U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency (Region 7)
Communities Information Digest

*Has this edition of the Communities Information Digest been forwarded to you? Would you like to regularly receive the digest to your inbox? If so, please send an email to Tegan Vaughn, vaughn.tegan@epa.gov. Thank you!* March 4, 2013 Find us @ www.facebook.com/eparegion7 or https://twitter.com/eparegion7. Note: New items are in *asterisks*.

News
*Obama Administration Releases Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans* Continuing the Obama Administration’s commitment to lead by example and cut waste, pollution, and costs in Federal operations, Federal agencies today released their 2012 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans. President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009, setting aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in Federal operations by 2020. The Sustainability Plans build on three years of progress under the Executive Order and provide an overview of how agencies are saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, cutting waste, and saving energy. View the Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans at http://sustainability.performance.gov. For more information on Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/sustainability. *USDA Climate Change Adaptation Plan Open for Public Comment* To better coordinate USDA’s sustainability efforts and build on past success, USDA has prepared its 2012 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that underscores strategies and goals to save taxpayer dollars, reduce carbon emissions, cut waste and save energy. As part of this effort, this year USDA has also prepared a Climate Change Adaptation Plan that outlines how the Department will address the impacts of climate change on its key mission areas such as agricultural production, food security, rural development, and forestry and natural resources conservation. The plan is available and open for a 60-day public comment period. USDA encourages the public to review the

document and provide comments by April 8, 2013. The USDA Climate Change Adaptation Plan can be accessed at http://www.dm.usda.gov/emd. All comments are to be directed to William Hohenstein, Director of USDA’s Climate Change Program Office at ccpo@oce.usda.gov.

Funding Opportunities
March 5: Citizens' Institute on Rural Design—Request for Proposals http www.rural-design.org/ March 13: Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=knDpQzXGJ6gWnzy1h6Tn3D1fjKBNK9Fw40vlTDxWx3xrJGpLpCN4!861966415?oppId=208353&mode=VIEW March 15: RE.invest Initiative http://www.reinvestinitiative.org/ *March 14: Pollution Prevention Grant Program http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/ppis/2013rfpp2grant.pdf March 15: DOE Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program for Renewable Energy Project Development Assistance – Technical assistance http://energy.gov/indianenergy/start-program-renewable-energy-project-development-assistance *March 20: Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnership Project http://web1.ctaa.org/webmodules/webarticles/anmviewer.asp?a=3265 March 25: HUD Transformation Initiative: Sustainable Construction in Indian Country Small Grant Program – $400,000 http://grantnavigator.afisystems.com/system/attachments/219116/TI-Sustainable-Construction-in-Indian-Country-Small-Grant-ProgramNOFA.pdf?1360123353 *April 5: RFP for the Pollution Prevention Information Network Grant Program http://www.epa.gov/oppt/p2home/pubs/p2rx.html April 8: NOAA Climate Program Office (up to $3.5 million) http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=ZtTQQzVNwtbp1bQ7S4NNLNFhWK1f5QwgF0QpBkLmwpMtjhQQ2dTk!1702133586?oppI d=213994&mode=VIEW *April 9: Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant: http://www.grants.gov/ *April 15: Environmental Justice (EJ)/Community Scholarships for Brownfields http://www.brownfieldsconference.org/Documents/Document/Document/94 April 24: Farm to School Grant Program http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s/f2_2013_grant_program.htm

Meetings, Conferences, & Events
March 5-7: BuildingEnergy 2013 – Boston, Massachusetts http://www.nesea.org/buildingenergy/ March 13-14: Greenprints Conference 2013 – Atlanta, Georgia http://www.greenprints.org/ March 13-15: Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://www.feedingcities.com/

March 13-15: Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law – San Francisco, California http://www.eli.org/Bootcamp/west_main.cfm April 10: SunShot Prize Workshop Albany, New York http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/solar/newsletter/detail.cfm/articleId=340 *April 13-17:American Planning Association—National Planning Conference – Chicago, Illinois http://www.planning.org/conference/ *April 24-26: 2013 National Rural Transportation Conference – Greenville, South Carolina http://www.nado.org/events/rpo2013/ May 6-8: Water Quality Standards Academy – Washington, DC http://www.horsleywitten.com/WQSA/ May 15-17: National Brownfields Conference – Atlanta, Georgia http://www.brownfieldsconference.org/en/home?pub=1&issue=8 * May 20-24: Strategic Conservation Planning Using a Green Infrastructure Approach— Shepherdstown, West Virginia https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50714/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=68428 May 29-June 1: Congress for New Urbanism—21st Annual Conference – Salt Lake City, Utah http://www.cnu21.org/ June 23-27: Making Cities Livable—Reshaping Suburbia into Completely Healthy Communities – Portland, Oregon http://www.livablecities.org/conferences/50th-conference-portland July 9-11: National Environmental Health Association Annual Conference – Washington, DC. http://neha2013aec.org/ July 21-27: Hands-On PV Experience (HOPE) Workshop – Golden, Colorado http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/solar/newsletter/detail.cfm/articleId=316 July 30-Aug. 1: 2013 EPA Community Involvement Training Conference: The Next Generation of Community Involvement – Boston, Massachusetts http://www.epa.gov/ciconference/index.htm August 13-15: Safe Routes to School National Conference – Sacramento, California http://saferoutesconference.org September 9-11: 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
*Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR, March 5, 2:00 p.m. (ET)* Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later.To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com. *How to Launch an ENERGY STAR Energy Efficiency Competition, March 6, 12:00 p.m. (ET)* Join us to learn about the benefits of an energy efficiency competition, the basic steps you can take to plan and launch a competition, and the resources made available by ENERGY STAR that can help you in this process, including the ENERGY STAR Guide to Energy Efficiency Competitions. To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com. *Healthy Food Access Portal and Accompanying Webinar March 6*

PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and The Reinvestment Fund are excited to announce the Healthy Food Access Portal and an accompanying, introductory webinar, Knowing the Basics: Food Access 101. The new portal connects community leaders, healthy food retailers, policymakers, and advocates to an extensive array of resources, strategies, and ideas to improve and increase access to healthy food retail— from grocery stores to corner stores, farmers' markets, and mobile produce trucks—in underserved communities. The portal's purpose and resources will be discussed in greater detail during the project's first webinar, Knowing the Basics: Food Access 101, to take place on Wednesday, March 6, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific/1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Webinar presenters from the three sponsoring partner organizations will discuss the problem of healthy food access and the innovative solutions being developed to address the issue. Designed as an introduction to the field of healthy food access, the webinar will also feature a discussion on how to make the case for healthy food retail solutions in local communities. Click here to register for the webinar: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=swwfjwcs6kuo. *For Utilities: Designing and Implementing Successful Data Center Efficiency Programs Thursday, March 7, 1:00 p.m. (ET)* Energy-efficiency program administrators can play a significant role in helping customers reduce data center energy use and demand. Based on the new ENERGY STAR guide on data center efficiency programs, this webinar will explore the energy saving opportunities available and share emerging practices for program design and implementation.To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com. *The Basics of Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager Tuesday, March 12, 2:00 p.m. (ET)* Attendees 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, prioritize investments, and set goals. Attendees will also learn how EPA’s energy performance score compares peer facilities across the country, and how to take advantage of national recognition opportunities for top-performing buildings.To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com. *Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager Thursday, March 14, 2:00 p.m. (ET)* Learn how to track the progress of energy efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of wastewater treatment plants to other peer facilities across the country. Attendees will learn how to measure and track energy use and carbon dioxide emission reductions in wastewater treatment plants to establish baseline energy use, prioritize investments, set goals, and track improvements over time. To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com. *DOE Announces Success Stories Webinar on Renewable Energy Parks, March 19, from 3:00 p.m (ET)* The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled "Community Renewable Energy Success Stories: Renewable Energy Parks" on Tuesday, March 19, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar will highlight how the city of Ellensburg, Washington, and the Town of Hempstead, New York, created renewable energy parks in their areas by integrating multiple renewable energy technologies. Register to attend the webinar: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/office_eere/webinar_renewable_parks.html *Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR Thursday, March 21, 2:00 p.m. (ET)* This presentation describes an ENERGY STAR offering that is helping organizations realize substantial energy and financial savings available from computer and monitor power management. The training introduces an innovative software tool that enables monitor power management from a central location, as well as educational outreach material. Organizations utilizing this free software (which may be downloaded from the Web) can save $10 to $50 per computer. To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com.

*Sustainable City Network Academy Training* A March 21 webinar on measuring the sustainability of roofs; and an online training series on LEED Material and Resources credits, beginning May 14. The one-hour webinar, Using RoofPoint to Optimize the Sustainability of Roofs, will feature instructor James R. Kirby, AIA, who will discuss how RoofPoint works, provide insight regarding the credits within RoofPoint and explain the value of RoofPoint for building owners and managers. Click here to register or for more information: http://sCityNetwork.com/roofs. The LEED Material and Resources Webinar Series includes three 1-hour webinars and three 1.5-hour webinars scheduled every other week beginning Tuesday, May 14, 2013, and ending with the last class on Tuesday, July 23. This course is a comprehensive guide to LEED MR Credits 1-7. The series will walk participants through each MR Credit. Instructor Justin Dall'Osto is the Project Manager at WasteCap Resource Solutions, WasteCap.org. Some of his pertinent certifications include LEED AP BD+C, OSHA 30 hour, WasteCap Construction Waste Management AP, WasteCap Construction Waste Recycling Trainer. Click here to register or for more information: http://scitynetwork.eventbrite.com. *The Federal Guiding Principles Checklist in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tuesday, March 26, 2:00 p.m. (ET)* This webcast will teach Federal energy and sustainability professionals how to use EPA’s ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, to help ensure compliance with the Guiding Principles for High Performance Sustainable Buildings required by Executive Orders 13423 and 13514. The focus is on the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Existing Buildings.To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com. Webinar: Low Impact Development and Smart Growth—How are They Best Integrated and Utilized in our Communities? May 15, 12:00-1:00 p.m. (EST) (repeated at 7:00-8:00 p.m.) This webinar from Penn State Extension will help planners, elected officials, and concerned citizens come together to make better land use decisions using Smart Growth principles. Planning tools and resources available to decision-makers will be discussed, as well as how to engage in planning to benefit your community. For more information, please visit: http://www.feedingcities.com/.

