This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Environmental Protection Agency (Region 7)
Communities Information Digest
January 14, 2013 Find us @ www.facebook.com/eparegion7 or https://twitter.com/eparegion7. Note: New items are in *asterisks*.
*USDA Announces Investments in Bioenergy Research and Development to Spur New Markets, Innovation, and Unlimited Opportunity in Rural America* Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited a state-of-the-art bioindustrial facility at Renmatix today, where he announced $25 million to fund research and development of next-generation renewable energy and high-value biobased products from a variety of biomass sources. "The advances made through this research will help to boost local economies throughout rural America, creating and sustaining good-paying jobs, while moving our nation toward a clean energy economy," said Vilsack. The projects announced today are funded by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, established in the 2008 Farm Bill. The funded research will help increase the availability of alternative renewable fuels and biobased products to diversify the nation's energy resources. The Department of Energy will make additional awards through this program. Each award was made through a competitive selection process. The following projects have been selected for awards: -Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., $5,078,932. The goal of this project is to make the oilseed crop camelina a cost-effective biofuel and bioproduct feedstock. -Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio, $6,510,183. This project will result in an anaerobic digestion system for the production of liquid transportation fuels and electricity from animal manure, agricultural residues, woody biomass and energy crops. -Ceramatec, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, $6,599,304. This project will convert lignocellulosic biomass to infrastructure-compatible renewable diesel, biolubricants, animal feed and biopower. -USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pa., $6,865,942. ARS scientists will develop an onthe-farm distributed technology for converting forest residues, horse manure, switchgrass and other perennial grasses into biofuels and highvalue specialty chemicals.
USDA is working to develop the biofuels industry in every region of the country. In addition to today's awards, USDA has previously announced major support for public and private research in renewable energy and products in every major American region, aimed at developing renewable energy markets, generating rural jobs, and decreasing America's dependence on foreign oil. By partnering with industry, the research is enabling private-sector partners to produce advanced ready-to-use liquid transportation and aviation biofuels. Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov. *Energy Department Invests $9 Million for Home Energy-Saving Products* The Energy Department recently announced a $9 million investment in building energy technologies, including high-efficiency, highperformance windows; roofs; and heating and cooling equipment. The new investment supports six advanced manufacturing projects in California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee that advance whole-home energy performance. The investment includes about $6.5 million awarded to four projects to develop highly efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and about $3 million awarded to two projects that focus on building materials. For example, St. Louis, Missouri-based Unico will receive $2 million to develop a cold-climate heat pump with a variable-speed compressor that will maintain capacity and efficiency, even at very low temperatures. The Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will develop and test highly insulated, easy-to-install windows that use automated shading and can capture or repel heat, depending on the season. For more information, please visit: http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-six-projects-develop-energy-saving-windows-roofs-and-heating. *Reminder: Equitable Development Workshop - February 6, Kansas City, Missouri* Registration ($18) is now open for the Equitable Development Workshop--Sustainable Neighborhoods, Thriving Residents: Strategies for Building Equitable Communities--on Feb. 6, from 1:00-6:30 p.m., in Kansas City, Missouri. The workshop is part of the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. Participants will explore how low-income, minority, tribal, and other overburdened communities are integrating land use and economic development strategies to revitalize their neighborhoods and build residents' skills and wealth. Leaders from community-based organizations, local and regional governments, economic development agencies, and businesses will share how they are knitting together planning, infrastructure investment, development policies, workforce training, business assistance, entrepreneurship, and other approaches to improve the physical environment, capitalize on local assets, create jobs, avoid displacement, and encourage inclusive and enduring economic growth. The agenda includes two plenaries and three training sessions: Opening Plenary - Neighborhood Revitalization and Economic Development from the Bottom Up Training Session 1 - Supporting Small Businesses and Multicultural Commercial Districts Training Session 2 - Using Regional Equity Indicators to Increase Opportunity for All Residents Training Session 3 - Partnering with Industrial Neighbors to Create Healthy, Sustainable and Prosperous Communities Closing Plenary - The Outlook for Equitable Development Attendees are encouraged to stay for the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference (same location, Feb. 7-9), which will feature multiple sessions and tours with environmental justice themes. A limited number of Diversity Scholarships are still available to offset conference registration fees and provide travel assistance to leaders from low-income and minority communities and representatives from organizations whose work is primarily focused on social equity or environmental justice. Priority for scholarship funds will be given to those who are planning to attend the entire conference. Register for the Equitable Development Workshop at http://secure.newpartners.org/confReg. The workshop and tours are listed toward the end of the page. Learn more about registration and scholarships for the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference at http://www.newpartners.org/registration-scholarships/.
USDA Seeks Applications for Funding to Revitalize Rural Rental Housing Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager announced today that funding is available to preserve and revitalize USDA-financed rural rental housing. USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to help owners of rural multi-family and farm labor housing make repairs to rental properties financed by USDA Rural Development. This financing is provided through a demonstration program that will help owners address the property's immediate physical needs and ensure the property has the capital reserves necessary to address and future needs. Under the demonstration program, some owners also may be able to defer their loan payments to provide funds address property repairs needs. For more information on how to apply, see page 75121 of the Dec. 19, 2012 Federal Register (Vol. 77, number 244) or contact any USDA Rural Development office. For more information, please visit: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-62f336. Energy Department Announces $12 Million to Advance Rooftop Solar Challenge, Drive Down Solar Costs As part of the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, the Department today announced $12 million in new funding aimed at streamlining and standardizing local permitting, zoning, metering, and connection processes and improving finance options to lower costs for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems. This funding will help support innovative, locally-driven projects that will make it easier for solar energy businesses to operate efficiently and pass their savings on to customers, while creating new jobs and business opportunities across the country. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=820.
