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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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 August 3, President Obama announced EPA’s historic Clean Power Plan, a first-of-its-kind step to cut the harmful carbon pollution fueling climate change from our nation’s power plants. At the heart of the final Clean Power Plan are its uniform emission rates for fossil fuel power plants. These standards limit the average amount of carbon pollution released for every unit of energy generated – and the standards are now the same in every state for similar types of fossil fuel plants. Based on those standards, EPA’s plan sets state-specific carbon pollution reduction goals that reflect each state’s unique energy mix. Find out more here.


Drive Clean Taxi Funding Now Available from Chicago Department of Transportation
The city of Chicago's Drive Clean Chicago program announced it is now accepting applications for a federally funded program that will deploy at least 120 green taxi and livery service vehicles through the new Drive Clean Taxi program. The program, administered by the Chicago Department of Transportation in cooperation with CALSTART, a national non-profit dedicated to expanding the use of clean vehicles, will make the city’s already green public passenger fleet even more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. It will allow pre-approved vendors to offer a discount of up to $10,000 on purchases of electric or compressed natural gas vehicles for use as taxis or livery service cars. Learn more here.

Application Deadline: Vouchers offered under the program are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Department of Transportation’s Center for Environmental Excellence (CEE) Cooperative Agreement
The purpose of the Center for Environmental Excellence (CEE) will be to provide a wide range of products and services to assist agencies in achieving environmental excellence in delivering their transportation programs and projects. Through its information-sharing, technical assistance, partnership-building and training resources, the purpose of the CEE is to directly engage Federal Highway Administration stakeholders such as State Department of Transportations (State DOTs), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), local planning organizations, other Federal and state surface transportation agencies to incorporate environmental compliance, and stewardship into transportation planning, project development, construction, maintenance, and operations. Learn more here.

Application Deadline: October 15, 2015


National Brownfields Training Conference
September 2-4, 2015
Brownfields 2015 is the premier conference and trade show focused on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment, held this year in Chicago, IL. Features of the conference include a dynamic educational program of speakers, discussions, mobile workshops, films and other learning formats that are calibrated to provide you with case study examples, program updates, and useful strategies for meeting your brownfield challenges head on. Find out more and register here.

Webinar: Energy Models 101 for Building Owners, Managers and Tenants: Strategies for Using Iterative Energy Models to Drive Project Savings
September 8, 2015
This webinar shares strategies and resources building owners, managers, and tenants can use to transform the energy model from a one-time report provided at the end of design to an iterative tool used throughout the design process to drive energy savings. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) will highlight its Building Energy Modeling Guide for Building Owners, DOE will provide a brief primer on modeling, and BBC partner District of Columbia will share case studies demonstrating the value of getting to know your energy model. Find out more and register here.

Solar Power International Conference
September 14-17, 2015
Solar Power International is the largest solar trade show in North America. It includes more than 100 educational offerings and hundreds of exhibitors showcasing new products and technology. SPI brings the full range of industry ideas, experts, professionals, and information together in one comprehensive event. Find out more and register here.

Smart Cities Week Conference
September 15-17, 2015
Developed by the Smart Cities Council, the recognized leader in smart cities education, the event highlights best practices for breaking down barriers to progress and instilling a culture of collaboration — cross-cutting solutions that public officials can use to improve livability, workability and sustainability in their communities. You will see, hear and experience showcase demonstrations of the next wave of innovative, integrated technologies that are helping cities save money, build more robust economies and enhance citizens' lives. Smart Cities Week® is your opportunity to learn about, see and be inspired by the smart technologies that are already working in cities just like yours. Smart Cities Week® will give you knowledge, insight and proven ideas that you can put to work right away. Find out more and register here.


