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New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act Implementation Guidance

November 4, 2020

In November 2020, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a series of four guidance documents to implement part of the New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA), as amended by the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CRRA requires that state agencies consider future climate impacts as a part of certain planning, permitting, and funding actions. The CRRA also requires that the DEC issue guidance for state agencies and other audiences to implement the CRRA. In accordance with that requirement, DEC issued four guidance documents: (1) Using Natural Measures to Reduce the Risk of Flooding and Erosion, which describes natural resilience measures and their uses for reducing risks associated with erosion and flooding; (2) New York State Flood Risk Management Guidance, which presents recommendations to state agencies on considering flood risk in planning and project implementation; (3) a guide on Estimating Guideline Elevations, which presents the principles introduced in the New York State Flood Risk Management Guidance to assist planners, engineers, designers, and architects in flood mitigation project design; and (4) Guidance for Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Assessment, which provides general principles of climate risk mitigation that state agencies should follow when undertaking "smart growth assessments" required by the CRRA and other state statutes. While these guidance documents were developed by DEC to facilitate implementation of the New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act, much of the information presented is applicable to other jurisdictions that seek to manage floodplains in accordance with climate risks.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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New Jersey Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) Program

In 1971, New Jersey implemented the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) Program. Through this program, the state pays municipalities to protect and conserve open, undeveloped lands owned by the state and tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. This program was created to benefit environmental quality, quality of life, and economic health in New Jersey by conserving open space for natural resources and recreational purposes. While this program has been amended throughout its tenure, it is a noteworthy example of a state program that creates incentives for local governments to create open space by mitigating the impacts of lost tax revenue and land maintenance costs. In a managed retreat context, a similar program could be coupled with hazard mitigation buyouts and open space acquisitions to encourage local governments to conserve vulnerable properties impacted by sea-level rise and flooding. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change Report

December 2020

The Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, established in 2019, included a broad array of stakeholders and conferred with people from across the state to identify, examine, and include strategies to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change impacts. The task force issued its report in December 2020, which identifies 55 strategies across 9 sectors: Climate justice and equity; Energy; Transportation; Agriculture; Resilient Systems; Clean economy; Education; Food systems; and Forestry.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Climate and Health in Oregon: 2020 Report

2020

The 2020 report “Climate Change and Health in Oregon,” issued by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), describes the many health risks caused or exacerbated by climate change impacts that can harm the health of  Oregon’s population, with special attention given to frontline populations. The report discusses risks to physical and mental health and covers cross-cutting risks such as economic impacts and displacement, as well as climate hazards such as heat, floods, fire, and disease. It also summarizes state policy actions on climate and health risks.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Maine Won’t Wait

December 1, 2020

In December 2020, the Maine Climate Council under Governor Janet Mill released Maine Won’t Wait, the four-year climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to build community and environmental resilience, and to spur transformational economic growth and opportunity. The Council agreed upon four climate action plan goals to reflect the diverse challenges posed by climate change: reduce Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions; avoid the impacts and costs of inaction; foster economic opportunity and prosperity; and advance equity through Maine’s Climate Response.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Honolulu, Hawaii Ordinance 20-47 - Office of Resilience

December 23, 2020

In December 2020, the Mayor of Honolulu signed Ordinance 20-47 (Ordinance), which formally codifies the responsibilities of the previously-established City of Honolulu Office of Resilience (Resilience Office), which include coordinating a coastal and water program, a climate resilience and equity program, and a food sustainability program. The Ordinance is meant to address climate change concerns by building on previous ordinances, and implements a ‘one water’ policy for the city. 

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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State of Oregon Climate Equity Blueprint

January 2021

Released in December 2020, the State of Oregon Climate Equity Blueprint is a living document which identifies best practices on how to prioritize equity in the formation of state policies, processes, and programs aimed at addressing climate change. Four “Climate Equity Blueprint Tools” are used to guide programmatic staff and officials across Oregon’s state agencies in the integration of equity into climate progress: best practices; guiding questions; case studies; and resources. These tools are employed to cover key areas for advancing climate and racial equity: building internal capacity; embedding equity and accountability into design; leading meaningful community engagement; and improving data collection and use.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan

January 2021

California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan, developed by Governor Newsom’s Forest Management Task Force in January 2021, provides a comprehensive framework of statewide strategies for forest management and community resilience. The Action Plan outlines four primary goals, which are buttressed by subsections and more specific “key actions. ” It not only presents mitigation approaches to reducing fire risk, but also embraces adaptation strategies that advance fire-resilient natural environments and bolster the infrastructure of threatened communities.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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S.3418 – Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act of 2020 (STORM Act)

January 1, 2021

The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act of 2020 (STORM Act), enacted January 1st, 2021, amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U. S. C. 5131) to authorize grants to establish hazard mitigation revolving loan fund programs. The programs are intended to fund projects that mitigate natural hazards including wildfires, earthquakes, drought, severe storm events, erosion, storm surges, and high water levels. The goal of the federal funding is to support risk reduction for local governments by decreasing loss of life and property, insurance costs, and the necessity for future federal disaster relief.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Taking Action on Climate Change and Building a More Resilient Connecticut for All: Phase I Report

January 2021

The Phase I report by the Connecticut Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) -- Taking Action on Climate Change and Building a More Climate Resilient Connecticut for All -- released January 2021, contains a wide array of recommendations for improving Connecticut’s resilience to climate change that can be implemented by early 2022. An Adaptation and Resilience plan is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021 and will include recommendations on longer term policies. The report and forthcoming adaptation plan were called for in an executive order issued in September 2019.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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