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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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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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DOT Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program

2021

In April 2021, the Department of Transportation (DOT) rebooted its discretionary rail, transit, and port funding program as the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. The program was initially known as the TIGER grant program, and most recently administered as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program. The FY 2021 funds will be available for obligation through September 30, 2024. The 2021 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFO) prioritizes projects that contemplate and address climate-related concerns such as energy efficiency, resilience, and emissions, requiring that climate and environmental justice impacts be considered by planners. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM Eastern on July 12, 2021. 

 

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Rhode Island 2021 Act on Climate

April 10, 2021

On April 10, 2021, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed the Rhode Island 2021 Act on Climate into law, amending the Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 by making mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets more enforceable, adding a goal of net-zero by 2050, and requiring actions to promote equity and environmental justice. The new law requires the state Climate Council — established by the 2014 bill — to develop and periodically update a plan to reach these goals. New language also requires the state Council’s plan to include an equitable transition, and address environmental injustices.

Related Organizations: State of Rhode Island

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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U.S. Department of Transportation Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) Program

The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant funding program exists to provide federal funding support to nationally or regionally significant highway and freight projects. In reviewing grant applications, the U. S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) prioritizes projects that support economic vitality, promote or deploy innovation, allow federal funding to be leveraged in attracting private investment, and support accountability. For the first time, however, in 2021 USDOT also began prioritizing projects that promote racial equity, and those that address climate change and environmental justice.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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California “Sea the Future” Tool

The “Sea the Future” tool was developed by the State of California to help the state’s local planners and residents understand and be able to select from among a dozen different sea-level rise and flooding visualization tools that may be useful in efforts to plan for sea-level rise. Sea the Future provides summaries and information on tool features, similarities and differences across tools, and advantages and disadvantages of each tool so that end-users can make an informed decision about which tool(s) to use to support decisionmaking.

Related Organizations: California State Coastal Conservancy

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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California Local Climate Change Snapshot Tool

The California Local Climate Change Snapshot tool presents localized projections of changes in temperature, precipitation, and wildfire for all locations in California based on climate model output through the year 2100. The Snapshot is designed to be accessible for most or all users, and provides a brief overview of potential climate change impacts within a region.

Related Organizations: University of California, Berkeley, California Energy Commission, California Strategic Growth Council

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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All-In Clark County: Clark County's Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

February 16, 2021

On February 16, 2021, the Clark County, Nevada Board of Commissioners approved the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan under the initiative “All-In Clark County. ” This initiative works to build a more sustainable future through taking bold actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare communities for the impacts of climate change. The Plan is guided by four principles: resilience (social, economic, and built environment), transparency, equity, and greenhouse gas reductions.

Related Organizations: Clark County, Nevada

Resource Category: Planning

 

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