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EPA: Communities, Energy and Climate Monthly e-Update

Disclaimer: Many of the events, articles and websites listed are not sponsored by EPA. EPA is listing them for your information only. EPA is not responsible for the content of information from non-EPA sources, and does not endorse any commercial product, service, enterprise, or policy that may be included. EPA is providing these links solely for your reference. In doing so, EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications, or advocacy from these entities; nor does EPA endorse membership in, donations to, or commercial sales from non-government organizations.

ARTICLES

  1. Governors Demand Changes from New England Power Grid Operator
  2. Governor Raimondo calls for up to 600 MW of new offshore wind energy for Rhode Island
  3. Vermont wants to help low-income residents buy fuel-efficient cars
  4. Tree doctors needed— The demand for arborists surges as New England’s forests respond to climate change
  5. Brown instigates initiative to change status quo surrounding climate change
  6. One health threat affects all of Connecticut’s 3.5 million residents: climate change
  7. Baker Administration Planning Rule to Ban Hydrofluorocarbons
  8. N.H. offshore wind panel looks to catch up, collaborate with its neighbors
  9. Heila Technologies raises $2.5M to build microgrid optimization platform, secure partnerships

EVENTS

  1. Introductory Webinar: Satellite Remote Sensing for Urban Heat Islands
  2. NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (CAW) King Tide Contest
  3. EPA New Mobility Mindsets: On-Demand Transit
  4. Special Webinar Series for Southern New England Local Government Leaders
  5. Second Annual Resilient Connecticut (Virtual) Summit
  6. New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. NOAA OAR Climate Program Office FY2021
  2. DOI BIA Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP)
  3. DOI BOR WaterSMART Drought Response Program Drought Contingency Planning Grants
  4. DOC NOAA FY21 Effects of Sea Level Rise (ESLR)
  5. DOI USGS 2021 National-Ground Water Monitoring Network
  6. FEMA FY20 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

TOOLS/TRAINING/REPORTS/TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

  1. Technical Assistance: Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities 2020
  2. Chemical Management and Climate Resilience Training
  3. ENERGY STAR webinars

 

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ARTICLES

1.      Governors Demand Changes from New England Power Grid Operator

As states eye ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in the coming decades, the governors of Massachusetts and four other New England states issued a formal call for changes to the regional electricity market, the transmission planning process and the governance of the New England power system operator.

https://www.wbur.org/earthwhile/2020/10/16/governors-demand-changes-iso-new-england

2.      Governor Raimondo calls for up to 600 MW of new offshore wind energy for Rhode Island

Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced that Rhode Island will pursue a competitive request for proposals (RFP) to procure up to 600 MW of new offshore wind energy.

https://whatsupnewp.com/2020/10/governor-raimondo-calls-for-up-to-600-mw-of-new-offshore-wind-energy-for-rhode-island/

3.      Vermont wants to help low-income residents buy fuel-efficient cars

The MileageSmart pilot program was passed as part of Vermont’s 2019 transportation legislation and has been allocated $750,000 by the state’s transportation agency. Eligible applicants can receive 25% off the cost, up to $5,000, toward a used high-efficiency car, regardless of fuel type.

https://energynews.us/2020/10/23/northeast/vermont-wants-to-help-low-income-residents-buy-fuel-efficient-cars/

4.      Tree doctors needed— The demand for arborists surges as New England’s forests respond to climate change

Forests in the Northeast are changing with the warming planet. Extreme weather, pests, air pollution, and increased temperatures are only some of the threats on the long list of stressors taking a toll on New England’s picturesque woodlands. According to UMass conservationists Paul Catanzaro and Kristina Bezanson, the dire situation in our forests has led to a shortage of arborists.

https://www.cns.umass.edu/news-events/news/tree-doctors-needed-demand-arborists-surges-new-englands-forests-respond-climate

