Monday, February 8, 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.
On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 27 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places, and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.
“Local Foods, Local Places helps people access healthy local food and supports new businesses in neighborhoods that need investment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The program is good for the environment, public health and the economy. By helping bring healthy local food to market and offering new walking and biking options, Local Foods, Local Places can help improve air quality, support local economies, and protect undeveloped green space.” Learn more here.
Fiscal Year 2016 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is issuing, on behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office, this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), entitled "Fiscal Year 2016 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement." This FOA supports a broad portfolio of advanced highway transportation technologies that reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emission, while meeting or exceeding vehicle performance and cost expectations. Projects will focus on reducing the cost and improving the performance of a mix of near-and-long-term vehicle technologies.
Activities will contribute to achieving the goals of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, with a focus on accelerating the development of advanced batteries, power electronics, and lightweight materials technologies, while also supporting technology development to reduce petroleum consumption through advancements in combustion engines, alternative fuels, and other enabling technologies. The FOA also supports Clean Cities initiatives to overcome market barriers. Learn more here.
Concept Paper Submission Deadline: February 18, 2016
Full Application Submission Deadline: March 28, 2016
National Priorities: Impacts of Water Conservation on Water Quality in Premise Plumbing and Water Distribution Systems
EPA is issuing this Request for Applications (RFA) to fund research into issues of water quality and availability related to distribution systems and premise plumbing systems under lower-flow conditions. The National Research Council (NRC) defines “premise plumbing” as that portion of the distribution system from the main water ferrule or water meter to the consumer’s tap in homes, schools, and other buildings. The national scope and high priority of these issues of water quality and availability related to premise plumbing and water distribution systems is evidenced by this NRC report, which attests that a substantial proportion of the nation’s waterborne disease outbreaks is attributable to issues within these systems. Increasing potential incidences of disinfection residual loss due to the high water age will only exacerbate this situation (NRC, 2005). Learn more here.
Full Application Submission Deadline: March 17, 2016
State Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies Ii - State Energy Strategies (SEEDSII-SES)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) aims to reduce the soft costs of solar deployment through two approaches, referred to as Topic 1 and Topic 2 in the FOA. The first topic, “Topic 1” is targeted at increasing our foundational understanding of technology evolution, soft costs, and barriers to solar deployment in the US. By combining cutting edge research tools with the creation, analysis and functionalization of data and information, this second round of the Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS) program will examine how solar technologies, the electric grid system, and the institutions that create the solar business marketplace support or impede the evolution and diffusion of solar by partnering researchers with data and energy practitioners. “Topic 2” will directly tackle soft costs and market barrier challenges at the state and regional level by maximizing the benefits of solar electricity through energy and economic strategic planning. This program targets partnerships between states and utilities/electricity sector entities that look to increase solar deployment in their region. This will be achieved through analytical support to develop and implement strategies to: determine or expand renewable energy and other goals, such as: maximizing emissions reductions; hedging against fuel price volatility; creating jobs; expanding access to electricity; and/or increasing grid resiliency, among others. Learn more here.
Full Application Submission Deadline: May 2, 2016
15th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 11-13, 2016
Conference registration is now open for the 15th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, which will be held on February 11-13, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. The multi-disciplinary program will include more than 80 sessions - plenaries, breakouts, focused trainings, experiential learning opportunities, and implementation workshops - and will feature practical tools and innovative strategies for creating great communities. Find out more and register here.
TechAdvantage 2016 Conference and Expo
February 15-18, 2016
TechAdvantage demonstrates new ways to optimize your technology systems with cutting-edge solutions that will turn your co-op into a strategic powerhouse. You’ll identify best practices and products that will help resolve your engineering, IT, energy services, operations, supply management and business challenges by unlocking the power of innovation and collaboration. TechAdvantage is at the forefront of innovation, delivering critical technologies that are transforming the world of engineering, information technology, energy services, operations, supply management and business. Join us for four days of leading-edge strategies and best practices created to share and demonstrate advantages in science, technology and other industry areas that will benefit Co-op Nation well into the 21st century. Find out more and register here.