Green Schools
4th Safe Routes to School National Conference The 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference will be making its way to sunny Sacramento, CA, August 13-15, 2013. The conference will span three days and include over 50 sessions and many dynamic mobile workshops. Also included are several exciting Special Features that will engage participants and showcase Sacramento's bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets. An onsite Bike Share program will allow participants the opportunity explore Sacramento's lively downtown and expansive bike trails. Wondering what to do in between sessions? Stop on by the Bike Build project and take part in building new bikes that will benefit local youth. Calling all Youth! The conference will include several opportunities for youth from throughout the region to participate in educational, interactive, fun and informative discussions and conference activities. Registration will open up in early April. Visit the conference web site for more details: http://saferoutesconference.org.

EPA Releases New Report on Children's Health and the Environment in America EPA recently released ―America’s Children and the Environment, Third Edition,‖ a comprehensive compilation of information from a variety of sources on children’s health and the environment. The report shows trends for contaminants in air, water, food, and soil that may affect children; concentrations of contaminants in the bodies of children and women of child-bearing age; and childhood illnesses and health conditions. The report incorporates revisions to address peer review and public comments on draft materials released in 2011. Among the contaminants clearly linked to health conditions in children, key findings include: The median concentration of lead in the blood of children between the ages of 1 and 5 years was 92 percent lower in 2009-2010 compared to 1976-1980 levels. Although the majority of the decline occurred in the 1980s, consistent decreases have continued since 1999. For more information about ―America's Children and the Environment, Third Edition‖ please visit: http://www.epa.gov/ace/http://www.epa.gov/ace/http://www.epa.gov/ace/. USDA Proposes Standards to Provide Healthy Food Options in Schools USDA recently announced the public comment period has opened on proposed new standards to ensure that children have access to healthy food options in school. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools -- beyond the federally-supported school meals programs. The "Smart Snacks in School" proposed rule, to be published soon in the Federal Register, is the first step in the process to create national standards. For more information, please visit: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-6a1e31. EPA School Bus Rebate Recipients Announced EPA is pleased to announce that applicant selections have been made for the pilot Clean Diesel School Bus Rebate Program, a program allowed under the DERA reauthorization. The response from school bus fleet owners was overwhelming- EPA received over 1,000 applications requesting more than $70 million in rebate funds for the $2 million allocated for the program. All applicants were given unique identification numbers and using these applicants were randomly selected and placed in order on a list. Starting at the top of the list, funds were reserved for applicants up to $2 million. The remainder of the applicants were placed on a wait list. Selected applicants have ninety days to submit purchase orders for new buses. Between July and October, the new buses will arrive and the old ones must be scrapped in order to receive payment from EPA. To view the list of selected applicants, wait listed applicants, and the Rebate Program Guidelines, please visit the Rebate Program website: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate.htm. US Forest Service Announces Rural Schools Funding - More than $320 million to be distributed under reauthorized program Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that over $323 million will be paid to 41 states and Puerto Rico in two distributions to support local schools and roads as part of the Congressional one-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community SelfDetermination Act. "These payments are part of the Department of Agriculture's long-standing commitment to rural communities, schools and American youth," said Vilsack. "Our century-long support of America's public schools and roads is one of many ways in which the Forest Service, as a good neighbor and partner, contributes to rural communities becoming self-sustaining and prosperous." The actual amount of each state's payment is determined by a number of factors written into the law, including how many counties ultimately decide to share in that payment. Each county's share of their state's payment amounts can be found on the Forest Service Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/securepayments/projectedpayments. NOAA’s New Environmental Literacy Grants Funding Opportunity NOAA’s Office of Education (OEd) has issued a request for applications for projects designed to build the capacity of informal educators (including interpreters and docents) and/or formal educators (pre- or in-service) to use NOAA data and data access tools to help K-12 students and/or the public understand and respond to global change. Successful projects will enhance educators' ability to use the wealth of scientific

data, data visualizations, data access technologies, information products, and other assets available through NOAA (plus additional sources, if desired) to engage K-12 students and/or other members of the public in a minimum of two U.S. states or territories. This funding opportunity identifies two priority categories of eligible applicants, both of equal importance. Eligible applicants for Priority 1 are collaborative teams of two or more U.S. institutions. Eligible applicants for Priority 2 are collaborative teams of two or more non-profit U.S. aquariums, of which at least one must be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Collaborative applicant teams in both Priority 1 and Priority 2 are strongly encouraged to include at least one applicant that has not previously received a grant from NOAA's Environmental Literacy Grants program. Proposed projects in each priority must be between two and five years in duration and have combined federal requests of $500,000 - $1,000,000 for all years of the project. The deadline for applications to this funding opportunity is 11:59:59 pm EST on March 12, 2013. Applications must be submitted online via www.grants.gov. It is anticipated that awards under this announcement will be made by September 30, 2013 and that the projects funded under this announcement will have a start date no earlier than October 1, 2013. To read the full funding announcement, visit www.grants.gov. 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