5.      Brown instigates initiative to change status quo surrounding climate change

The University’s new three-year Climate Solutions Initiative aims to use research, innovation and collaboration to overcome climate inertia — the tendency to maintain existing structures and systems, even if they are contributing to climate change — by reframing conversations about climate change toward addressing barriers and finding solutions.

https://www.browndailyherald.com/2020/10/21/brown-instigates-initiative-change-status-quo-surrounding-climate-change/

6.      One health threat affects all of Connecticut’s 3.5 million residents: climate change

On August 25, the Hartford area broke a 37-year-old record for the most days in a year with temperatures at or above 90 degrees. In Climate Change and Health in Connecticut: 2020 Report, 19 indicators were tracked on climate change and health in Connecticut across four broad categories — temperature, extreme events, infectious diseases, and air quality.

https://ctmirror.org/category/ct-viewpoints/one-health-threat-affects-all-of-connecticuts-3-5-million-residents/

7.      Baker Administration Planning Rule to Ban Hydrofluorocarbons

A state regulation expected this spring would ban the use of greenhouse gas-producing hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in certain aerosols, air conditioners and chillers, refrigeration units and foams.

https://www.wbur.org/earthwhile/2020/02/18/massachusetts-planninghydrofluorocarbon-hfc-ban

8.      N.H. offshore wind panel looks to catch up, collaborate with its neighbors

As politics and the pandemic stall offshore wind permitting and planning, New Hampshire sees a window of opportunity to bring its plans for the industry into focus.

https://energynews.us/2020/10/05/northeast/n-h-offshore-wind-panel-looks-to-catch-up-collaborate-with-its-neighbors/

9.      Heila Technologies raises $2.5M to build microgrid optimization platform, secure partnerships

Heila Technologies, the five-year-old Somerville startup that develops hardware and software to integrate renewables and batteries on a microgrid, has pulled in a $2.5 million seed round to build out its technology platform.

https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/inno/stories/fundings/2020/10/21/heila-technologies-2-5m-seed-funding-microgrid.html

EVENTS

1.      Introductory Webinar: Satellite Remote Sensing for Urban Heat Islands

November 10, 17, and 24, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST

Virtual

FREE

The rapid growth of urban populations, the urban heat island (UHI) effect, and a potential increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves due to climate change, raise a series of issues about the increased health risks of sensitive urban populations to extreme heat and the effective means of mitigating impacts of heat waves. According to the US EPA, urban heat islands affect energy consumption, elevate greenhouse gas emissions, and impair water quality by increasing the temperature of urban water runoff. This will be ARSET’s first training on UHI and will be in collaboration with the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) and the Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN). This training will address the use of remote sensing in determining where “hot spots” of land surface temperature are located in urban areas, why these areas are experiencing increased temperatures, which populations are most vulnerable, and ways to mitigate the effects through adaptive land use planning.

Register Here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8959743643642059536

2.      NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (CAW) King Tide Contest

November 14-17, All Day

NH Coastline

FREE

Each year, CAW invites citizens to grab their cameras and document extreme high tides during its annual King Tide Photo Contest to raise awareness of New Hampshire’s rising tides. Photographing King Tides is an effective way to help coastal communities identify areas prone to flooding, visualize potential impacts of sea-level rise, and plan for the future.

Check here for more details: https://www.nhcaw.org/kingtidenh2020/

3.      EPA New Mobility Mindsets: On-Demand Transit

November 16, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Virtual

FREE

Public transit—buses, streetcars, and sometimes rail—has long been an important means for residents, commuters, and visitors of places to get from Point A to Point B without a car. Some transit agencies are experimenting with new technologies to provide on-demand transit services. Similar to personal ride hailing, on-demand transit allows users to request a ride through an application to access door-to-door or corner-to-corner (which involves a short walk) service. Like traditional transit, these rides have a set fare and typically can be paid for with a transit fare card. Hear an overview from the American Public Transportation Association, and recent experiences from Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Central Ohio Transit Authority, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register Here.