January 14: National Endowment for the Arts ―Our Town‖ Grants http://arts.gov/grants/apply/OurTown/FAQ.html January 17: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants ($21 million) http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=hDfMQQyDd42WwYpM2DCQHdXkzKwWsqpLhMmF0xHfQw21vZpnXN2T!1776773140?o ppId=205114&mode=VIEW January 22: Federal Highway Administration Pilot Projects: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Options Analyses ($75,000 to $300,000 per pilot project) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/climate_change/adaptation/ongoing_and_current_research/vulnerability_assessment_pilots/20132014_solicitation/solicitation/index.cfm January 28: HUD Strong Cities Strong Communities Network (SC2) (~$10 million) http://www.huduser.org/portal/sc2/nofa.html January 31: Sustainable Landscapes, Clean Energy and Adaptation-USAID http://www.grants.gov/search/synopsis.do;jsessionid=v12VQ9PhHBnrg4fqhQQmwqPPKmpg3v1nwrFNVpQ3lWWVK2V2KGGL!-1413871233 *February 5: Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/srap/srap13.pdf February 7: Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program 2013 Request for Proposals www.nfwf.org/easygrants. March 1: EPA Request for Proposals: Increasing Community Awareness and Use of Environmental Information through Education and Outreach http://www.epa.gov/tri/rfp/index.html March 13: Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=knDpQzXGJ6gWnzy1h6Tn3D1fjKBNK9Fw40vlTDxWx3xrJGpLpCN4!861966415?oppId=208353&mode=VIEW
Meetings, Conferences, & Events
January 15: 13th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment: Disasters and Environment - Science, Preparedness, and Resilience – http://www.environmentaldisasters.net/topics/view/81470/ *January 17-18: Neighborhood Development Strategies – New York, New York http://www.iedconline.org/?p=Training_Neighborhood_NY January 30 – 31: Community Builders Summit 2013 – Bozeman, Montana http://www.sonoraninstitute.org/where-we-work/northernrockies/community-builders-summit.html February 6: Equitable Development Workshop – http://secure.newpartners.org/confReg February 7-9, 2013: 12th Annual 2013 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference – Kansas City, Missouri http://www.newpartners.org/ February 16: Crafting Corridors: Reinventing the Urban Street – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/craftingcorridors-reinventing-the-urban-street February 19: Sustainable Development through Form-Based Codes – Portland, Oregon http://www.planning.org/pts/oneday/2013/feb19.htm February 19: Financial Options for Energy-Related Projects Workshop – Kansas City, Missouri https://www.marc2.org/iEBMS/reg/reg_p1_form.aspx?oc=10&ct=STDASC&eventid=15039 *February 25: DOE Solar Forecasting Metrics Workshop – Salt Lake City, Utah http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/solar/newsletter/detail.cfm/articleId=326 *March 5-7: BuildingEnergy 2013 – Boston, Massachusetts http://www.nesea.org/buildingenergy/ March 13-15: Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://www.feedingcities.com/ March 13-14: Greenprints Conference 2013 – Atlanta, Georgia http://www.greenprints.org/ May 15-17, 2013: Brownfields Conference – Atlanta, Georgia http://www.brownfieldsconference.org/en/home?pub=1&issue=8 May 29-June 1, 2013: Congress for New Urbanism—21st Annual Conference – Salt Lake City, Utah http://www.cnu21.org/ June 23-27, 2013: Making Cities Livable—Reshaping Suburbia into Completely Healthy Communities – Portland, Oregon http://www.livablecities.org/conferences/50th-conference-portland July 9-11, 2013: National Environmental Health Association Annual Conference – Washington, DC. http://neha2013aec.org/ July 21-27: 2013 Hands-On PV Experience (HOPE) Workshop – Golden, Colorado http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/solar/newsletter/detail.cfm/articleId=316 September 9-11, 2013: Reclaiming Vacant Properties—5th National Conference – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://www.communityprogress.net/2013-reclaiming-vacant-properties-conference-pages356.php?utm_source=RVP+Announcement+final+Nov+1.+&utm_campaign=2013+RVP+Announcement+Nov+1&utm_medium=email November 21: Massachusetts Smart Growth Conference – Boston, Massachusetts http://ma-smartgrowth.org/take-action/smart-growthconference/ta_111112_save-the-date-postcard/
Webinars & Conference Calls
*Department of Energy (DOE) Webcast: January 15, 1:00-2:15 p.m. (EST) - Developing Photovoltaic Projects with RFPs and PPAs* In this webinar, sponsored by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the cities of Tucson, Arizona, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, will discuss their experiences, including the pros and cons, of using requests for proposals and power purchase agreements to develop photovoltaic projects. To register, please visit: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/office_eere/webinar_developing_pv.html. *ENERGY STAR Webcast: January 15, 2:00-3:00 p.m. (EST) – Basics of Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager* Learn the basics of benchmarking using Portfolio Manager, EPA’s ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool. Portfolio Manager enables you to track the progress of energy and water efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of your buildings with that of similar buildings nationwide. Regardless of whether you are looking to benchmark a K-12 school, fire station, courthouse, retail store, supermarket, or office, this session will show you how easy it is to get started by providing an introduction to ENERGY STAR and walking you through setting up a building in Portfolio Manager. You will learn how to use Portfolio Manager to establish energy and water use baselines, track energy and water use and greenhouse gas emission reductions over time, and assess your building's energy performance. To register, please visit: https://energystar.webex.com/mw0307l/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=energystar. Department of Energy Webinar: Developing Photovoltaic Projects with Requests for Proposals and Power Purchase Agreements, January 15, 3:00-4:15 p.m. (EST) The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled "Community Renewable Energy Deployment Successes: Developing PV Projects with RFPs and PPAs" on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The webinar will provide information on the experiences of the cities of Tucson, Arizona, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, as they developed photovoltaic projects using requests for proposals (RFPs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs). To register for the webinar please visit: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/843078398. SunShot Prize Webinar, January 16, 2:00-3:00 p.m. (EST) Join the Department of Energy Solar Program on Wednesday, January 16, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST for a webinar that will shed light on some key business strategies to help local installers rethink their business models to compete for the SunShot Prize: Race to the Rooftops. For more information, please visit: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot/prize.html. *EPA Webcast: January 17, 1:00-2:15 p.m. (EST) – Green Revolving Funds: Recent Trends and Notes from the Field* Facing steep budget cuts and rising energy costs, many colleges and universities are grappling with how to finance urgently needed energy efficiency upgrades on campus when operating and capital funds are scarce. Sponsored by EPA’s Green Power Partnership, this webinar will explore innovative approaches, such as using return-oriented green revolving funds (GRFs)—a financing mechanism that colleges, universities, and nonprofits have increasingly adopted as a means to fund sustainability initiatives inside their buildings and operations. These initiatives reduce energy and resource use, resulting in significant financial and environmental benefits. While GRFs are increasing on college and university campuses across the country, the concept can also be adapted for other public- and private-sector organizations. This webinar will examine the key findings and trends of the second annual Greening the Bottom Line report, based on data from 79 active
