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Thursday, August 25, 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 Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its Smart School Siting Tool earlier this year under its Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program to help school agencies and other local government agencies work together to better align school siting and other community development decisions. School locations and community development are inextricably linked. School locations affect community land use patterns and infrastructure needs. Local land use, the location and capacity of road and utility networks, and community investments in economic development, housing, and other social programs affect school surroundings and learning environments. Taken together, school siting and other community decisions influence housing and transportation choices, neighborhood vitality, economic development, costs of community services, environmental quality, and overall community health and well-being. The guide helps planners consider the environment when deciding where to locate schools. For more information, click here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Funding Opportunity: Modeling of Climate Change Mitigation, Impacts and Adaptation
Applications from eligible entities are currently being accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) to advance the field of climate economic modeling to assist decision makers and the public in effectively responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change. The work involved in this effort includes two distinct modeling capabilities. The first is computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling of climate mitigation and impacts at the level of disaggregation of U.S. states. The second is integrated assessment modeling (IAM) and assessment of multiple greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants to enhance understanding of climate change impacts. EPA seeks proposals from eligible entities that will enhance “studies related to the causes, effects, (including health and welfare effects), extent, prevention and control of air pollution.” Specifically, this effort is intended to contribute to the development and use of modeling tools to analyze the mitigation and impacts of greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, click here.

Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-OAR-OAP-16-07
Closing Date: September 12, 2016 at 4:00 PM ET
For questions, contact Eric Smith at smith.eric@epa.gov.

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)
Applicants 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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Webinar: Upgrade Your Hazard Mitigation Plans to Climate Ready and FEMA Funding Eligible
Date: September 1, 2016
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET

FEMA now requires communities seeking funding for disaster preparedness to integrate climate into their Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs). However, guidelines for how to integrate climate are hard to find. This session will examine the HMP process opportunity, including real world examples of communities integrating climate and hazard mitigation planning. Tools and resources for practitioners will be shared for practical how to applications. For more information and to register, click here.

Webinar: Biogas Upgrading Solutions
Date: September 8, 3016
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

What’s new in biogas conditioning and upgrading technologies? Biogas Upgrading Solutions will highlight some of the new media technologies available to help both existing and new biogas conditioning sites run more cost effectively. Sponsored by Unison Solutions, Inc., this free one-hour webinar will also present a technology for upgrading biogas to pipeline quality renewable natural gas that is new to the U.S. For more information and to register, click here.

Conference: Connecting the Dots…Groundwater, Surface Water, and Climate Connection in the Northwest
Date: September 8-9, 2016
Location: Portland, OR

Discover the connections between groundwater, surface water, and climate in the diverse and economically important area encompassing Idaho, Oregon, Washington, northern California, and British Columbia during this two-day NGWA conference. Droughts, population pressures, agriculture, mining, and energy development are intensifying interest on the abovementioned issues, and this NGWA conference provides an opportunity for you to learn from, and share experiences with, other professionals involved in a variety of disciplines in this unique region. For more information and to register, click here.

Chemically Contaminated Drinking Water in the U.S.
Dates: September 20 and September 21, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET

Contaminated drinking water has been in the news nationally in recent months. In this 4-hour online course, attendees will learn basic information about public (and private) water supplies and treatment for contaminants; a brief history of contamination of drinking water supplies; key characteristics of lead (Pb) and perfluorinateds (specifically PFOS and PFOA); an overview of socioeconomic aspects of drinking water contamination; and current observations about risk perception and litigation related to contamination of drinking water. This course will be presented in two 2-hour sessions held on consecutive days, Sept. 20 and 21, 2016. Both class sessions begin promptly at 10 a.m. Pacific, 11 a.m. Mountain, noon Central and 1 p.m. Eastern. The sessions will be recorded so registrants may attend live or via on-demand streaming video. For more information and to register, click here.

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.

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.

NEWS

Erie County Town Receives $172,000 EPA Funding For Green Infrastructure to Improve Water Quality in Lake Erie
August 10 - The Environmental Protection Agency today has awarded a $172,125 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to the Town of Evans, New York to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality entering Lake Erie. The town will use these funds to install rain gardens and bioswales, which are tracts of land designed to manage drainage, in Evans Town Park to reduce bacteria at the beach and prevent approximately 221,000 gallons of untreated stormwater from reaching Lake Erie. In 2014, the Evans Town Park beach was closed on 31 days of the 66-day beach season due to water pollution occurrences. “Through this EPA grant, Evans, New York will use green infrastructure to prevent stormwater from carrying contamination into Lake Erie and closing public beaches to swimming,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. Learn more here.

Federal Research Aims to Knock Down Two of the Electric Cars’ Biggest Hurdles
August 9 - The U.S. Department of Energy thinks it can solve two of the largest obstacles standing in the way of the electric car. Many experts have asserted that the limited range of modern electric vehicles and the amount of time it takes to charge the batteries are the primary reasons why they still make up a miniscule portion of the automobile market — less than 1 percent, according to HybridCars.com. But with a pair of research projects, the DOE is betting that it can more than double the energy density of lithium-metal batteries and dramatically increase the speed of charging. The energy density project — which Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead in conjunction with eight other research institutions — is called Battery500. That’s because the project is aiming to pack 500 watt-hours of energy per kilogram into lithium batteries, compared with today’s average 170-200 watt-hours per kilogram. That means cars would essentially be able to travel 2.5 to 2.9 times farther without increasing the weight of their batteries. Learn more here.

EPA Awards $4.5 Million to Advance Air Monitoring Technology
August 9 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grants to six research organizations to develop and use low-cost air pollution sensor technology, while engaging communities to learn about their local air quality. “Through these projects, scientists and communities will join together to develop and test new low-cost, portable, easy-to-use ways to measure air pollution,” said Thomas A. Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This research will provide tools communities can use to understand air pollution in their neighborhoods and improve public health.” While recent advances in technology have led to the development of low-cost air pollution sensors, they have not been widely tested, especially under field conditions. These grants will help fund research projects that explore how scientific data can be effectively gathered and used by communities to learn about local air quality. Learn more here.

The Adirondacks: A Battleground for Conservationists and Development-Hungry Towns
August 5, 2016 - All across the Adirondacks, small towns and villages find themselves in a struggle for survival. With mining and logging jobs nearly gone, with businesses closing and with the population growing older, the towns are looking for any way they can find to halt the decline. Frequently, though, efforts to revive local economies come into conflict with concerns over preserving the park. The battle between conservation groups and pro-development town officials amounts to a dramatic test for a park long viewed as one of the country’s grand experiments in conservation.  The most contentious battle these days between conservation groups and town officials concerns the future of the large Boreas Ponds tract, the most scenic and highly coveted parcel in a recent land purchase. Learn more here.

Louisville, Colo., Banks on Future Solar Savings
August 5 - Solar energy continues to become a more prevalent source of energy throughout the U.S., with individuals opting toward clean power. In keeping with the trend, Louisville's City Council will look toward multiple agreements later this month where officials would commit to purchase 400 kW of electrical production from a Clean Energy Collective (CEC) solar array, and through a lease-purchase financing agreement with Alpine Bank and related documents with CEC for solar panels rated to produce an additional 199 kW of electrical production. City Council will vote on the agreements at its next meeting on August 16. Learn more here.

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