4.      Special Webinar Series for Southern New England Local Government Leaders

November 18 and December 2, 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM EST

Virtual

FREE

Local governments are facing increasing challenges posed by the impacts of climate change on their communities.  To ensure that elected and appointed officials are sufficiently knowledgeable about the implications of climate change upon the health, security and economic vitality of their communities, the Association of Climate Change Officers and the Southeast New England Network are conducting a live online educational series designed specifically for elected and appointed officials in state/local government, as well as for city/county managers.

Register Here: https://icma.org/events/special-webinar-series-southern-new-england-local-government-leaders

5.      Second Annual Resilient Connecticut (Virtual) Summit

November 20, 9:00 AM – 11:45 AM EST

Virtual

FREE

At the Summit, participants will hear an introduction and welcome from state leaders and an update about Resilient Connecticut activities and progress. A keynote speaker will focus on the topic of climate change and environmental justice. Dr. Barry E. Hill, Adjunct Professor at the Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Institute, will present on Attorney Generals “Addressing Instances of Environmental and Climate Injustice Through Climate Change Litigation”. Participants will also attend an hour breakout session by choosing among three topics. If you have a hard time choosing which track to attend, don’t worry! All three will be recorded and a link provided to registrants for later viewing. To see a list of speakers and read a summary about these three tracks, visit the Summit website.

Register Here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=fqjxFyUqqk65351DkDSwgHKAP_LBT0RBuqMPkg97i8dUREpHRU9ZVUdLQVhQNkpaMlRJUjUzMVo2Uy4u

6.      New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable

December 11, 9:00 AM – 12:15 PM EST

WEBINAR

$0 – $90

Born out of electric industry restructuring, the Restructuring Roundtable has been meeting five to six times per year since 1995 to discuss current topics related to revolutionary changes in the electric power industry in Massachusetts and throughout New England. Attendance at the Roundtable meetings averages over 200, with attendees representing a broad cross-section of regional stakeholders.

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/december-11th-2020-new-england-electricity-restructuring-roundtable-tickets-125103819893

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

1.      NOAA OAR Climate Program Office FY2021

Applications Due: November 30, 2020

Eligible Entities: state governments, local governments, and Indian tribal governments.

Climate variability and change present society with significant economic, health, safety, and security challenges. As part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climate portfolio within the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), the Climate Program Office (CPO) addresses these climate challenges by managing competitive research programs through which high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities are funded to advance our understanding of the Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application and use of this knowledge to improve the resilience of our Nation and its partners. Through this announcement, CPO is seeking applications for 6 individual competitions in FY21. Several of these competitions are relevant to high-priority climate risk areas CPO is organizing some of its activities around to improve science understanding and/or capabilities that result in user-driven outcomes in four initial risk areas: Coastal Inundation, Marine Ecosystems, Water Resources and Extreme Heat

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=328266

2.      DOI BIA Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP)

Applications Due: December 02, 2020

Eligible Entities: Native American tribal governments (federally-recognized)

The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), through its Division of Energy and Mineral Development (DEMD), is soliciting grant proposals from Tribes and Tribal Energy Development Organizations for technical assistance funding to hire consultants to identify, evaluate or assess the market for energy or mineral resources that a Tribe will process, use, or develop. These resources and their uses include, but are not limited to, biomass (woody and waste) for heat or electricity; transportation fuels; hydroelectric, solar, or wind generation; geothermal heating or electricity production; district heating; other forms of distributed energy generation; oil, natural gas, geothermal, and helium; sand and gravel, coal, precious minerals, and base minerals (lead, copper, zinc, etc.).

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=328986

3.      DOI BOR WaterSMART Drought Response Program Drought Contingency Planning Grants

Applications Due: January 06, 2021

Eligible Entities: state, tribe, irrigation district, water district, or other organization with water or power delivery authority

The WaterSMART Drought Response Program supports a proactive approach to drought by providing financial assistance to water managers to develop and update comprehensive drought plans (Drought Contingency Planning) and implement projects that will build long-term resilience to drought (Drought Resiliency Projects).