GRFs at 76 institutions and published in partnership with the Green Power Partnership and more than a dozen other organizations. The webinar will also feature presentations on successful GRFs at Middlebury College and the University of Pennsylvania. To register, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/events/17jan13_webinar.htm. *CommunityMatters Conference Call: Beyond the Bank- Community Supported Small Business, January 17, 4:00-5:00 p.m. (EST)* Would you loan your favorite bookstore money to keep it from closing? Or pay $1000 for months of café fare…before the café ever opened for business? Would you spend your Saturday painting walls so that a restaurant in your neighborhood could expand its seating? Cash is tight, making small business ownership riskier than ever. So many small businesses are exploring turning to their communities for help and creative financing to get off the ground or stay open. And many communities are using various models of Community Supported Enterprises (CSEs) to bring a general store, café, or bookshop to the neighborhood and bring some life back to Main Street. Join CommunityMatters on Thursday, January 17 from 4-5pm EST for our free conference call to learn more about Community Supported Enterprises (CSEs) and how they can help your community prosper. Register for the call at: https://www.orton.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=56. *EPA Webinars Seek Public Comment on Working Draft of Policy on Environmental Justice for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples* In order to more effectively work with federally-recognized tribes and indigenous stakeholders to address their environmental justice concerns, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a Policy on Environmental Justice for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples. The Agency is seeking public comment on the Working Draft of the policy until February 15, 2013. Three national webinars have been scheduled to discuss the Policy: 1) January 22 at 1:30-3:00 p.m. (EST), Link: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/t-i-ej-policy-public/ Conference Number: 1-866-299-3188, Access code: 2025642576 2) January 24 at 1:30-3:00 p.m. (EST), Link: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/t-i-ej-policy-public-2/ Conference Number: 1-866-299-3188, Access code: 2025642576 3) January 31, 2013, Link: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/t-i-ej-policy-public-3/ Conference Number: 1-866-299-3188, Access code: 2025642576, Meeting Time: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM EST A copy of the Working Draft, Notification of Public Comment, and other information on the development of the policy can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/indigenous/index.html. *The Resource Innovation Group Webcast: Community Shared Solar Project Development Tool, January 23, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)* Community-shared solar energy holds great potential for increasing investment in solar power by customers that cannot host a system onsite. So-called ―solar gardens‖ allow for participation in collectively owned system and provide payments for the electricity generated by the system. But creating a community-shared solar program requires specialized business, legal, and technical expertise that can present formidable barriers for implementation. The University of Oregon’s updated and expanded Community Solar Tool is a web-based decision support tool designed to help community groups, businesses, nonprofits, government and utilities in Oregon and elsewhere select the best business model and design for constructing and operating a community solar system. In this webcast, join project lead Sarah Mazze from The Resource Innovation Group to walk through the Community Solar Tool and to learn more about its applicability in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and nationwide. This webcast is made possible with support from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the Carolyn Foundation. To register, please visit: https://thesocialcapitalproject.webex.com/mw0307l/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=thesocialcapitalproject. *EPA Webcast: Climate Ready Water Utilities 101, January 23, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)* This webinar is an introduction to EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities initiative and climate change adaptation planning. Learn about the history of the initiative and the tools and resources available to the water sector, including an adaptation guide, an extreme events workshop
planner, and comprehensive risk assessment software. To register, please visit: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/index.cfm. National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Public Teleconference Meeting, January 23, 2:00-4:15 p.m. (ET) The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will host a public teleconference meeting on Wednesday, January 23, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time. The primary topic of discussion will be promoting community resiliency in overburdened industrial waterfront areas. There will be a public comment period from 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Eastern Time. Members of the public are encouraged to provide comments relevant to the topics of the meeting. For more information on how to register or provide comments, please visit: www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/nejac/meetings.html *Sustainability Series Webinar: New York City's Active Design Guidelines- Process and Best Practices, January 25, 12:00 p.m. (EST)* Can transformations in the built environment inspire people to be more physically active, and make our communities healthier? According to a growing body of research, the answer is yes. The 'Active Design Guidelines' translates this knowledge into concrete strategies for a healthier, more sustainable future. Designers, planners, developers, and operations managers can adapt the Guidelines to their own projects to promote physical activity and help counteract the most pressing health epidemics of our time - poor physical fitness and obesity and their relationship to chronic diseases such as diabetes. To register, please visit: http://www.vitanuova.net/sustainabilityseries/2012/10/january-25-2013---bestpractice-in-active-design-guidelines-active-design-and-new-yorkcity.html?utm_source=January+25%2C+2013+Sus.+series+%231&utm_campaign=Sustainability+Series+Jan++2013&utm_medium=email.
