, OBD diagnostic tool vendors, and public outreach materials. For more information, click here.

Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-OAR-OTAQ-16-08
Closing Date: October 28, 2016 at 4:00 PM ET
For questions, contact Dave Sosnowski at sosnowski.dave@epa.gov.

Funding Opportunity: Fiscal Year 2017 National Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program
The Exchange Network Grant Program provides funding to states, territories and federally recognized Indian tribes to support the development of the Environmental Information Exchange Network (EIEN). The primary outcome expected from Exchange Network assistance agreements is improved access to, and exchange of, high-quality environmental data from public and private sector sources. Each fiscal year, EPA expects to award about $9 million to approximately 30 to 40 EIEN projects; awards for each project can range between $50,000 and $300,000. EPA may make a limited number of awards to collaborative, partnership assistance agreements. Budgets for these projects cannot exceed $500,000. The exact number of awarded grants will depend on: the final amount of EPA’s appropriation for the grant program, the number of applications submitted to EPA by the application deadline, the amounts of proposed budgets, and the outcome of application reviews. Applications should demonstrate support for and results toward EIEN program priorities. For more information, click here.

Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-OEI-17-01
Closing Date: November 18, 2016
For questions, contact Salena Reynolds at reynolds.salena@epa.gov.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Conference: Center for Community Progress Reclaiming Vacant Properties 2016 Conference
Date: September 28-30, 2016
Location: Baltimore, MD
On September 28-30, 2016, approximately 1,000 change-makers from communities large and small will gather in Baltimore, Maryland, for the seventh Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference (RVP), the only national conference of its kind. Themed “In Service of People and Place,” the seventh RVP will take a deep look at how work to reclaim vacant properties can improve the wellbeing of residents and the places they call home. The Conference will explore strategies to strengthen neighborhoods that are being left behind in the housing recovery and serve residents who continue to face the impacts of vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment. Conference sessions will highlight work from around the country, including this year’s host city, Baltimore. For more information and to register, click here.

Webinar: Responding to Drought and Water Challenges – National Kickoff Meeting
Date: October 4, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET
Several areas of the western United States have experienced significant droughts and extreme events related to water (flooding) during the past decade. Although much attention is focused on the effects of these water-related challenges on agricultural lands and human settlements, forests and grasslands have also been affected, sometimes severely. Join the Office of Sustainability and Climate Change for a 2-hour introduction to upcoming opportunities related to drought and water challenges. The U.S. Forest Service is planning a series of workshops to examine regional vulnerabilities of federal lands and identify strategies to address these vulnerabilities. To ensure that findings on drought vulnerability are widely dispersed to the management community, each workshop will be hosted by U.S. Forest Service resource specialists and research scientists and include representatives from other agencies and stakeholders. The regional workshops will be previewed in this National Drought Webinar. For more information and to register, click here.

Conference: Growing Sustainable Communities Annual Conference
Dates: October 4-5, 2016
Location: Dubuque, IA
The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is the largest and longest standing sustainability conference in the Midwest and is co-hosted by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network. The 9th annual Conference is two days of education, inspiration and collaboration on topics of interest to anyone who cares about creating great towns and cities that stand the test of time. This year's conference will include workshop speakers with a wide range of expertise, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Wildlife Federation, the Iowa Economic Development Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., the New Mexico State Energy Office and businesses such as General Electric, Burns & McDonnell, HDR, Shive-Hattery, and many others. For more information and to register, click here.

Webinar: Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program
Date: October 13, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
For almost 30 years, EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) has been the source for this critical information about toxic chemicals that industrial facilities use and release into the environment. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within three miles of a TRI facility…so what’s going on in your neighborhood? Join EPA for Introduction to TRI, a webinar intended for anyone interested in learning about the basics of the TRI Program. During this webinar, participants will learn about: The right-to-know principle and the basics of the TRI Program; How to find TRI data for a specific community or other geographic location; How TRI can help promote pollution prevention; What TRI can tell you about chemical hazards and risks. For more information and to register, click here.

Webinar: Integrating Climate Change Resilience into Transportation Asset Management
Date: October 13, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) will conduct a webinar on Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 2:00PM to 4:00PM ET that highlights some of the common themes that emerged from the 11th National Conference on Transportation Asset Management, which took place July 10-12, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Several sessions focused on integrating climate change and extreme weather event resilience approaches into transportation asset management. This webinar was organized by the TRB Standing Committee on Transportation Asset Management. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is a fee for non-TRB Sponsor or non-TRB Sustaining Affiliate employees. For more information and to register, click here.

