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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.

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)).

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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City of New York, New York: New York City (NYC) Rezoning Commitments Tracker

June 30, 2021

The New York City (NYC) Rezoning Commitments Tracker (Tracker) is an online tool that enables city residents to monitor the city’s progress in implementing several neighborhood-level comprehensive plans. The neighborhood plans, referred to generally as “rezonings,” include zoning code changes as well as city commitments to specific capital and programmatic investments. The tool can be used to both inform the city’s internal coordination and project management as well as provide external transparency for community members. The Tracker also serves to help users understand how zoning changes will manifest in tangible projects, translating the technical information from neighborhood rezoning plans into specific initiatives. Other local governments could consider developing and maintaining similar online tools to support and implement community-led decisionmaking processes including for adaptation and resilience. 

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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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.

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.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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City of Chicago, Illinois: Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region

June 2021

The Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region identifies climate change mitigation and adaptation actions that will be implemented by a group of 275 cities, villages and towns in seven counties in the greater Chicago area. The plan was produced by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and is one of the first regional climate plans produced within the United States. Through a multi-jurisdictional approach, the plan commits the municipalities to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions and creating more resilient communities by 2050.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New York State Climate Smart Community Coordinators

May 2021

Beginning in 2021, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) initiated the New York State Climate Leadership Coordinator Services. In 2022, the program name was updated to  Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Coordinators. The program is a $3. 5-million initiative to select relevant organizations to serve 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.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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WHEJAC Recommendations

May 21, 2021

Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, established the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) in order to advise the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council on “how to increase the Federal Government’s effort to address current and historic environmental injustice. ” WHEJAC’s final report gives a series of charge questions and recommendations relating to Justice40, the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, and Executive Order 12898 revisions.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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