*Colleges and Universities Lead the Way in Sustainability* Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Education has highlighted the exemplary efforts of K-12 schools to reduce environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental and sustainability education; however, healthy, safe, cost-efficient facilities, practices and learning are not limited to primary and secondary educations. In many ways, colleges and universities, and their students, have been the vanguard of the sustainability movement. http://www.ed.gov/blog/2013/01/colleges-and-universities-lead-the-way-insustainability/. Apply for EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management Apply today for EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management for the opportunity to be nationally recognized for delivering exceptional environmental asthma management in your school and in your community. Award winners receive a number of benefits including:
1. A place in the Hall of Fame among 26 of the nation's top leaders in asthma management. 2. National recognition for your achievements during Asthma Awareness Month (May 2013). 3. An engraved, crystal award. 4. Customized press materials to promote your accomplishments in your community. 5. The opportunity to serve as mentors to other programs and share best practices. School-based asthma management programs should apply in the Communities in Action category. Check out the Getting Started page, the FAQs, the Distinguishing Features for schools located in the Communities in Action Application Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria, and the sample Communities in Action application. Application deadline is February 12, 2013, 11:59 p.m. EST For more information, please visit: http://www.asthmaawards.info/awards/apply. Clean Air Project - Educational Resources Linking Air Quality and Health – Applications Due February 8 The Clean Air Project is seeking partners (applicants) to build capacity for environmental stewardship focused on air quality and human health. Awards are for educational institutions and other not-for-profit organizations educating youth. The maximum award is $5,000. Funding is provided for the following types of activities: -Developing lesson plans -Providing or implementing lesson plans/ curriculum related to air quality and health -Community action projects For questions or assistance contact: Krysten Crews, email@example.com or 303-270-2733. For more information please visit: www.capk12.org. The application can be downloaded at: www.capk-12.org/apply-for-funding. Applications are due February 8, 2013. Green Cleaning in Schools Webinar Series Archives Now Available These practical online seminars featured national leaders and on-the-ground experts on green cleaning in schools. Topics included infection control, new technology, making the financial case for green cleaning, and more. Couldn't attend the webinars? Check out the archives online at GreenCleanSchools.org. Webinar: School Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Protecting Children in Schools from Pests and Pesticides, January 23, 2:304:00 p.m. (EST) First, we will explain the relationship between the special vulnerability of young children and pesticides use in schools. Then we will answer: What are the benefits of IPM, when adopted by your school district? What are the actions needed to eliminate pests through IPM in schools? We will identify pests that commonly sneak into schools, how they get into schools, and what types of conditions they are looking for. Specific IPM steps are described, such as setting pest thresholds, inspecting for evidence, monitoring for pests, and identifying points of entry. You will be shown how to eliminate the pests’ ways of entering the school, and why sanitation and maintenance are so important in IPM. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/851055761. Webinar: Bed Bugs Go to School, January 30, 2:30-4:00 p.m. (EST) As the pest populations boom, bed bugs can, and will hitchhike into your school. The school can be bed bug free one day and have bed bugs brought in the next. For school administrators and facilities managers, bed bugs arriving at the school can be a recipe for big headaches. The formula for success in dealing with bed bugs is to prepare for the inevitable, and educate everyone. This presentation discusses why bed bugs are such a challenge and how you can be proactive. The key is to educate everyone, as much as possible to stop bed bugs at their source, 99% of the time this is the home. To do this you must engage the entire school community by educating the administration, maintenance and custodial staff, faculty, staff, students and especially the parents. Next, develop a school-specific written "bed bug action
plan" in advance of problems including the development of specific procedures and responsibilities when responding to a bed bug sightings, incidents, and possible bites on students, and things to avoid. The presentation also reviews how and where to inspect for bed bugs, how to manage bed bugs with control tactics that are consistent with school IPM guidelines and regulations; and bed bug prevention such as reducing hiding spaces through clutter containment and removal, limiting the items being brought to school, and proper coat and backpack storage. Finally we address avoiding litigation due to bed bugs. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/370459689. *EPA Webinar: Integrated Pest Management in Schools, March 6, 2:00-3:00 p.m.* Pests and pesticides pose risks to the nearly 60 million children and staff who spend considerable periods of time in our nation's schools. EPA recommends that schools use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to reduce the economic and health related issues caused by pests and pesticides. This webinar will describe basics of school IPM, the potential health, environmental and economic benefits, and what it takes to put IPM into practice. To register, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/webinar.html.