Better Buildings Challenge SWAP Season 1 Premiere
February 17, 2016
On February 17th, the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP debuts. This three episode web series features Hilton Worldwide and Whole Foods Market as they uncover energy savings in each other's buildings - energy teams swapped! Filmed in San Francisco, CA, be sure to tune in and see how both companies learned a thing or two about saving energy. Learn more here.
Where Do We Go From Here? The Changing Landscape of Residential Energy Efficiency (201)
February 18, 2016
Please join this peer exchange call to discuss emerging trends and challenges that represent the changing landscape for residential energy efficiency. Find out more and register here.
Webinar: Global Governance in the Face of Non-Traditional Risks
February 18, 2016
World order rests on a nation-state system that is stabilized through a web of intergovernmental institutions. Climate risk, by presenting fundamental resource challenges to those nation states, will also place strains on intergovernmental institutions, and global governance in general. This webinar will explore how global governance will be affected by climate, as well as how the institutions of global governance can react to climate risk in a way that will strengthen resilience, and enhance cooperation in the international system. Find out more and register here.
Conference: Net Positive Energy and Water
February 18-19, 2016
The International Living Future Institute is hosting its third annual Net Positive Energy and Water Conference, dedicated to the exchange of technical expertise, bold strategies and provocative case studies—all aimed at accelerating the global shift toward Net Positive Energy and Water buildings and communities. In the past few years, net positive energy and net zero water projects have gained tremendous momentum. New projects are rapidly emerging to transform the built environment. New regulations and policies are drafted to incentivize Net Zero Energy buildings. With the pressure of the drought in California and the Southwestern United States, it is more important than ever that we collaborate to create communities that are beneficial to their surrounding ecosystems. We are thrilled to bring the event to downtown San Diego—a walkable urban area located on the water and very close to the Amtrak station. The hotel offers daylighting and showcases San Diego’s commitment to green building. Tours of local projects will highlight local solutions for net positive energy and water in this arid bioregion. Find out more and register here.
Webinar Series: The Performance Parameters of Green Roofs
February 23-March 4, 2016
Millions of square feet of Green Roofs have been installed throughout the United States and Canada. They have been proven to be effective mitigators of stormwater when their infrastructure components have been designed to meet performance parameters. Failures of green roof installations have been associated with the failure of one or more of the components. This course has the primary objective of educating its audience on the functionality of green roofs and the determining factors that impact their performance. The biological and hydrological interfaces will be discussed to further elucidate the dynamics of green roof systems. This online training will be presented in five 2-hour sessions, totaling 10 hours of instruction. Sessions will be held on Feb. 23 & 25, and March 1, 3 and 4, 2016. Each session will be recorded on video, so if you have to miss a live session, you'll have access to the recording on the following day and for 30 days thereafter. Register by Feb. 1 to take advantage of all discounts. All class sessions begin promptly at 1 p.m. EST. Find out more and register here.
Johnston, Iowa, to Receive WaterCARE Assistance from EPA to Invest in Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure Planning
Wednesday, January 20, 2016-- The city of Johnston, Iowa, has been selected as one of 10 communities across the country to receive financial and technical guidance for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure planning from EPA’s new Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program. A total of $500,000 will support efforts in the 10 selected communities to develop robust and resilient finance strategies for water infrastructure that meets long-term needs. The communities selected by EPA for WaterCARE assistance are dedicated to increasing community sustainability by financing water infrastructure improvements. Through WaterCARE, EPA can help communities to conduct financial evaluations including alternatives analyses, rate and revenue studies, water efficiency studies, and resiliency assessments. Services through the program may also include developing asset management programs, identifying financing options and partnership opportunities, and providing public engagement outreach and decision-maker training. Learn more here.
EPA Assisting City of Lawrence with Financial Planning for Water Infrastructure
Thursday, January 28, 2016-- The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency will help the City of Lawrence, MA with of financial and technical guidance about making future investments in its drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. EPA’s new Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program will assist in developing robust and resilient finance strategies for water infrastructure that meets long-term needs. The City of Lawrence was one of ten communities nationally to be selected as a WaterCARE recipient. Lawrence was selected because of its dedication to increasing community sustainability by financing water infrastructure improvements. Through WaterCARE, EPA can help communities to conduct financial evaluations including alternatives analyses, rate and revenue studies, water efficiency studies, and resiliency assessments. Services though the program may also include developing asset management programs, identifying financing options and partnership opportunities, and providing public engagement outreach and decision-maker training. Learn more here.