*SolarMat—Solar Manufacturing Technology Funding Opportunity* The SunShot Initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy brings to your attention a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), SolarMat— Solar Manufacturing Technology, that was launched on February 22, 2013. SolarMat is motivated by the need for manufacturing advances in both concentrating solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies to significantly reduce costs of solar-generated electricity in the United States. Please forward this announcement to others who may also be interested in the opportunity. Required Concept Paper Deadline: 5 p.m. ET, March 22, 2013 Full Application Deadline: 5 p.m. ET, April 26, 2013 For more information and application instructions, visit the SolarMat FOA page: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot/financial_opps_detail.html?sol_id=583 *EPA Recognizes Individuals, Organizations for Climate Change Leadership* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Center for Corporate Climate Leadership recently hosted the second annual Climate Leadership Awards, with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR). Twenty three winners were given awards for their leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change.

Organizational Leadership Award: Boulder County, Colo.; City of Austin, Texas; Intel Corporation; Port of San Diego; and Sonoma County Water Agency Individual Leadership Award: Tamara 'TJ' DiCaprio, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft Corporation; and J. Wayne Leonard, Former Chairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation Supply Chain Leadership Award: Cisco Systems, Inc.; IBM; and San Diego Gas & Electric Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award): Abbott; CSX Transportation, Inc.; Limited Brands, Inc.; Office Depot; Raytheon Company; Staples, Inc.; Tiffany & Co.; and Turner Construction Company Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate): Bank of America; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC); SC Johnson & Sons, Inc.; and Wells Fargo and Company The awards were presented at the Climate Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. For more information about the recognition categories and the Climate Leadership Award winners, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/climateleadership/awards/2013winners.html. *EPA Provides Tools for Sustainable Communities* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a first-of-its kind report showing how low-income, minority and tribal communities can apply smart growth land use and development strategies to create healthy communities, spur economic growth and protect the environment. The Creating Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities report describes how low-income, minority, and tribal communities can employ smart growth strategies to clean up and reinvest in existing neighborhoods; provide affordable housing and transportation; and improve access to jobs, parks and stores. The report also provides smart growth practitioners with concrete ideas on how they can better meet the needs of low-income residents as they promote development or redevelopment in underserved communities. The report also features case studies on seven communities across the country that have used the strategies described in the report. These strategies include: • designing safe streets for all users • cleaning and reusing contaminated properties • reducing exposure to facilities with potential environmental concerns • fixing existing infrastructure before investing in new projects • preserving affordable housing The Creating Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities report was developed by EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and Office of Sustainable Communities. For more information about the report, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/equitable_development_report.htm. For more information about the Office of Environmental Justice, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice. For more information about the Office of Sustainable Communities, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth. *Application Period Open Until April 12: National Award for Smart Growth Achievement* The application period for the 12th annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement is now open. This competition is open to public- and private-sector entities that have successfully used smart growth principles to improve communities environmentally, socially, and economically. The application deadline is April 12, 2013.There is one application form for four categories:  Built Projects  Corridor and Neighborhood Revitalization  Plazas, Parks, and Public Places  Policies, Programs, and Plans In addition, the review panel will choose an Overall Excellence winner from those that apply in these four categories. Further information and the application form can be found at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/awards.htm.