Other Community Related Information & Events
*USDA Highlights 2012 Investments to Build Stronger Rural Communities* Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently issued a report highlighting USDA Rural Development's fiscal year (FY) 2012 investments in job creation, businesses, infrastructure and housing for Americans living in rural communities across the nation. "President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment in rural communities that have made them stronger," Vilsack said. "Thanks to our loan, grant and technical assistance programs, USDA Rural Development is helping residents and rural enterprises thrive, and we are laying a strong foundation for rural America's future." With an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees, Rural Development has provided affordable housing, improved utility infrastructure, and helped businesses and cooperatives create jobs, build rural economies and increase the quality of life in rural areas. For a full copy of the 2012 Progress Report, go to (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/RD2012ProgressReport.pdf.) For more information, please visit: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-65f299. *Pharmaceuticals in the Environment 2013 National Take Back Day: April 27, 2013* The DEA is planning the next National Take-Back Day on April 27, 2013. The take back day will be on the last Saturday of April from (10:00AM - 2:00PM). For more information please check the website: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html. *EPA Finalizes Clean Air Standards for Industrial Boilers, Incinerators and Cement Kilns/Updated Rules Provide Extensive Public Health Protections, Cut Costs of Compliance* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized changes to Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators that will achieve extensive public health protections by slashing toxic air pollution, including mercury and particle pollution, while at the same
addressing feedback provided by industry and labor groups, increasing the rule's flexibility and dramatically reducing costs. As a result, 99 percent of the approximately 1.5 million boilers in the U.S. are not covered or can meet the new standards by conducting periodic maintenance or regular tune-ups. The final adjustments to the standards are based on an extensive analysis of data and input from states, environmental groups, industry, lawmakers and the public. As a result of information gathered through this review, including significant dialogue and meetings with public health groups, industry, and the public, the final rule dramatically cuts the cost of implementation by individual boilers that EPA proposed in 2010. At the same time, these rules will continue to deliver significant public health benefits. EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to reduce these pollutants, the public will see $13 to $29 in health benefits, including fewer instances of asthma, heart attacks, as well as premature deaths. For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/cement. For more detailed information on the final standards for boilers and incinerators, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion. For more on the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials Rule, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/define/. *Energy Department Awards $10 Million to Develop Advanced Biofuels and Bio-based Products* As part of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above strategy to develop every available source of American energy, the U.S. Department of Energy today announced more than $10 million to five projects in California, Washington, Maryland, and Texas that will develop new technologies to convert biomass into advanced biofuels and bioproducts like plastics and chemical intermediates. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=822. *TIGER Project Video Highlighting Porous Asphalt in Kansas City’s Green Impact Zone* Below is a link to a newly released KC TIGER video highlighting the pervious concrete and porous asphalt installations in the Green Impact Zone. At this link, you can also view other videos about the TIGER projects. TIGER stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the ―Recovery Act‖) provided $50 million in TIGER funds to the Kansas City metropolitan area for transit projects across the region and infrastructure work in the Green Impact Zone. TIGER Video 7: http://www.marc.org/TIGER/video.asp. *New Guide to Evaluate Impacts of State and Local Energy Efficiency Programs* The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action), an effort facilitated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has released a new guide to evaluating the impact of energy efficiency programs at the state and local levels. This guide updates the 2007 National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency Model Energy Efficiency Impact Evaluation Guide. The new Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide covers key issues, practices, and steps for calculating energy savings, avoided emissions, and other non-energy impacts of efficiency programs. The primary audiences for this guide are state regulators, public and private energy efficiency portfolio administrators, program implementers, and evaluators looking for guidance on: -Planning evaluation efforts, and approaches for determining and documenting program impacts -Improving the efficacy of energy efficiency portfolios -Comparing demand- and supply-side resources. Download the guide (PDF, 180 pp, 2.8MB). For more information on SEE Action’s Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification working group, visit the http://www1.eere.energy.gov/seeaction/evaluation.html. *Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems* More than half of the world's people now live in cities. In the United States, the figure is 80 percent. It is worthwhile to consider how this trend of increased urbanization, if inevitable, could be made more sustainable. One fundamental shortcoming of urban research and programs is that they sometimes fail to recognize urban areas as systems. Current institutions and actors are not accustomed to exploring humanenvironment interactions, particularly at an urban-scale. The fact is that these issues involve complex interactions, many of which are not yet
fully understood. Thus a key challenge for the 21st century is this: How can we develop sustainable urban systems that provide healthy, safe and affordable environments for the growing number of Americans living in cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas? To address this question, the National Research Council organized a workshop exploring the landscape of urban sustainability research programs in the United States. The workshop, summarized in this volume, was designed to allow participants to share information about the activities and planning efforts of federal agencies, along with related initiatives by universities, the private sector, nongovernmental groups, state and local agencies, and international organizations. Participants were encouraged to explore how urban sustainability can move beyond analyses devoted to single disciplines and sectors to systems-level thinking and effective interagency cooperation. To do this, participants examined areas of potential coordination among different R&D programs, with special consideration given to how the efforts of federal agencies can best complement and leverage the efforts of other key stakeholders. Pathways to Urban Sustainability offers a broad contextual summary of workshop presentations and discussions for distribution to federal agencies, regional organizations, academic institutions, think tanks and other groups engaged in urban research. For more information, please visit: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12969#description. *Largest Global Companies Committing to Renewable Energy and GHG Reduction* A new report issued by Calvert Investments, Ceres and the World Wildlife Fund shows that most of the world's largest companies are instituting renewable energy or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. According to the report, 96 of the 173 companies in the Fortune 100 and Global 100 have set greenhouse gas reduction goals. Additionally, 23 of those companies have also set specific goals for renewable energy use. The report also shows that many companies are shifting away from short-term renewable energy certificate purchases toward long-term strategies using renewable power purchase agreements and investment in on-site renewable generation to fulfill GHG and renewable energy targets. For more information, please visit: http://apps3.