Energy Commission Adopts Lighting Standards to Save Californians in Electricity Costs
Sunday, January 31, 2016-- The California Energy Commission adopted first-in-the-nation energy standards for the next generation of light bulbs. The standards cover small-diameter directional lamps, often used in track lighting, and general purpose LEDs used to replace typical existing home lighting. With these new standards, consumers will save more than $4 billion in aggregate over the first 13 years and conserve enough electricity to power all of the households in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Bulbs that meet the new standards are already available to consumers. The adopted standards will save consumers money in both electricity and bulb replacement costs. For a $4 investment in the more efficient small-diameter directional lamps, the Energy Commission estimates consumers will save nearly $250 in reduced energy and bulb replacement costs when averaged over 11 years. The lifetime savings for general purpose LEDs range from $4.50 to $12 and will likely grow as purchase prices continue to decline. Learn more here.
Funds Allocated for Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects in California
Sunday, January 31, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld announced more than $182 million in funding to California for investment in statewide improvements in local drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and the reduction of water pollution. Blumenfeld was joined by the city of Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall for the announcement at an event highlighting the $37 million in funding that is being used to expand the Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility and nearly double its capacity to generate water for non-potable uses like irrigation and industrial uses. The city of Carlsbad is using approximately $30 million through a one percent interest State Revolving Fund loan and an additional $7 million in other funding to expand its current water recycling facility capacity from 4,100 acre-feet per year to 7,235 acre-feet per year. The project will construct 18 miles of pipe as well as a new storage tank, and install 156 new recycled water meters. Once completed, Carlsbad will recycle and use all of its wastewater during summer months, meeting nearly 33 percent of its Water District’s annual water needs. Learn more here.
ReCharge NY Program Supports More Than 400,000 Jobs With Low Cost Power
Monday, February 1, 2016-- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the ReCharge NY program, which utilizes low-cost power from the New York Power Authority to spur economic development, has supported 400,000 jobs since its inception five years ago. "Through ReCharge NY, we're making it cheaper for businesses to compete, grow and ultimately thrive in New York State," said Governor Cuomo. "Electricity can be a major expense for any company, but by providing low-cost power to employers we’re making local communities more affordable, helping create jobs and ultimately strengthening the economy. ReCharge NY is having a profound impact throughout the entire state, and I look forward to seeing the results continue to grow for years to come." As of December 1, 2015, the Power Authority has awarded ReCharge NY power to 741 business operations, including 71 not-for-profit enterprises. Those allocations support 400,948 jobs and $33.2 billion in commitments for new capital investment. Learn more here.
USGBC Releases the 2015 Top 10 States for LEED Green Building Per Capita in the U.S.
Monday, February 1, 2016-- The U.S. Green Building Council announced its annual Top 10 States for LEED, the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system. The per capita list highlights states throughout the country that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation. LEED-certified spaces use fewer energy and water resources; save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; create jobs; and establish a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. "Green construction is quickly outpacing conventional construction in the U.S.," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. "LEED has become an essential tool for the transformation of building design and construction. By recognizing these states excelling in the use of LEED, we are celebrating the green building professionals, architects, business, policy and community leaders who work tirelessly to design and develop innovative solutions toward a healthier, more sustainable future. LEED construction drives economic growth, creates jobs and makes communities greener." Learn more here.