*EPA FY13 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant - Request for Proposals (RFP) Issued* EPA has issued an RPF for the FY13 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants. The Guidelines are attached and also available at http://www.epa.gov/oswer/grants-funding.htm. Proposals are due April 9, 2013. Please also consider registering for one of EPA's CLU-IN sessions to be held on March 7. Both sessions will be held from 3:00-5:00pm Eastern Standard Time. These sessions are for prospective Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant applicants and would benefit anyone planning to submit a proposal. To register for the CLU-IN, please visit http://www.clu-in.org/conf/tio/bfjt2013/. EPA's Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) will also post Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in the next week or so. For further questions, please contact: Joseph Bruss, Environmental Justice and Job Training Coordinator U.S. EPA, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, Phone: (202) 566-2772. *EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative Announces Extreme Events Workshop Planning Tool* 2012 was the second most expensive year on record for extreme events in the United States, and events like these are expected to occur more frequently and with greater intensity in the years ahead. Extreme events, such as the current prolonged period of drought, can have devastating impacts on drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. It is important that water utilities identify actions that can be taken today to better prepare for these events. EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities initiative has just released its "Preparing for Extreme Weather Events: Workshop Planner for the Water Sector" to help utilities plan for extreme events. The planner provides all of the materials needed to plan, conduct, and facilitate an adaptation planning workshop on five extreme event scenarios: floods, drought, wildfire, sea level rise, and reduced snowpack. To download the Workshop Planner, visit the Climate Ready Water Utilities website: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/index.cfm. *New Website Helps Local Governments Advance Solar Initiatives* All the resources a community needs to get started with solar are now in one place: the new SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) website. A resource database, calendar of events and trainings, and access to "Ask the Expert" services and technical assistance offerings are all part of the SunShot Initiative's ongoing efforts to provide timely and actionable information to local governments interested in solar energy adoption. *Environmental Justice and the Environmental Process - Case Studies* An interdisciplinary effort at FHWA headquarters has just produced ten case studies that emphasize environmental justice best practices during the environmental review process. There are 10 case studies, selected from 30 possible candidates, and developed in cooperation with local sponsors. These are now posted at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/ej_and_nepa/index.cfm *National Brownfields 2013 Conference May 15-17* The National Brownfields Conference, co-sponsored by the US EPA and ICMA, is the premier event focused on catalyzing economic development through cleanup and sustainable reuse of environmentally impaired properties.Come and learn redevelopment strategies you can put into action. Network and make key partnerships for the future. Share inspiring success stories to fuel the movement that is revitalizing communities! Now in its 15th year, the event is two and a half days of educational sessions, training workshops, volunteer activities, mobile workshops, film screenings and much more. This is the place to be where all topics related to brownfield cleanup, ranging from community engagement to public health, will take center stage in Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center May 15-17, 2013. To register, please visit: http://www.brownfieldsconference.org/en/LoginQms. *2013 National Pharmaceutical Take Back Day—Save the Date 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 Releases Latest Quarterly Green Power Partnership Rankings* The latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partnership’s Top Partner Rankings show that two more companies have now purchased enough green power to account for 100% of each of their total U.S. electricity use. Organizations can meet EPA Green Power Partnership requirements using any combination of three different product options: renewable energy certificates; on-site generation; and utility green power products. Combined, the top 50 largest purchases of green power by EPA Green Power Partners amount to more than 17 billion kWh annually, which represents nearly 70% of the green power commitments made by all EPA Green Power Partners. Usage amounts in the rankings reflect U.S. operations only and are sourced from U.S.-based green power resources. See the EPA Green Power Partnership Top 50 webpage and DOE's Green Power Network website: http://apps3.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/about/index.shtml. *USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Partners Invest in Conservation for Mississippi River Health* Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the investment of $59 million this year from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for the health of the Mississippi River basin, making a total of approximately $289 million for the initiative that reduces nutrient and sediment run-off. More than 640 small watersheds across 13 states are part of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative, which is in its fourth year. In addition to its vital role in providing drinking water, food, industry and recreation for millions of people, NRCS has identified the basin as a top priority due to water quality concerns, primarily related to the effects of nutrient loading on the health of local water bodies and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico. For more information, please visit: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-6c87ef. *U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $12.5 Million to Improve Access to America’s National Parks and Protected Areas* Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced $12.5 million in grants for 29 projects in 20 states to improve access to America’s national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. The selected projects will help reduce traffic congestion and make it easier for millions of visitors to enjoy the nation’s scenic Federal lands. The funds are provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program, which awarded $40.8 million for similar projects in January 2012. A map and a complete list of projects can be found here: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDOT-6ce499. *Free Print Versions of EPA's Climate Change Indicators in the United States 2012 Now Available* The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events—such as heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures—are taking place. These types of changes can bring about fundamental disruptions in ecosystems, affecting plant and animal populations, communities, and biodiversity. Such shifts can also affect society, including where people can live, what kinds of crops farmers can grow, and what kinds of businesses can thrive in certain areas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2012 report presents a set of 26 indicators tracking observed signs of climate change in the United States. EPA has worked in partnership with other agencies, organizations, and individuals to collect and communicate useful data about five categories of climate indicators: greenhouse gases, weather and climate, oceans, snow and ice, and society and ecosystems. The report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2012 is designed to be useful for scientists, analysts, decisionmakers, educators, and others who can use climate change indicators as a tool for: Assessing trends in environmental quality, factors that influence the environment, and effects on ecosystems and society. Effectively supporting science-based decision making and communication. Evaluating existing and future climate-related policies and programs. If you are interested in ordering some print copies of Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2012, please write to climateindicators@epa.gov. *DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Announces $10.5 Million for Small Business Research and Development

