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Community-Informed Heat Relief: Policy Options for Addressing Urban Extreme Heat in High-Risk Communities

Community-Informed Heat Relief: Policy Options for Addressing Urban Extreme Heat in High-Risk Communities

June 30, 2021

Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related hazard. Due to the legacy of racially discriminatory redlining practices and long-term lack of investment in their communities, people of color in urban areas are disproportionately exposed to high temperatures and suffer greater consequences. To help policymakers and communities address this public health threat, the Georgetown Climate Center is releasing Community-Informed Heat Relief: Policy Options for Addressing Urban Extreme Heat in High-Risk Communities to inform a new comprehensive heat plan currently being developed by the District of Columbia, and to serve as a resource for other cities impacted by urban extreme heat.

Author or Affiliated User: Katherine McCormick

Resource Category: Planning

 

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FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program

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FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program

August 2020

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program is designed to support state, territorial, and local governments and federally recognized tribes in their efforts to undertake hazard mitigation projects to reduce risks stemming from natural hazards and disasters. BRIC funding is available on an annual basis in states that have received a presidential disaster declaration in the past seven years from the date when FEMA issues a Notice of Funding Opportunity. The purpose of the BRIC grant program is to provide a consistent, sustainable source of federal pre-disaster funding to shift the focus away from post-disaster recovery spending by building community resilience before future hazards and disasters occur. The BRIC program replaced FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program that served a similar purpose, but was administered differently and was not prescribed by Congress to be available on an annual basis. 

FEMA announced a new round of funding for the 2021 Fiscal Year totaling $1.6 billion. The application period for new funding opens on September 30, 2021 and closes on January 28, 2022 at 3:00 P.M. ET. Of note, eligible state and local grantees should check with their State Hazard Mitigation Offices or departments to inquire whether there are additional requirements or earlier deadlines for project proposals or applications set by their own states that may differ from the federal deadlines.

This round of funding aligns with the environmental justice mandates of federal Executive Order 14008 by incorporating metrics that prioritize assistance in disadvantaged communities. Economically disadvantaged rural areas are eligible for a higher federal cost share on projects (90 percent federal, instead of 25 percent), and projects can earn extra consideration for providing community-wide benefits to disadvantaged communities. 

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Flood Mitigation Assistance Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides Flood Mitigation Assistance funds to assist states, territories, local and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments to implement measures that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to buildings, manufactured homes, and other structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA announced a new round of funding for Fiscal Year 2022 totaling $160 million. The application period for this round of funding will be open from September 30, 2021 to January 28, 2022 at 3:00 P.M. ET.

The Fiscal Year 2022 funding notice for the Flood Mitigation Assistance program adopts the Center for Disease Control's Social Vulnerability Index as an additional scoring criteria to rank applications for proposed projects and activities. This new criteria prioritizes funding for the disadvantaged communities by awarding extra points to projects that affect underserved populations. 

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Lead with Listening: A Guidebook for Community Conversations on Climate Migration

In 2021, the Climigration Network, in partnership with a diverse team of researchers, released Lead with Listening: A Guidebook for Community Conversations on Climate Migration. The guidebook is a resource on climate migration and how to have effective dialogue about it. It addresses how various factors (e. g. , cultural, financial, and location) make conversations surrounding the topic of climate migration (also called “managed retreat” or “relocation,” among other terms) challenging.

Related Organizations: The Climigration Network

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Connecticut Public Law 21–115: An Act Concerning Climate Change Adaptation

July 6, 2021

On July 6, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Law 21–115: An Act Concerning Climate Change Adaptation to increase local resilience planning options, legal authorities, and financing for adaptation and resilience projects. The main components of this law authorize the creation of municipal stormwater authorities, and increase the authority of municipal flood prevention and climate resilience boards and their ability to collect and raise funds for climate resilience projects. In addition, the law expands the scope of the state’s "green bank," the Connecticut Green Bank, beyond clean energy to adaptation- and resilience-related projects, with an emphasis on prioritizing financing for frontline communities.  

Related Organizations: State of Connecticut

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Hawaii Act 179 (Senate Bill 474): Relating to Real Property Transactions

July 2, 2021

On July 2, 2021, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into law Act 179 (Senate Bill 474), which requires that sellers of real estate located in areas at risk of sea-level rise disclose this information to potential buyers (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 508D-15 (2021)). Policymakers passed the law to ensure that prospective buyers are aware of future risks to property related to sea-level rise.