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/news/news_template.shtml?id=1789. *Bioneers Define Resilience at Madison, Wis. Conference* By most definitions, sustainability refers to a community or practice that is stable enough to continue, thus assuring its environmental, economic, and social elements will be available for future generations. Lately another term is being applied by social and scientific innovators who are examining what allows a community to stand up under pressures that might otherwise destroy it. ―Resilience‖ is the word that captures the ability of a community ―to respond dynamically and constructively to disruption so that core functions are maintained,‖ said Grant Albert at the recent Badger Bioneers Conference in Madison, Wis., a city working toward resilience on many fronts. The community, the environment, and the personal were all framed through a ―resilience lens‖ at the conference. For more information, please visit: http://scitynetwork.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=75610d665a8ff31dbc072badb&id=c58c45f112&e=2188203d11. *Congress Extends Wind Energy Tax Credits for Projects that Start in 2013* Congress has included the long-sought extension of wind energy tax credits in final passage of a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" that now moves to President Obama for his expected signature. America's 75,000 workers in wind energy are celebrating over the continuation of policies expected to save up to 37,000 jobs and create far more over time, and to revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country. The extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), and Investment Tax Credits for community and offshore projects, will allow continued growth of the energy source that installed the most new electrical generating capacity in America last year, with factories or wind farms in all 50 states, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). For more information, please visit: http://www.sustainablecitynetwork.com/topic_channels/energy/article_98c62f78-551f-11e2-83480019bb30f31a.html?utm_source=SCN+InBox+e-Newsletter&utm_campaign=78a9a2b01d-Newsletter_1-2-2013_Admin&utm_medium=email. *Compliance/Prevention Underground Storage Tank Program and the Cleanup of Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program* EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) is soliciting proposals to foster interaction, information sharing, and coordination among federal, state, and tribal programs responsible for the detection, prevention, and cleaning up of releases from federally-regulated USTs. EPA
anticipates awarding two cooperative agreements from this competitive announcement. One cooperative agreement will support states and tribal UST release prevention programs and the other will support states and tribal leaking underground storage tank (LUST) cleanup programs. There are separate evaluation criteria for each agreement in Section 5. Deadline: February 4, 2013. For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/oswer/docs/grants/epa-oswer-oust-13-01.pdf. *Federal Tax Deduction Increased for Mass Transit Commuters* Tax incentives have been boosted in 2013 for mass transit commuters. Those traveling by mass transit can now claim monthly tax deductions equal to the $240 a month that car commuters have traditionally claimed to offset parking costs. The equalized provision is expected to provide up to $190 million a year in tax incentives for transit riders. For more information, please visit: http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/01/02/transit-tax-benefit-equalized-with-parking-benefit-in-fiscal-cliff-deal/. *Smart Growth Benefits 'Winter Cities'* Big snowfalls and frigid temperatures illustrate how vulnerable car-dependent cities and suburbs can be when faced with disruptive winter weather patterns. A recent article in The Huffington Post discussed how walkable, transit-friendly cities tend to be more resilient to winter weather, with locations closer together and more options for getting around. For more information, please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/brent-toderian/walkable-winter-cities-vancouver_b_2361419.html. *Renewable Energy Tax Credits Extended* The Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the investment tax credits will be extended through the end of the year under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was passed by Congress on January 1, 2013, and signed into law on January 2 by President Obama. The extension of the PTC, included in the bill to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," would apply to all U.S. wind projects that start construction in 2013. In addition to the PTC, the law also covers investment tax credits for community and offshore wind projects. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said the incentives will allow continued growth for wind energy. The law also includes geothermal, biomass, and hydropower tax credits as well as a range of other energy efficiency and renewable energy credits. For example, the law extends the biodiesel tax incentive for 2012 and 2013, which expired on December 31, 2011. Also, the measure provides one-year tax credits for energy-efficient additions such as exterior windows, doors, and skylights which are eligible for the non-business energy property tax credit; alternative-fuelvehicle refueling stations; a $2,500 tax credit for two-wheeled or three-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles; and construction of energy-efficient new homes and the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. For more information, please visit: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgibin/query/z?c112:H.R.8:. *Energy Department Launches Web Tool to Explore Pathways to Clean Energy Economy* The U.S. Department of Energy today announced a new interactive online tool to help researchers, educators, and students explore future U.S. energy-use scenarios. The interactive Buildings, Industry, Transportation, and Electricity Scenarios (BITES) tool allows users to adjust inputs, such as electricity generation and transportation fuel use, to compare outcomes and impacts on carbon dioxide emissions and the U.S. energy mix. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=825. *Call for Papers for Summer Transportation/Land Use Planning and Air Quality Conference* The Transportation Research Board, the Federal Highways Administration and other co-sponsors are accepting papers for the 2013 Transportation/ Land Use Planning and Air Quality Conference, "Developing Healthy and Livable Communities,‖ to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, this summer. Draft papers or abstracts must be submitted electronically no later than Friday, February 8th, 2013. For more information, please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/trbcommitteeadd50/Welcome/discussionsthreads/2013transportationlanduseplanningandairqualityconference.