in Clean Energy Technologies* The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently announced 70 grants totaling $10.5 million to small businesses to develop technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation. These awards will help small businesses with promising ideas for clean energy solutions that could improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, reduce reliance on foreign oil, and generate electricity from renewable sources. http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=843 *EPA Clean Diesel News* As of Friday, January 18, 2013, Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls, Incorporated (Cleaire) ceased operations. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) attempted to contact owners of Cleaire products and established a Cleaire information page. If you are located outside of California and/or have EPA grants that included the use of Cleaire products, please contact your EPA National Clean Diesel Campaign contact in your Region if you have not already done so. List of contacts can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/collaboratives.htm. *New University of Nebraska, Lincoln Resource on Integrated Pest Management* The much anticipated update of the IPM in Schools: a How-To Guide from University of Nebraska, Lincoln has been released. This manual is used by schools across the nation. The revised manual, Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments: a How-To Guide! includes information to fit not only schools, but other sensitive environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care centers, etc. The manual includes chapters about IPM, including monitoring and inspection, treatment strategies, action and injury levels, and how to develop an IPM program. It also has chapters on specific pests that cause problems in structures or on lawns and grounds, such as cockroaches, flies, lice, rodents, stinging insects and a new chapter on Bed Bugs. The manual may be downloaded from: http://pestfiles.unl.edu/2012%20IPM%20Manual.pdf *Healthy Food Access Portal and Accompanying Webinar March 6* PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and The Reinvestment Fund are excited to announce the Healthy Food Access Portal and an accompanying, introductory webinar, Knowing the Basics: Food Access 101. The new portal connects community leaders, healthy food retailers, policymakers, and advocates to an extensive array of resources, strategies, and ideas to improve and increase access to healthy food retail— from grocery stores to corner stores, farmers' markets, and mobile produce trucks—in underserved communities. The portal's purpose and resources will be discussed in greater detail during the project's first webinar, Knowing the Basics: Food Access 101, to take place on Wednesday, March 6, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific/1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Webinar presenters from the three sponsoring partner organizations will discuss the problem of healthy food access and the innovative solutions being developed to address the issue. Designed as an introduction to the field of healthy food access, the webinar will also feature a discussion on how to make the case for healthy food retail solutions in local communities. Click here to register for the webinar: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=swwfjwcs6kuo. Federal Agencies Working to Make Homes Healthier Several federal agencies recently unveiled Advancing Healthy Housing – A Strategy for Action. White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., and Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman recently discussed the new plan. The initiative represents a bold new vision for addressing the nation’s health and economic burdens caused by preventable hazards associated with the home. The Strategy for Action encourages federal agencies to take preemptive actions that will help reduce the number of American homes with health and safety hazards. The Strategy for Action unifies, for the first time, federal action to advance healthy housing, demonstrating the connection between housing conditions and residents’ health. It also promotes strategies and methods intended to reduce in-home health hazards in a cost-effective manner.

―Thanks to unprecedented collaboration across the federal family and among our many partners, we now have a specific plan for action to address radon and other preventable hazards found in homes across the country. This is important progress, especially when you consider that people spend an estimated 70 percent of their time inside a home,‖ said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. ―At EPA we’re committed to ensuring Americans in all communities have healthy places to live, work and play, and the strategy we announced today is a critical step toward reaching that goal.‖ The overall vision for the Strategy is to reduce the number of American homes with residential health and safety hazards, achieved through five goals: 1. Establish healthy homes recommendation 2. Encourage adoption of healthy homes recommendations 3.Create and support training and workforce development to address health hazards in housing 4. Educate the public about healthy homes 5. Support research that informs and advances healthy housing in a cost-effective manner For more on the Strategy for Action, visit the interagency Healthy Homes website: http://healthyhomes.hud.gov. EPA Announces Technical Assistance Awards to 43 Communities Under Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program EPA has announced that 43 communities across the country will receive technical assistance from the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The program provides tools to help communities achieve their development goals, improve the quality of life, and become more economically and environmentally sustainable. EPA staff and national experts will conduct one- to two-day workshops that focus on a specific sustainability tool the community chose. EPA offers a variety of tools, such as complete streets, land use strategies to protect water quality, and neighborhood planning for healthy aging. More information on the program and this year’s awardees is available on the Building Blocks Program website: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm. New report features strategies for advancing smart growth, environmental justice, and equitable development EPA recently released a report that offers low-income, minority, tribal, and overburdened communities approaches to shape development that responds to their needs and reflects their values. Creating Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities: Strategies for Advancing Smart Growth, Environmental Justice, and Equitable Development provides a menu of land use and community design strategies community-based organizations, local and regional decision-makers, developers, and others can use to revitalize their communities:  Facilitate meaningful community engagement in planning and land use decisions  Promote public health and a clean and safe environment  Strengthen existing communities  Provide housing choices  Provide transportation options  Improve access to opportunities and daily necessities  Preserve and build on the features that make a community distinctive Case studies highlight seven communities that have used these strategies: Edmonston, MD; Chicago, IL; Spartanburg, SC; New Orleans, LA; Ohkay Owingeh, NM; Boston, MA; and Seattle, WA. The report was developed jointly by the Office of Sustainable Communities and Office of Environmental Justice. To view the report, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/equitable_development_report.htm. Thirteen Major Companies Join Energy Department's Workplace Charging Challenge Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that 13 major U.S. employers and eight stakeholder groups have joined the new Workplace Charging Challenge to help expand access to workplace charging stations for American workers across the country. In a speech at the