Related Organizations: State of Hawaii, Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Hawaii Act 178 (House Bill 243): Relating to Sea-Level Rise Adaptation

July 2, 2021

On July 2, 2021, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into law Act 178 (House Bill 243), which directs the state’s agencies to collaborate toward identifying state facilities that are vulnerable to sea-level rise, flooding, and natural hazards (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 225M-__ (2021)). Act 178 also requires agencies to assess options to mitigate the impacts of sea-level rise to these facilities. The law affirms and updates the Hawaii Office of Planning’s role in providing “central direction and cohesion” as the leader of this interagency effort (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 225M-2 (2021)).

Related Organizations: State of Hawaii, Hawaii State Office of Planning, Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Community-Informed Heat Relief: Policy Options for Addressing Urban Extreme Heat in High-Risk Communities

June 30, 2021

Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related hazard. Due to the legacy of racially discriminatory redlining practices and long-term lack of investment in their communities, people of color in urban areas are disproportionately exposed to high temperatures and suffer greater consequences. To help policymakers and communities address this public health threat, the Georgetown Climate Center is releasing Community-Informed Heat Relief: Policy Options for Addressing Urban Extreme Heat in High-Risk Communities to inform a new comprehensive heat plan currently being developed by the District of Columbia, and to serve as a resource for other cities impacted by urban extreme heat.

Author or Affiliated User: Katherine McCormick

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Maine H.P. 1169–L.D. 1572: Resolve, To Analyze the Impact of Sea-Level Rise

June 16, 2021

On June 16, 2021, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law H. P. 1169–L. D. 1572 directing state-level departments and agencies to conduct a review of their laws and regulations to incorporate considerations of a relative sea-level rise of 1. 5 feet by 2050 and 4 feet by 2100. Additionally, this law directs state-level departments and agencies to identify ways to implement strategy F3 of the Maine Climate Action Plan, Maine Won’t Wait, “to enhance community resilience to flooding and other climate impacts.

Related Organizations: State of Maine

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Annexing Higher Ground and Preparing Receiving Areas in Hamilton, Washington

June 2021

In 2019, after decades of repetitive flooding, the town of Hamilton in Skagit County, Washington partnered with Forterra, a local land conservancy nonprofit, to annex a 48-acre parcel of land located outside of the town’s 100-year floodplain. Annexing this land will provide Hamilton with a higher, drier ground area where town residents could voluntarily relocate to new homes. Forterra is developing plans for the annexed parcel to build affordable, environmentally conscious homes for Hamilton residents. Hamilton provides an example for other municipalities and local governments either in a pre- or post-disaster context for revitalizing a community challenged by frequent flooding through adaptation actions. As done in Hamilton, local governments may consider possibilities for providing relocation options to residents within a floodplain, including by annexing new land, particularly where sufficient higher ground land within existing municipal boundaries is not available. Annexation can allow local governments to maintain local communities, tax bases, and economies.

 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Mexico Climate Risk Map

June 17, 2021

On June 17, 2021, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) Energy Conservation and Management Division (ECMD) launched the New Mexico Climate Risk Map, a tool to provide state residents with information about how climate change may impact their community. The free online map allows communities and residents to search by address and provides dozens of data layers related to five climate hazards: air quality, drought, heat, flooding, and wildfire. The Climate Risk Map displays climate change impacts to better prepare communities for risk and inspire adaptive action.

Related Organizations: New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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New York State Climate Leadership Coordinator Services

May 2021

Beginning in 2021, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is administering the New York State Climate Leadership Coordinator Services. The Climate Leadership Coordinators program is a $3. 5-million initiative to select relevant organizations as contractors to provide technical assistance to local municipalities on climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. Selected contractors will work in one of three territories in New York 一 Western, Eastern, and Downstate territories 一 and will help local governments and communities with “outreach, education, planning, capacity-building, and assistance with project implementation.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Florida Senate Bill (S.B.) 1954: Statewide Flooding and Sea-Level Rise Resilience

May 13, 2021

On May 12, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (S. B. ) 1954, Statewide Flooding and Sea-Level Rise Resilience, into law (Fla. Stat. § 380. 093 (2021)). Among other provisions, the law establishes the Resilient Florida Grant Program to build regional and local resilience and requires the state develop a statewide flood vulnerability and sea-level rise data assessment and Statewide Flooding and Sea-Level Rise Resilience Plan.  The purpose of the law is to determine flooding risks related to increased precipitation, extreme weather, and sea-level rise and initiate a coordinated statewide effort to adapt to these risks.

Related Organizations: State of Florida

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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