*HUD’s Green Academy* HUD’s Green Academy is offering green building training to HUD grantees and other affordable housing organizations receiving HUD assistance. Sessions in this pilot initiative will be held in various locations of the country, in January and February. If sessions are filled, individuals can be placed on waiting list. For more information or to register, visit www.sustainable-performance.org/HUDGreenAcad. *New Report: Smart Growth and Economic Success* Smart Growth and Economic Success is a new report from EPA which informs developers, businesses, investors, local government officials, and others about the economic advantages of compact and walkable community development that offers a range of choices in land uses, building types, transportation, homes, workplace locations, and stores. For more information on the report, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/livability/economic_success.htm. *Requesting nominations for EPA/ORD BOSC Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee - Due by February 28, 2013* ORD is requesting nominations of nationally recognized scientists, engineers, and experts to serve on the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) subcommittees that will advise ORD on their Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program (SHC). Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals or themselves by using the membership nomination form and will be considered. Submission of nominations is preferred via on-line at http://epa.gov/osp/bosc/nomination.htm. *Citizens' Institute on Rural Design Issues Request for Proposals (RFP) for Rural Communities Facing Design Challenges* The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is issuing a request for proposals to rural communities facing design challenges to host local workshops in 2013. Successful applicants will receive a $7,000 grant and in-kind design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is on the new CIRD website: www.rural-design.org. The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday March 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm EST. CIRD (formerly known as "Your Town") works to help rural communities with populations of 50,000 or fewer enhance their quality of life and economic vitality through facilitated design workshops. The workshops will be augmented with conference calls and webinar presentations led by experts who will cover topics related to rural design. The calls will also be open to the general public through CommunityMatters. The new website at www.rural-design.org is a portal for resources on rural design gathered from diverse organizations across the country. It will be a place for interested citizens to connect with one another and get information about improving design in their own communities. Sign up for information calls, find the RFP and application guidelines at www.rural-design.org/apply. *Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Public Housing Attributed to Lower Asthma Rates in Boston* Boston health officials say new city data indicate that asthma incidences have dropped nearly by half since 2005. This is attributed to Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and Boston Public Health Commission implementation of an integrated pest management (IPM) program in lowincome housing to reduce the number of cockroaches and rodents, while reducing the use of pesticides, which, along with cockroach and rodent droppings, can aggravate asthma symptoms. The data, covering 2006 through 2010, show the rate of adults who reported having asthma symptoms in the authority’s units dropped from 23.6 percent in 2006 to 13 percent in 2010, the latest year available. At the same time, asthma rates in other low-income housing in Boston, not run by BHA, remained relatively unchanged. Public health analysts studied data from a biennial telephone survey of Boston adults between 2006 and 2010. There are alternatives to pesticides for managing insects, rodents and weeds effectively without exposing your family to harmful toxic chemicals, especially incorporating the principles of IPM into your home. Beyond Pesticides’ The Safer Choice brochure focuses on what you can do to manage your home, school and community without poisoning your children, families, pets, and the environment. Beyond Pesticides is a strong advocate for defined structural IPM practices and is working to champion the use of these methods particularly in schools and hospitals, where vulnerable populations are at elevated risk from pesticide exposure. Beyond Pesticides’ Healthy Schools Project aims to minimize and eliminate the risks posed by pesticides through the adoption of
IPM policies and programs at the local, state, and federal level, thereby fostering a healthier learning environment. Central to this effort are activities aimed at public education on pesticide hazards and the efficacy of alternatives, and the continued development of model communities that serve as examples. For more information on structural IPM, please visit Beyond Pesticides’ ―What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?‖ page at: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/infoservices/pcos/IPM.php. EPA Enforcement in 2012 Protects Communities From Harmful Pollution The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its annual enforcement results, showing significant environmental and public health protections achieved – a reduction of 2.2 billion pounds of air, water and land pollution, as well as 4.4 billion pounds of hazardous waste, and $252 million in civil and criminal penalties levied – while also focusing on enforcement efforts that reduce smaller amounts of pollution but have substantial health impacts in communities. For more information about EPA’s FY 2012 enforcement results, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/enforcement/data/eoy2012/index.html. Innovative Partnership Funds Transit-Oriented Housing in Denver In 2004, residents in the Denver metropolitan area approved the creation of a dedicated funding source for the expansion of the Regional Transportation District’s multimodal transit system. Once complete, the expansion — known as the FasTracks program — will include more than 120 miles of commuter and light rail and 18 miles of bus rapid transit across 6 new lines. This historic transit expansion has been coupled with coordinated and strategic efforts from public- and private-sector partners to ensure that the investment in infrastructure supports not only local and regional economic development but also new opportunities for location-efficient affordable housing. For more information, please visit: http://www.huduser.org/portal/sustainability/newsletter_120612_3.html#1. NOAA’s Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook Reports for State and Local Governments The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and