Washington Auto Show, Secretary Chu outlined the new initiative, which aims to expand the availability of workplace charging, increasing the convenience of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and providing drivers with more options. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=834. National Conversation on the Future of Our Communities: Read the Compendium In summer 2012, the Smart Growth Network issued a call for papers to start a national conversation around these questions. The Network received 95 papers in response; 20 were selected for publication in a compendium that was recently released at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. As hoped, the Network received papers not only from established thought leaders, but also from many new voices. The papers covered a wide range of issues, which were grouped into the following topics: Community Development/Public Engagement, Economic Development, Environmental Concerns, Environmental Justice/Equitable Development, General - Smart Growth/Sustainability, Green Building. Visit the Smart Growth Network’s site, download the compendium and view the other papers and blog posts the Network received, and then continue the conversation in your community. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Expansion of Refinancing Program to Help More Rural Homeowners Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA is adding 15 more states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to a pilot program that enables current USDA home loan borrowers to save money on housing costs by refinancing their mortgages with lower interest rates. USDA Housing Administrator Tammye Treviño made the announcement on behalf of Secretary Vilsack. "USDA's expansion of this program will help more rural borrowers refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments and ease their financial burdens," Vilsack said. "As our economy continues to recover, this program will enable rural families living in USDA-financed homes to take advantage of historically low interest rates." USDA unveiled the initiative almost one year ago. It initially included borrowers in 19 states hardest hit by the downturn in the housing market. To date, 3,394 rural borrowers have benefited from the USDA refinancing pilot program. These loans total nearly $453 million. For more information, please visit: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-69f12f. Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development provides communities with a comprehensive guide of tools and strategies that are available for financing and funding infrastructure for transit-oriented development (TOD). The report provides examples of how some communities are using specific tools for individual infrastructure components, as well as strategies for combining and bundling tools to create plans that address construction phasing and market growth over time. The report: -Identifies dozens of financing mechanisms and strategies that communities can use. -Showcases how 11 communities are using finance tools and funding sources to implement TOD. -Introduces four innovative models communities could consider for their TOD planning. -Explains how community context and market factors affect the types of financing tools or funding strategies that communities can use. EPA delivered this report through its Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program, which helps tribal, state, regional, and local governments explore smart growth strategies to overcome development-related challenges. For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/infra_financing.htm. Environmental Justice (EJ)/Community Scholarships for Brownfields The scholarship program for Brownfields 2013 is now open. Scholarships will be distributed among organizations and communities, and preference will be given to community group and EJ members from the Southeast region. The Center for Public Environmental Oversight has received funding from U.S. EPA and the Goldstein Brownfields Group to provide a limited number of scholarships for environmental justice and other community participants in the Brownfields 2013 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia May 15-17, 2013.

There are two types of scholarships listed below. Applicants can choose to apply for one or both. 1. $100 discount on conference registration - normally $125 for community participants. Each person is responsible for his/her own registration, including a payment of $25. We will provide selected applicants with instructions for registering with the discount. 2. Two-night hotel stays at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. Scholarship recipients are still responsible for incidental expenses at the hotel. Please fill out and submit the application by April 15, 2013. Notification will begin by April 22, 2013. Click here to download application. If you have any further questions, please contact Jocelyn Worley, jworley@icma.org. ARRA-Funded Energy-Efficiency Program Seeds Private-Sector Financing The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided billions of dollars in financing to homeowners, businesses, and local governments to invest in energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technology through the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. The influx of available capital into the residential energy-efficiency market was intended to remove the barriers to efficiency upgrades, including the upfront costs of retrofitting a home. The intent was also to foster long-term growth in energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technology through a scaled response supported by the private sector. For more information, please visit: http://www.huduser.org/portal/sustainability/newsletter_013113_3.html#1. Check Out the Sustainable Communities Resource Center Developed by the Office of Policy Development and Research in partnership with HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC), the Sustainable Communities Resource Center (SCRC) is a section of HUDUSER.org dedicated to providing you with information that supports local and regional strategies, with an emphasis on sustainable housing and planning. For more information, please visit: http://www.huduser.org/portal/sustainability/home.html. EPA Brownfields Funding Helps Remove Environmental Barriers for Construction of All Care Health Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin and other dignitaries attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, January 31, for the All Care Health Center (ACHC), a new $5.6 million community health clinic in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The facility stands on a former railroad and residential area that was cleared for redevelopment in 2006 after the City of Council Bluffs used funds from a $400,000 EPA Brownfields grant to assess the property. Located at 900 South 6th Street in Council Bluffs, the construction site was assessed for potential hazardous substance and petroleum contamination. EPA Brownfields funding helped remove environmental barriers on the property, allowing construction to proceed. EPA’s Brownfields program provides funding to assist with the assessment and redevelopment of environmentally contaminated properties. Brownfield sites can include residential, commercial and industrial properties. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, and takes development pressures off undeveloped, open land while improving and protecting the environment. For more information, please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/C6671A0E7256C52285257B03006C04E4. Energy Department Announces New SunShot Projects to Harness the Power of Big Data As part of the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, the Department announced seven data-driven projects to unearth new opportunities for reducing costs and accelerating solar energy deployment in the United States. These projects—located in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas—will result in viable methods for dramatically transforming the operations of solar researchers, manufacturers, developers, installers, and policymakers, and speed the commercialization and deployment of affordable, clean solar energy. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=833. Two Draft EPA Policy Documents on Title VI Out for Public Comment EPA has made improving its civil rights program a priority and recognizes that its enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title