City Partners with Ameresco to Install LED Street Lights with Wireless Controls
Tuesday, August 18, 2015-- Ameresco, Inc., an energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced that it has completed an LED street lighting and control project for the city of West Richland, Wash. The project team converted 1,097 high pressure sodium street lights to energy efficient LED luminaires and installed a wireless monitoring and control system. The new LED street lights are expected to reduce the system’s annual electricity consumption by 61 percent, saving the city approximately $67,000 in energy costs per year. Under an agreement with the city’s electric utility, Benton Rural Electric Authority, the lighting control system will enable the city to implement dimming strategies projected to reduce energy use by an additional 10 to 20 percent. The amount of the CO2 emissions reduction is approximately 527,481 pounds annually, which is the equivalent of removing 50 passenger cars from the road each year. Learn more here.

Students Charged Up Over New SolarMax Technology University
Tuesday, August 18, 2015-- SolarMax University, which has made its debut at Aurora High School in San Bernardino County, is a forward-thinking career technical education program, developed through a partnership between renewable energy leader SolarMaxTechnology, Inc., and local education officials. The program seeks to equip youth with the job-ready skills needed to thrive in one of the fastest growing sectors of clean technology. SolarMax Technology selected San Bernardino County for the pilot program due to the area’s relatively large high school dropout rate. According to the most recent statistics from the California Department of Education, more than 4,000 students failed to complete their high school education. While the percentage of dropouts fell to 12.2 percent, a 1 percent decline, the county lags behind other regions in terms of graduation rates. Company officials worked closely with educational professionals at the district and school level to shape coursework and study. Classes take place in the mornings and are embedded within the Aurora High School core curriculum. Learn more here.

Boston Receives Grant for Climate Change Preparedness
Sunday, August 23, 2015-- Mayor Martin Walsh recently announced that the City of Boston has received $350,000 in funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to support climate preparedness in Boston, as part of the state's Office of Coastal Zone Management's Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program. The grant will support the Boston Climate Preparedness Planning Initiative, a project led by the city's Office of Environment, Energy and Open Space in partnership with the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. Learn more here.

Mainers Urged to Sign Up for Free Disposal of Banned, Unusable Pesticides
Thursday, August 20, 2015-- The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Board of Pesticides Control will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to help Mainers dispose of banned pesticides or unusable pesticides. This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collection will occur at sites located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland. Governor Paul LePage is urging Mainers to take advantage of this opportunity to protect the environment and save money through this once a year collection event that highlights cooperation between government agencies. Learn more here.


School Indoor Air Quality Assessments Go Mobile
Wednesday, August 12, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a new mobile app to assist schools and school districts with performing comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) facility assessments to protect the health of children and school staff. The School IAQ Assessment mobile app is a “one-stop shop” for accessing guidance from EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit. The mobile app provides schools and school districts with an efficient, innovative technology integrated with proven strategies for addressing critical building-related environmental health issues such as ventilation, cleaning and maintenance, environmental asthma triggers, radon, and integrated pest management. Learn more here.

EPA Proposes New Commonsense Measures to Cut Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector
Tuesday, August 18, 2015-- Continuing the Obama Administration’s commitment to take action on climate change and protect public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing commonsense proposed standards today that would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal is a part of the Administration’s strategy under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. EPA’s Methane Challenge Program that was proposed earlier this year expands on the successful Natural Gas STAR program, which serves as a platform for companies who want to make an ambitious and transparent commitments to address methane emissions. This flexible program has the potential to foster significant cost-effective emission reductions across the oil and gas sector and to provide transparency on the progress partner companies are making to reduce emissions. Learn more here.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Selects 23 Projects to Build Drought Resiliency in Nine States
Thursday, August 20, 2015-- Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López has announced the selection of 23 projects to receive grants totaling $5.2 million for proactive drought planning and other efforts to build long-term drought resiliency in nine states in the West. "The western United States has faced an unprecedented drought this year and will face many more water challenges in the future," said Commissioner López. "This funding will help the selected communities prepare for future droughts." Learn more here.

2015 Federal Energy and Water Management Award Winners Announced
Thursday, August 20, 2015-- The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards recognize individuals, groups, and agencies for their outstanding contributions in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, and the use of advanced and renewable energy technologies at federal facilities. Find out more information about each awardee here.


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