The objective of this funding opportunity is to invite states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to leverage their money and resources by cost sharing drought contingency planning with Reclamation to build resilience to drought in advance of a crisis. Applicants under this funding opportunity may request funding to develop a new drought plan or to update an existing drought plan.

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=322320

4.      DOC NOAA FY21 Effects of Sea Level Rise (ESLR)

Applications Due: January 07, 2021

Eligible Entities: state governments, local governments, Indian tribal governments

NOAA/NOS/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)/Competitive Research Program (CRP) is soliciting proposals for the Effects of Sea Level Rise Program (ESLR). This solicitation is to improve adaptation and planning in response to regional and local effects of sea level rise and coastal inundation through targeted research on key technologies, natural and nature-based infrastructure, physical and biological processes, and model evaluation. The overall goal of the ESLR Program is to facilitate informed adaptation planning and coastal management decisions through a multidisciplinary research program that results in integrated models of dynamic physical and biological processes capable of evaluating vulnerability and resilience under multiple SLR, inundation, and management scenarios. Funding is contingent upon the availability of Fiscal Year 2021 Federal appropriations. It is anticipated that projects funded under this announcement will have a September 1, 2021 or September 1, 2022 start date.

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=328992

5.      DOI USGS 2021 National-Ground Water Monitoring Network

Applications Due: January 21, 2021

Eligible Entities: state or local water-resource agencies which collect groundwater data

The USGS is offering a two-year cooperative agreement opportunity to state and local water resource agencies that collect groundwater data to participate in the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network. This funding opportunity is to support data providers for the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network.

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=329237

6.      FEMA FY20 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

Applications Due: January 29, 2021

Eligible Entities: Native American tribal governments (federally-recognized), State governments, District of Columbia, U.S. Territories. Local governments must apply through their state or territory.

The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities for pre-disaster mitigation activities. The guiding principles of the program are to: (1) support state and local governments, tribes, and territories through capability- and capacity-building to enable them to identify mitigation actions and implement projects that reduce risks posed by natural hazards; (2) encourage and enable innovation while allowing flexibility, consistency, and effectiveness; (3) promote partnerships and enable high-impact investments to reduce risk from natural hazards with a focus on critical services and facilities, public infrastructure, public safety, public health, and communities; (4) provide a significant opportunity to reduce future losses and minimize impacts on the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF); and (5) support the adoption and enforcement of building codes, standards, and policies that will protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, take into account future conditions , and have long-lasting impacts on community risk-reduction, including for critical services and facilities and for future disaster costs.

In FY20 BRIC, FEMA will provide State/Territory allocations of $600,000 to states and territories and a Tribal Set-Aside of $20,000,000 for Indian tribal governments (federally-recognized) for mitigation projects and capability- and capacity-buildling (C&CB) activities. Any funds which are not awarded from the State/Territory Allocation or Tribal Set-Aside will be re-allocated to the national competition for mitigation projects.

Applicants must submit applications via FEMA Grant Outcomes (FEMA GO) system: https://go.fema.gov.For more information, visit the funding opportunity description: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=327920

For more information, visit the funding opportunity description: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=BRIC

TOOLS/TRAINING/REPORTS/TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

1.      Technical Assistance: Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities 2020

Applications Due: November 20, 2020

Eligible Entities: local, county, state, territorial, or tribal government, or a nonprofit organization that has the support of the local government on whose behalf it is applying

The Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected communities using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. This round of Building Blocks will offer a more flexible approach that leverages EPA staff expertise, facilitates rapid learning and exchange, does not rely on in-person workshops, and focuses on emerging challenges communities face related to land use planning and development.