City and State Partners Announced in the Better Buildings SEED Platform Collaborative
Thursday, February 4, 2016-- As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the Energy Department recently featured 12 new partnerships with cities, counties, and states to unlock the power of building energy performance data for the purposes of informing decision making on energy efficiency opportunities in their local communities. Through the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform Collaborative, these partners will improve the quality and consistency of building energy data and increase community-wide support to enhance management, promote transparency, and increase the value of building energy performance information. "The SEED Platform Collaborative assists cities and states with using building energy performance data as part of increasing energy efficiency and energy savings," said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, DOE. "Partners are fostering the building industry's transition to data driven decisions on energy efficiency." The increase of building energy data available in the marketplace has resulted in the need for development of standardized, interoperable tools that assist stakeholders in streamlining and analyzing data in order to inform their policy and business decisions. Each three-year partnership supports improved building energy performance data and identification of opportunities for efficiency improvements in their jurisdictions. Learn more here.
EPA Releases Scientific Report Showing U.S. Coastal Waters a Mix of Good and Fair Health
Thursday, January 28, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released the 2010 National Coastal Condition Assessment showing that more than half of the nation's coastal and Great Lakes nearshore waters are rated good for biological and sediment quality, while about one-third are rated good for water quality. In almost all coastal waters, however, contaminants in fish tissue pose a threat to sensitive predator fish, birds, and wildlife. The National Coastal Condition Assessment is part of a series of National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) designed to advance the science of coastal monitoring and answer critical questions about the condition of waters in the United States. Since more than half the nation’s population lives near coastal waters, and that number is increasing every year, it is important for us to understand the condition of these highly productive and fragile habitats so we can properly manage and protect them,” said Joel Beauvais, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. “The latest science confirms we must keep paying close attention to our coastal waters, reduce the pollutants that are harming water quality, and protect those areas still in good condition.” Learn more here.
White House Announces Energy Data Accelerator Partner Results and New Partnerships
Friday, January 29, 2016-- The White House with the Energy Department released a fact sheet profiling how the actions of its Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator partners led to a historic expansion of whole-building energy data access to building owners by 2017—significantly increasing opportunities for building energy benchmarking. Also announced are new partnerships with cities, states, and companies, aimed at finding new ways to utilize energy data and put it to work to create a cleaner, healthier, and more energy efficient America. Learn more here.
Department Investment Drives Clean Energy Innovation at Federal Facilities
Tuesday, February 2, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Energy announced $2.85 million in funding for four projects that will advance the development of renewable energy technologies at facilities across the federal government. As the nation's largest single user of energy, the federal government is leading by example and these projects will reduce carbon emissions, while strengthening America's economic, energy and environmental security. This award announcement follows on the heels of the President's State of the Union address where he discussed how clean energy technologies such as solar are providing real-world solutions. Not only do they reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change, but they are increasingly becoming more cost-competitive with existing technologies, even without accounting for the climate benefits. Learn more here.
GE turns out the lights on CFLs
Tuesday, February 2, 2016-- Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that could fit into standard light sockets only hit the market in the 1980s, but the signs are their days may be numbered. GE has announced it will cease production of CFLs this year and instead switch its focus to producing LEDs. While LED lamps produce better light on a par with incandescent globes, last longer and are even more energy efficient than CFLs, when the first LED globes intended as direct replacements for incandescent globes appeared on the market they were prohibitively expensive. When GE unveiled its GE Energy Smart LED bulb in 2010 in readiness for the phasing out of incandescent globes from sale in the US from 2012, the price was to be in the US$40 to $50 range. Now LED bulbs are available for a few dollars each, which has led to them accounting for 15 percent of annual bulb sales in the US, with GE anticipating LEDs will be found in more the 50 percent of light sockets in the country by 2020. The US government introduced a new lighting specification in January that means many CFLs will no longer qualify for the Energy Star rating, so it's likely that other CFL manufacturers will follow in GE's footsteps. Learn more here.
Energy Department Announces $21 Million to Lower Solar Energy Deployment Barriers
Monday, February 8, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $21 million in new funding to lower solar energy deployment barriers and expand access to solar energy to all Americans. The Department is making $13 million available to help states take advantage of falling solar prices and maximize the benefits of solar electricity through energy and economic strategic planning. This new program will offer technical and analytical support in the development and implementation of solar energy deployment plans. An additional $8 million under this funding opportunity will support research on solar energy innovation and technology adoption patterns in order to increase understanding of solar deployment barriers and other "soft costs." Learn more here.
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