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California SB 246 - Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program

October 8, 2015

SB 246 established an Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program for California as of January 1, 2017. The program will coordinate regional and local efforts with state climate adaptation strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change. There is to be an emphasis on climate equity considerations across sectors and regions and strategies that benefit both greenhouse gas emissions reductions and adaptation efforts, in order to facilitate the development of holistic, complementary strategies for adapting to climate change impacts.

Related Organizations: State of California

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Incorporating Natural Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services in Federal Decision-Making (Memorandum for Executive Departments and Agencies)

October 7, 2015

President Obama released new policy guidance directing Federal agencies to begin incorporating ecosystem services in Federal planning and decision-making. The memorandum directs agencies to develop and institutionalize policies that promote consideration of ecosystem services, where appropriate and practicable, in planning, investment, and regulatory contexts. It also establishes a process for the Federal government to develop a more detailed guidance on integrating ecosystem-service assessments into relevant programs and projects to help maintain ecosystem and community resilience, sustainable use of natural resources, and the recreational value of the Nation’s unique landscapes.

Related Organizations: White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Buffalo, New York, Green Code Unified Development Ordinance, Article 7.3.4 Best Management Practice

October 2015

The City of Buffalo, New York’s Unified Development Ordinance now includes a Green Code that requires use of green infrastructure best management practices (BMPs) wherever practical to achieve the Code’s performance-based stormwater retention standards. The ordinance, at Article 7. 3. 4 of Section 7 on Stormwater, specifies infiltration on-site using bioswales, rain gardens, and other strategies; or stormwater capture and reuse through cisterns, green roofs, and other strategies. The ordinance clarifies the order of preference for stormwater management facilities utilizing BMPs, prioritizing conservation of natural areas before on-site infiltration practices, and on-site infiltration practices before capture and reuse practices.

Related Organizations: City of Buffalo, New York

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California Coastal Commission: Adopted Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance

August 12, 2015

The California Coastal Commission Adopted Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance was released on August 12, 2015. The Guidance document offers an overview of the best available science on sea level rise for California, coastal adaptation strategies, and recommended methodology for addressing sea level rise in Coastal Commission planning and regulatory actions.

Related Organizations: California Coastal Commission

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on the Built Environment under NEPA and State EIA Laws: A Survey of Current Practices and Recommendations for Model Protocols

August 12, 2015

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has developed a set of model protocols for assessing the impacts of climate change on the built environment under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and similar state and local laws, including those for environmental impact assessments (EIAs). This paper summarizes the legal and empirical research used for the development of these protocols.

Related Organizations: Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Wentz

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Oregon EO 15-09: Directing State Agencies to Plan for Resiliency to Drought, To Meet the Challenge that a Changing Climate Brings

July 27, 2015

Oregon Governor Brown's 2015 Executive Order on drought and climate change sets a goal to reduce water consumption by 15 percent or more on average across all state-owned facilities on or before December 31, 2020. The EO also directs agencies to update the state's overall planning for drought, including potential new tools to help communities deal with the impacts of water shortages.

Related Organizations: State of Oregon

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Hawaii HB 444 - An Act Relating to Beach Protection: Transient Accommodations Tax; Special Land and Development Fun; Appropriation”

July 1, 2015

Hawaii HB 444, passed June 16, 2015, authorizes the use of transient accommodations tax revenues for a beach restoration and conservation special fund. The bill was enacted to effectively develop and implement plans to slow the degradation of Hawaii’s beaches; as well as to restore beaches through the coordination of activities involving the counties and the formation of public-private partnerships.  The legislation expands the uses of the beach restoration fund to allow the Department of Land and Natural Resources to include studies about the effect of sea level rise when developing beach conservation plans.

Related Organizations: State of Hawaii, Hawaii Land and Natural Resources Department

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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RI H 5478: Creating the Rhode Island House Commission on Economic Risk Due to Flooding and Sea Rise

June 17, 2015

In June 2015, Rhode Island House Resolution 5478 created an 11 member special legislative commission whose purpose was to study and make recommendations concerning the economic risks relating to and resulting from sea rise and flooding in the state. The Commission expired and disbanded on February 6, 2016 after reporting back their findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives.

Related Organizations: State of Rhode Island

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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U.S. Clean Water Rule

June 1, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have finalized the Clean Water Rule, designed to protect and restore water sources nationwide. The rule will redevelop clear safeguards against unregulated pollution and destruction for nearly two million miles of streams and tens of millions of acres of wetlands in the continental U.S.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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HB0514/SB0258 Maryland Commission on Climate Change

June 1, 2015

In May 2015, the Maryland legislature passed legislation (HB0514/SB0258) codifying the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.  The Commission is charged with advising the Governor and General Assembly on ways to mitigate the causes of, prepare for, and adapt to the consequences of climate change. The measure requires the Commission to establish specified working groups and for the Commission members and working group members to be appointed and the Commission to be convened on or before July 1, 2016.

Related Organizations: State of Maryland, University of Maryland

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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