VI) is an important tool in its efforts to protect against discrimination and ensure that recipients of EPA financial assistance do not discriminate in implementing programs and activities. As part of this effort, EPA has posted two draft policy papers for review and comment. The first draft policy paper proposes to change the way EPA assesses "adversity" by having the Agency refrain from applying a "rebuttable presumption" in certain Title VI investigations. The second draft paper discusses EPA's thinking on how to expand the roles of complainants and recipients in the Title VI complaints process. EPA also adopted a Title VI Term and Condition that will be included in domestic grant awards made on or after January 23, 2013. The two draft policy papers and the new grants language are on OCR's website at http://www.epa.gov/ocr/title6policy.htm. EPA will take comments on the two draft policy papers until March 8, 2013. For further information or questions please contact: Helena Wooden-Aguilar, External Civil Rights - Assistant Director, US EPA - Office of Civil Rights, 202-564-0792. Wooden-Aguilar.Helena@epa.gov. Energy Department Offers $12 Million to Accelerate Solar Cell Efficiency The Energy Department recently announced a new $12 million funding opportunity to develop innovative, ultra-efficient solar devices that will help close the gap with the theoretical efficiency limit. That limit is defined as the highest potential percentage of sunlight that can be converted directly into electricity. Currently, a sizable gap still exists between the efficiency of laboratory and commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and the predicted maximum efficiencies of different solar cell materials. Accelerating breakthroughs in solar cell conversion efficiency will help continue to lower the overall cost of solar power. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the Funding Opportunity Announcement: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/default.aspx#FoaId9e8defc6-c525-4f17-87d8-0f4083a01eef DOE Announces Winners of Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition As part of the Administration's efforts to save Americans money by conserving energy and increasing American leadership in energy-efficient building technologies, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the fifth annual Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Design Competition for outdoor lighting. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=842. Koch Nitrogen Company to Pay $380,000 Civil Penalty for Clean Air Act Violations at Facilities in Iowa and Kansas Koch Nitrogen Company LLC has agreed to pay a $380,000 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at facilities in Iowa and Kansas. Inspections of three of Koch’s facilities in 2007 and 2009 revealed violations of the risk management program required by the Clean Air Act. The inspected facilities are in Fort Dodge and Marshalltown, Iowa, and Dodge City, Kan. The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. As a result of this settlement, Koch Nitrogen has certified that it is in full compliance with Clean Air Act. Once it is published in the Federal Register, a copy of the consent decree will be available on the Justice Department website at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html. Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income Development near Rail Transit in Reading, Massachusetts Once the site of an abandoned grocery store, 30 Haven Street is occupied by the first mixed-use development with modular housing in Reading, Massachusetts, a historic town in the Boston suburbs. The development is composed of 23 one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units, and 22,000 square feet of retail space. Because of its downtown location, 30 Haven is also the first project subject to Reading’s Downtown Smart Growth Overlay District zoning bylaw, which stipulates that 20 percent of new residences in developments must be designated as affordable. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=842. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs Continue Despite FHFA Ruling Some jurisdictions are still using Property Assessed Clean Energy programs to help finance housing retrofits, despite a controversial 2010 ruling by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to speakers at a Jan. 31 webinar hosted by Applied Solutions. PACE financing programs allow private property owners to install small-scale renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their

buildings and pay for the cost over its functional life through an on-going assessment on property tax bills. While the FHFA ruling means the assessments can no longer be passed on to future property owners without their consent, municipal officials said the financing tool is still viable. For more information, please visit: http://scitynetwork.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=75610d665a8ff31dbc072badb&id=c33fe2612c&e=6d1207504f Energy Department Announces New Investment to Advance Cost-Competitive Hydrogen Fuel The Energy Department today announced a $1 million investment to analyze and evaluate potential cost-competitive pathways for producing and transporting hydrogen fuel. The project selected—led by Strategic Analysis, Inc. in Arlington, Virginia—will identify cost-effective and efficient materials and processes to produce hydrogen from renewable energy sources. This investment supports the Energy Department's broader goal to achieve $2 to $4 per gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) of hydrogen fuel by 2020. For more information, please visit: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=841. Radon Measurement/Mitigation Course, April 15-20, 2013 - Rogers, AR This course is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (Exams - Tuesday evening and Saturday 8:30 a.m.). Course Schedule: Course days typically start at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. The Measurement course is Monday-Tuesday, with the Measurement exam late afternoon or evening Tuesday. The Mitigation course begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and runs through the Mitigation exam Saturday morning. Workshop Contact - Bruce Snead at 785-532-4992 bsnead@ksu.edu. Please register by April 8. To register on-line, visit: https://outreach.ksu.edu/etrakWebApp/Registration.aspx?MeetingCode=605097W . To register online, you will need to set up an account with a user id (which is your e-mail address) and password.

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.

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