regional partners around the United States have teamed up to issue a series of quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook reports aimed at assisting policymakers as they prepare for drought and other extreme weather events. The reports highlight trends in temperature, precipitation, and climate in four regions of the country (Central Region, Southern Great Plains, the Eastern Region, and the Western Region). Maps of areas of significant fire potential and drought may help state and local officials in their planning efforts. The reports are available on the U.S. Drought Portal, along with a number of other climate- and droughtrelated resources. To access the U.S Drought Portal, please visit: http://www.drought.gov/drought/content/resources/reports. EPA Greenversations Blog- Winter Tips: Make Your Home Warm and Green Check out EPA’s Greenversations Blog for some tips that will warm up our home while saving energy and money too. http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2012/12/winter-tips-make-your-home-warm-and-green/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wintertips-make-your-home-warm-and-green. USDA Grants Support Sustainable Bioenergy Production Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced $10 million in research grants to spur production of bioenergy and biobased products that will lead to the development of sustainable regional systems and help create jobs. USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded the grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). AFRI's sustainable bioenergy challenge area targets the development of regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy and biobased products that: contribute significantly to reducing dependence on foreign oil; have net positive social, environmental, and rural economic impacts; and are compatible with existing agricultural systems. Projects were awarded in four areas: 1) policy options for and impacts on regional biofuels production systems, 2) impacts of regional bioenergy feedstock production systems on wildlife and pollinators, 3) socioeconomic impacts of biofuels on rural communities, and 4) environmental implications of direct and indirect land use change. For more information, please visit:
http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-622a20. Energy Department Announces Six Projects to Develop Energy-Saving Windows, Roofs, and Heating and Cooling Equipment As part of the Energy Department's efforts to help homeowners and businesses save money by saving energy, the Department recently announced a $9 million investment in leading-edge building envelope technologies, including high-efficiency, high-performance windows, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment. As winter temperatures set in for much of the United States, the Energy Department is also highlighting easy ways consumers can lower their heating bills on Energy.gov. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=821. Energy Department Announces New Funding to Reduce Cost of Producing Advanced Drop-in Biofuels The Energy Department recently announced up to $12 million in new funding for projects that aim to drive down the cost of producing gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels from biomass. These advanced biofuels can be blended with conventional petroleum fuels for use in traditional cars, trucks, and airplanes—giving American consumers and businesses more options and helping to diversify the nation’s energy economy. This funding opportunity is open to universities, national laboratories, industrial entities, and nonprofit organizations. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=817. Pilot Program Promotes New Sustainable Farming in Montgomery County, Maryland Montgomery County, Maryland, part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, blends a dense urban population, an abundance of rich agricultural land, and a well established network of farmers’ markets. These traits, and the community’s increasing demand for locally grown food, make it an ideal candidate for nurturing a vibrant, green economy. The county recently began a year-long initiative, the New Farmer Pilot Program, to give farmers starting new farm businesses access to land, mentorship, and business training. The pilot program also seeks to reduce the issues that new farm business owners may face in more conventional farm incubator programs. For more information, please visit: http://www.huduser.org/portal/sustainability/newsletter_120612_4.html#1. Energy Department Announces $20 Million to Integrate Concentrating Solar Power Systems with Fossil Fuel Plants As part of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced $20 million in new funding that will help integrate concentrating solar power (CSP) systems with fossil fuel power plants. These hybrid systems leverage the infrastructure of fossil fuel plants such as turbine and transmission systems, helping to reduce the cost of solar-generated electricity and bring CSP plants online quicker. Today, between 11 gigawatts and 21 gigawatts of CSP could be built and integrated into existing fossil fuel plants in the United States, enough to power to between 3 million and 6 million homes. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=818. 2013 CNU Charter Awards—Call for Entries The Congress of the New Urbanism Charter Awards honors a select number of winners and honorable mentions - including one grand professional prize and one grand academic prize for students. Winning projects are recognized for their excellence in fulfilling the principles of walkable, sustainable places from the scale of the region down to the block and building. Due date for entries: January 30, 2013. For more information, please visit: http://www.cnu.org/cnu-news/2012/11/2013-cnu-charter-awards. 2013 American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) Recycling Awards, Apply by February 15th Check out this opportunity for schools, communities and businesses from the American Forest and Paper Association and feel free to forward to your stakeholders. They are open for entries from Dec. 3-Feb.15. AF&PA set an ambitious goal to recover more than 70 percent of the paper used in the U.S. by the year 2020. Recycling Awards are given to organizations with outstanding examples of the innovation and effort
needed to achieve the goal. Winners receive cash prizes, in addition to local and national recognition. For award criteria, details and deadlines, please visit them online at www.paperrecycles.org.
This newsletter is being provided by EPA Region 7 for informational purposes only. This newsletter contains links to information, agencies, sites, and organizations outside of the EPA website. EPA is not responsible for third party links. EPA does not endorse third party organizations or agencies.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.