Tuesday, January 14, 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.
Sixteen Grants Will Help Protect Wetlands in New England
EPA has recently awarded sixteen grants to recipients within New England, totaling more than $1.5 million, for programs that protect wetlands within the region. The grants are part of EPAs Wetland Program Development Grants in New England. The grants were awarded to agencies in each of the six New England states, the Penobscot Indian Nation, the University of Massachusetts and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. The biennial grants cover two fiscal years (2013-2014) to allow recipients to make better long-term strategic decisions about program goals. Full story.
DOE Announces Webinars on Kick-Starting an Energy Management Program, SunShot Incubator Projects, and More
EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts. For more information.
Energy Efficiency EM&V Webinar Series
These Webinars cover a range of issues and challenges currently faced by states and their partners working to carry out evaluation activities for end-use energy efficiency programs. Approaches to evaluation planning are discussed, along with the role that effective evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) plays in the achievement of state energy and environmental policy goals. This Webinar series is intended primarily for staff from Public Utility Commissions, State Energy Offices, State Environment Departments, and non-profits that are getting started with EM&V or seeking to expand and improve their methods. These Webinars offer an opportunity to engage with others in similar roles. Participants are encouraged to invite key evaluation stakeholders in their jurisdictions - such as utilities, evaluation consultants, and other affected parties - to participate. Learn more about the webinars and register.
New Resources for Maintaining Complete Streets in Snowy Weather
Complete Streets is a process for funding, planning, designing, building, operating and minting community streets so that travel by all modes is safe and comfortable. In climates where snowfall is expected, complete streets mean thoughtful roadway design and appropriate plans and policies for snow and ice management for all users. Three recent resources can set your community on track for the next snowstorm. Read more.
FUNDING AND OPPORTUNITIES
Call for Entries: 2014 Open Planning Tools Innovation Awards
The Open Planning Tools Group has announced a new innovation awards program to facilitate the advancement and use of innovative open access planning tools.This year, there will be two awards: Innovative Open Source Planning Tool Award - An award to the best new contribution(s) to open source planning tools. Exemplary Implementation of Open Source Planning Tool Award - An award to a planning endeavor that used planning tools in an innovative manner to create effective public engagement or improved analysis supporting the resolution of a significant challenge. Apply by January 31. Learn more.
EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management seeking letters of interest for green infrastructure projects
In December 2013, EPA announced the availability of $400,000 in technical assistance to communities interested in implementing green infrastructure and issued a Request for Letters of Interest (PDF) (4 pp, 169K, About PDF). EPA plans to select 5-7 communities to receive approximately $60,000 in technical assistance via direct contractor support. Letters are due January 24, 2014. For more information.
North Carolina Utility All In on Clean Energy
Duke Energy officially has the green light from the North Carolina Utilities Commission to launch a new renewable energy program in North Carolina. The program will enable select large customers to secure up to 100 percent of new electricity needs from renewable energy sources. This development was foreshadowed in April, when Duke and Google, a key customer seeking expanded renewable energy options in North Carolina, announced Duke’s commitment to develop the program. In the eight months since the initial announcement, Duke worked to develop a program that responds to an increasingly prevalent trend: influential customers stepping forward to urge utilities to expand clean energy programs. Read more.
New Hampshire - Antrim zoning ordinance would allow wind farms
Although there are no plans for a wind farm in town, a warrant article that is set to come before voters in March would amend the zoning ordinance to allow the development of commercial wind farms. The petitioned warrant article, which was signed by 42 residents, would provide for the development of commercial wind farms in the rural conservation district and the highway business district. Full story.
City Announces $27 Million in Affordable Housing Investments (Washington)
Mayor Mike McGinn and Office of Housing Director Rick Hooper have announced more than $27 million in affordable housing investments, funded primarily from the Seattle Housing Levy. The 2013 funding awards are provided to housing organizations in Seattle who will build or preserve 432 quality rental units that are rent-restricted for at least 50 years. For more information.
Housing Demolition and the Right to Place
There is no small irony in the fact that the most notable achievement of affordable housing policy in the United States over the past two decades has been the systematic demolition of affordable housing stock. To understand this upside-down world of housing politics, at least as it collides with the lives of the urban poor, we have to understand the moral panic that has developed around the concept of concentrated poverty. Over time, this panic has hardened into a consensus among the urban policy elite. For its members, most if not all social ills associated with cities and poverty stem from too many poor people being gathered in one place. Full article.
Three M’s for Empowering Volunteer Urban Foresters: Mobilizing, Mapping, and Monitoring
Local governments planted millions of young trees on urban streets throughout the United States during the first decade of the 21st Century. From Los Angeles to New York, large cities made prodigious investments in urban reforestation and wrote off the expense as a relatively thrifty way of dealing with some deep-rooted and long-lasting environmental problems that any municipality would be hard pressed to fix on its own. Thats great. If Chicago can’t make every eighteen wheeler barreling down Kennedy Expressway run on ultra-clean biodiesel, it can plant more trees to filter the soot that inevitably burps out of tailpipes on older freight trucks. If Boston struggles to prevent raw sewage from seeping into the harbor every time a thunderstorm inundates the local treatment system, it can cut more tree beds into the sidewalk to sop up rainwater before it cascades into a curbside drain. You get the idea. On their own, trees dont solve the underlying causes of pollution, but they ease the burden of so many different dilemmas that it’s hard to quibble with any concerted effort to plant more of them. Read about the 3 Ms.
Suburban Carbon Footprints Wipe Out City Gains
Households in densely populated cities have carbon footprints that are way smaller than the national average, but there’s a catch: The suburban sprawl that inevitably spills out from big cities offsets the emissions improvements, according to a new study. Read more about the study.
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