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Planning for Climate and Energy Equity in Maryland

December 2015

Funded by the Town Creek Foundation of Maryland, Skeo Solutions evaluated Maryland’s 2013 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan - to determine the effects of the plan on state programs and disadvantaged communities. Aimed at enhancing social equity outcomes in Maryland’s climate planning, the programs were analyzed as to whether they benefit or reduce impacts on vulnerable communities - in order to identify programatic improvements, and the need for new initiatives. In addition, a number of long-term recommendations are offered to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate adaptation planning.

Related Organizations: Town Creek Foundation of Maryland

Author or Affiliated User: Marcus Griswold

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Connecticut Executive Order No. 50 - State Agencies Fostering Resilience Council

October 26,2015

Connecticut Executive Order 50, signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on October 26, 2015, establishes a permanent working group called the State Agency Fostering Resilience Council (SAFR Council), committed to strengthening the state’s resiliency to extreme weather events including hurricanes, flooding, extreme heat, and slow onset events such as sea-level rise. The SAFR Council is to be comprised of 12 members, appointed by the Governor, including agency heads and experts.

Related Organizations: Connecticut Office of the Governor

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California SB 758 - Atmospheric Rivers: Research, Mitigation, and Climate Forecasting Program

October 9, 2015

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 758 into law in October 2015, establishing the Atmospheric Rivers: Research, Mitigation, and Climate Forecasting Program in the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Led by DWR and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego (UCSD) the research aims to better manage water supply by expanding climate and weather research focused on the causes of drought and flood.   The legislation supports research in climate forecasting and the causes and impacts that climate change has on atmospheric rivers, to operate reservoirs in a manner that improves flood protection in the state, and to reoperate flood control and water storage facilities to capture water generated by atmospheric rivers.

Related Organizations: State of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography , California Department of Water Resources

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California AB 1482: Climate adaptation strategy

October 8, 2015

AB 1482 requires the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), in coordination with the Strategic Growth Council, to oversee and coordinate state agency actions to adapt to climate change. The bill requires CNRA to update the state’s climate adaptation strategy (Safeguarding California), by July 1, 2017, and every three years thereafter. As part of the update, the CNRA will coordinate with other state agencies to identify the agency or agencies to lead adaptation efforts in each sector. The updates to the plan are to include climate change vulnerabilities by sector and the priority actions needed to reduce risks, for at least the following sectors: Water Energy Transportation Public health Agriculture Emergency services Forestry Biodiversity and habitat Ocean and coastal resources   To address the vulnerabilities as identified in the updated plan, state agencies are directed to fulfill the objectives of: Educating the public about the consequences of climate change, such as sea-level rise, extreme weather events, the urban heat island effect, habitat loss, wildfire, drought, threats to infrastructure and agriculture, worsening air and water quality, and public health impacts.

Related Organizations: State of California, California Natural Resources Agency

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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SB 379 Fact Sheet: Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Strategies

The Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) released this fact sheet to explain the basic requirements of SB 379 for California communities. SB 379 will require cities and counties within California to integrate climate adaptation into their general plans by January 1, 2017 or January 1, 2022 depending on whether or not that city or county has adopted a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. The fact sheet also describes a 3-step process cities and counties can use to meet the requirements.

Related Organizations: Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA), Local Government Commission (LGC)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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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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California SB 379: Land use; general plan; safety element; climate adaptation

October 8, 2015

California SB 379 requires all cities and counties to include climate adaptation and resiliency strategies in the Safety Elements of their General Plans upon the next revision beginning January 1, 2017. The bill requires the climate adaptation update to include a set of goals, policies, and objectives for their communities based on the vulnerability assessment, as well as implementation measures, including the conservation and implementation of natural infrastructure that may be used in adaptation projects.

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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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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