NEWS

EPA Announces Over $4.6 Million in Grants for Coastal Watersheds in Southeast New England
September 16 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $4,637,000 for eight grants focused on coastal watershed efforts in southeast Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The projects selected for grant funding are intended to identify, test, and promote effective new regional approaches in critical areas such as water monitoring, watershed planning, nutrient and/or septic management, and resilience to climate change. These projects are funded through EPA's Southeast New England Program (SNEP). Since its launch in 2014, SNEP's mission has been to seek and adopt transformative environmental management. Grantees have developed projects that share innovative solutions and foster collaborative problem-solving and new approaches. One of the goals of the Southern New England Program is to make connections across projects to ensure that restoration strategies are comprehensive and sustainable, that they are informed by input from key stakeholders, and that they are connected to the economies and enhance the ecosystem services that support coastal watershed communities. The program's geographic area encompasses the coastal watersheds from Westerly, Rhode Island to Chatham, Massachusetts, and includes Narragansett Bay and all other Rhode Island coastal waters, Buzzards Bay, and southern Cape Cod as well as the islands of Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. Learn more here.

Secretary Jewell Approves Utility-Scale Solar Project on Tribal Land in Nevada
September 15 - As part of President Obama’s commitment to build strong, sustainable tribal communities and the Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and create clean energy jobs, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined leaders of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians and First Solar to announce approval of the 100-megawatt Aiya Solar Project on tribal trust land in Clark County, Nevada.  Secretary Jewell’s visit to Nevada was the last of a three-state tour to highlight Obama Administration efforts to support renewable energy. Located about 40 miles northeast of Las Vegas, the Aiya Solar Project is the third utility-scale photovoltaic facility approved for development on the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Reservation. The project is the 60th renewable energy project approved for federally administered land since 2009 as part of a Department-wide effort to advance smart development of renewable energy on our nation's public lands. Learn more here.

SepticSmart Week, Sept. 19-23: EPA Urges Maintenance of Septic Systems to Protect Health, Environment, and Save Money
September 15 - On Monday, September 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – in conjunction with federal, state and local government and private sector partners – will kick off its fourth annual SepticSmart Week (Sept. 19-23) to encourage American homeowners and communities to properly maintain their septic systems. More than 26 million homes in the United States – or one in five households – depend on septic systems to treat wastewater. If not maintained, failing septic systems can contaminate groundwater and harm the environment by releasing bacteria, viruses, and household toxics to local waterways. Proper septic system maintenance protects public health and the environment and saves the homeowner money through avoided costly repairs. “By taking small steps to maintain septic systems, homeowners not only protect our nation’s public health and keep our water clean, but also save money and protect their property values,” said Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. Learn more here.

EPA Awards $2.7 Million to American Samoa for Environmental Protection
September 14 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a grant of over $2.7 million to American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency for its environmental protection programs. “EPA’s funding enables American Samoa to pursue its goals of clean air, water and land,” said Alexis Strauss, acting EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We appreciate American Samoa EPA’s work that benefits the island residents and their natural resources.” ASEPA will use the funds to support air, water, and land inspections, monitor the safety of beaches and drinking water, cleanup sites contaminated by waste, improve piggery environmental compliance, monitor water quality, protect coral reefs, and respond to emergencies. Learn more here.

EPA Recognized Supermarkets Across the Country for Environmental Leadership in Reducing Potent Greenhouse Gases
September 13 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized 13 companies in the supermarket industry for their achievements reducing emissions of environmentally harmful refrigerants. Many of the refrigerants used by supermarkets are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change when leaked into the atmosphere. EPA’s awardees are meeting the goals of the President’s Climate Action Plan by preventing refrigerant leaks, transitioning to climate-friendly refrigerants, and using advanced refrigeration technologies. EPA’s GreenChill partners own approximately 10,800 stores nationwide, representing 29 percent of the U.S. supermarket industry. If supermarkets nationwide reduced the amount of refrigerant they leak to the current GreenChill partner average, they could avoid $169 million in refrigerant replacement costs while preventing the equivalent of 29 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, roughly equal to the annual emissions of about 6 million cars. Learn more here.

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