Thursday, March 13, 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.
EPA Announces Nearly $5 Million in Grants to Support Research to Protect America
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $5 million dollars in grants to five universities to evaluate innovative green infrastructure practices in urban areas, using Philadelphia, Pa. as the pilot area. These grants stem from a cooperative partnership between EPA and Philadelphias Green City, Clean Waters program that represents a broad, long-term investment in implementing green infrastructure stormwater management practices. Full story.
New Stormwater Modeling Web Application
Hydrographs.com started as an exercise in programming and hydrologic modeling by a recent graduate of environmental engineering. Its first form, scshydrograph.com, provided a means for computing a runoff hydrograph over a single drainage area based on the curve number and SCS Unit Hydrograph methods. Since then, it has matured a bit into stormwater runoff routing web app with support for routing calculations, a graphical user interface, and curve number and SCS Unit Hydrograph hydrology. The hydrographs web app is being developed with the goal of coupling sound engineering and intuitive design. It is a work in progress. Learn more here.
SWC Launches Expanded Collaboration Toolkit to Help You Work with Conservation Districts
The Source Water Collaborative recently announced a new online toolkit to facilitate partnerships to protect drinking water sources through agriculture conservation practices, stormwater and forest management. The toolkit offers effective steps source water protection professionals working at the local or state level can take to build partnerships with conservation district staff. The toolkit is designed for a variety of audiences’ from those who have never worked with their conservation district, to those who have attempted but without success, to those who would like to enhance their current efforts. Click here to link to the online toolkit. Email us if you’d like to receive promotional materials (2-page handout and PowerPoint) to help disseminate the toolkit. Access more information about the toolkit.
EPA Releases Climate Assessment Update To National Stormwater Calculator
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released phase II of the National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package. The updated calculator includes future climate vulnerability scenarios. More information.
Stormwater Financing Manual
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland is working with several communities in the region to revitalize their stormwater management and financing programs. Current project partners include Anne Arundel County, MD; Baltimore, MD; Berlin, MD; Bowie, MD; Calvert County, MD; Ocean City, MD; Oxford, MD; Salisbury, MD; Lynchburg, VA; Shenandoah Valley, VA; Scranton, PA; and Lancaster, PA. Also see the EFC's Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual, which was inspired by and written for local government leaders. Learn more about the manual.
FUNDING AND OPPORTUNITIES
Energy Department Announces Student Teams, Location for Solar Decathlon 2015
At an event in Irvine, Calif., U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman will announce the 20 collegiate teams selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 and unveil the competition’s location - the Orange County Great Park. The 20 teams from colleges and universities across the country and around the world will now begin the nearly two-year process of building solar-powered houses that are affordable, innovative and highly energy-efficient. Watch the event at University of California, Irvine at www.energy.gov/live. Event information.
WEBINAR: Innovative Transportation Stormwater Management: Green Infrastructure in Road Projects (Web-based)
Roads can convey a variety of pollutants into our waterways and can increase the volume and velocity of stormwater generated. Green infrastructure techniques are one solution that can be used to reduce and treat stormwater runoff. This webcast will include brief overviews about green infrastructure from FHWA and USEPA and showcase two state transportation organizations committed to innovative initiatives to improve water quality and manage the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff from road surfaces. The speakers will highlight collaborative projects, policy recommendations to strategically incorporate green infrastructure into the roadway funding and approval process, and describe a programmatic approach to the design and construction of stormwater BMPs along with a chloride offset program. This webinar is co-sponsored by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wastewater Management and the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Project Development and Environmental Review. Webinar information/registration.
WEBINAR: Case Studies: Implementing Green Infrastructure under Enforcement Orders
EPA's green infrastructure program will host a webcast on implementing green infrastructure under enforcement orders, which will highlight two communities which have successfully integrated green infrastructure into EPA enforcement agreements to meet regulatory requirements, better manage combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoff, and meet other community goals. Webinar information/registration.
Grant Announcement: Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)
U.S. Department of Transportation announced that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. Applications are due April 28, 2014. TIGER 2014 will emphasize "projects that support reliable, safe and affordable transportation options that improve connections for both urban and rural communities, making it easier for their residents to reach work, school and other ladders of opportunity. While continuing to support projects of all types, DOT will prioritize applications for capital projects that better connect people to jobs, training and other opportunities, promote neighborhood redevelopment, and reconnect neighborhoods divided by physical barriers, such as highways and railroads." Further grant information.
Palo Alto, CA Names First Chief Sustainability Officer
City Manager James Keene announced recently that he has selected Gil Philip Friend to serve as the City's first Chief Sustainability Officer. Friend is founder and CEO of Natural Logic, Inc., a leading strategy firm helping companies build value at the intersection of business and sustainability. Read the full story.
Seven Cities Added to Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative
The Obama Administration has announced it is expanding the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2) to include Brownsville, Texas; Flint, Michigan; Gary, Indiana; Macon, Georgia; Rockford, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. SC2 is designed to strengthen local capacity, coordinate federal investments, and spark growth in economically distressed communities. Federal inter-agency teams will be deployed to work alongside city governments, community organizations, local businesses and philanthropic foundations to support the cities' visions for economic growth and development. For more information.
Secretary Moniz Announces Nearly $50 Million to Advance High-Tech, Fuel Efficient American Autos
At the Washington Auto Show, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced nearly $50 million to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies that give drivers and businesses more transportation options and protect the environment in communities nationwide. This new funding includes support for the Energy Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, a broader initiative launched in March 2012 to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) more affordable and convenient to own and drive than today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. Learn more.
New Ranking of Best U.S. Cities for Public Transit
The 2014 ranking of the best cities in the United States for public transit has been released by WalkScore. The nonprofit organization calculated the average resident's access time to public transit in more than 300 cities and 7,000 neighborhoods across the nation. New York City was awarded the highest score, followed by Boston; Washington, DC; and Philadelphia. In general, older Northeast cities with established subway systems received the highest scores. West Coast cities that have made recent investments in light rail also scored well. See the rankings.
The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013
The National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores Complete Streets policies each year, comparing adopted policy language to ten ideal policy elements. Ideal policy elements refine a communitys vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs and establish a flexible approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome. Different types of policy statements are included in this examination, including legislation, resolutions, executive orders, departmental policies and policies adopted by an elected board. See the list.
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