Potential areas of technical assistance might include (but are not limited to):

  • Emerging Mobility (tool 1)
    • Policy options to improve equitable access to trends such as micro mobility (e.g., scooters, bikeshares, etc.) and manage limited curbside space.
    • Street design options that allow for temporary or long-term conversion to “slow streets” that can accommodate social distancing.
  • Cultural Anchor Institutions (tool 2)
    • Leveraging local cultural assets to catalyze economic development efforts, promote equitable access, revitalize downtowns and existing neighborhoods, and root creative placemaking into the community.
    • Enable cultural anchor institutions to broaden their scope and create innovative, collaborative, and targeted benefits to their communities.
  • Disaster Resilience (tool 3)
    • Aligning planning and funding for pre-disaster mitigation and post-disaster recovery with other community goals.
    • Building resilience to natural disasters with multi-benefit solutions.
  • Any other issues that are relevant to community recovery from COVID-19.

For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/building-blocks-sustainable-communities-2020-request-letters-interest

2.      Chemical Management and Climate Resilience Training

Connecticut was hit with at least 5 major storms plus lesser weather events since 2010. It is important to make your business and property resilient to natural hazards and reduce the risk of on-site chemicals causing pollution. Storm events can result in property damage, loss of inventory, and environmental contamination and liability. Accidental releases of toxic chemicals have also put communities and emergency responders at risk. Working together, businesses and local emergency officials can increase awareness and take steps to reduce risk and protect human health and safety. Use CT DEEP’s online resources to be better prepared.

For more information visit: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/P2/Chemical-Management-and-Climate-Resilience/Chemical-Management-and-Climate-Resilience

3.      ENERGY STAR webinars

All webinars are free, but registration required.

https://esbuildings.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=esbuildings

 

Also, visit the complete list of all Portfolio Manager-related documents, tools, and resources at https://energystar-mesa.force.com/PortfolioManager/s/

 

November 10, 1:00 PM EST – Portfolio Manager 201

Continue to learn about EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool with a deeper dive into more advanced functionalities such as: editing property data; correcting and updating property use details; using the data quality checker; and sharing property data.

 

November 12, 1:00 PM EST – 1-100 Water Score for Multifamily Buildings – What’s My Score and How Do I Improve It?

Curious how your multifamily property stacks up against others in terms of water efficiency? EPA’s 1-100 Water Score allows users tracking water through Portfolio Manager to gauge how their properties compare against similar ones across the country. This webinar will cover how to generate the Score in Portfolio Manager and discuss how multifamily owners can use this new water performance metric to identify opportunities for water savings. Finally, learn about some of the best practices and tools to start saving water and improving your property’s Score.

 

November 12, 2:30 PM EST – How to Track Waste and Materials in Portfolio Manager

In addition to benchmarking energy and water use in Portfolio Manager, you can measure and track waste & materials generated by your building. Upgrade from the cumbersome spreadsheet you have been using, or get started for the first time, and learn how to use the waste tracking feature.

 

November 17, 1:00 PM EST – Portfolio Manager 301

With a good background on the basic functionality of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool, learn about some advanced features including: using spreadsheet upload templates to update property data; setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties; creating custom reports; and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist.

 

November 17, 3:00 PM EST – ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems

During this session, attendees will learn how to use EPA tools and resources to help meet requirements for green building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Green Globes system, and others.

 

November 18, 12:00 PM EST – Portfolio Manager: Ask the Expert

Every other Wednesday ENERGY STAR holds a live webinar that gives all Portfolio Manager users an opportunity to ask their questions directly to EPA experts in an open forum.

 

November 18, 2:00 PM EST – Communicating Your Energy Plans and Achievements

Communicating your energy plans and achievements both internally to employees and externally to the public can be informative, motivational, and fun. Join us to hear how and why three ENERGY STAR industrial partners implemented creative communications plans.

 

November 24, 1:00 PM EST – Verifying the ENERGY STAR® Application

Do you verify commercial building applications for ENERGY STAR certification? This webinar, based on the ENERGY STAR Guide for Licensed Professionals, covers the role of the licensed professional, as well as requirements for verifying commercial building applications for ENERGY STAR certification.

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