02
OCT
0

Over the past several years, APWA has been working with the EPA Office of Water and other national associations in the sector to bring useful resources and tools on sustainable utility management.  The first set of resources developed through this collaboration was the Effective Utility Management attributes and Primer.  Building upon the success of that project and in an effort to fulfill the President’s sustainability goals, the Office of Water partnered with the US Department of Agriculture to produce resources specific to small and rural communities. 

 

EPA Rural Guidebook Cover

 

This effort is modeled on the Effective Utility Management Initiative. The first, a new Rural and Small Systems Guidebook to Sustainable Utility Management, will help such systems assess the effectiveness of their operations, prioritize potential improvements, and develop an action plan to address these priorities. The second, a “Workshop in a Box,” contains a series of materials and instructions to help both rural and small systems and service providers market and conduct workshops based on the guidebook. For more information and to access these tools: http://www.apwa.net/DR/index.asp?ID=1700.

 

Workshop in Box Cover

02
JUN
0

On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency released their Clean Power Plan proposal. This proposal aims to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants, the largest sources of carbon pollution in the United States.  Power plants are responsible for approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.  This proposed rule will amend the existing Clean Air Act and marks the first time that carbon pollution from power plants has been regulated at a federal level.

 

The Clean Power Plan aims to cut carbon emissions nationwide from existing power plants by thirty percent below 2005 levels by 2030. According to EPA’s proposal, this reduction in carbon pollution will also result in reducing particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 25 percent.

 

EPA will implement the Clean Power Plan through a state-federal partnership. States will have until June 2016 to create and submit a plan to EPA to comply with the new proposal.  Many states have already adopted energy efficiency/ renewable energy (EE/RE) programs to encourage energy conservation and reduce the amount of emissions produced by energy production.  The Clean Power Plan gives states the flexibility to build upon these existing conservation plans or create new ones to meet the Plan’s new pollution limits. States will have the option of partnering with nearby states to create programs that will comply with the new proposal. States will also have the flexibility to set differing pollution limits and use a variety of methods to meet the plans goals, as long as it doesn’t affect the nationwide limit.

 

The EPA is expected to finalize the rule next summer. After the rule is published in the Federal Register, interested stakeholders have 120 days to comment on the proposal.

 

This proposal is part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The President’s Climate Action Plan is the Obama Administration’s strategic initiative to cut carbon pollution; prepare the US for the impacts of climate change; and lead international efforts to combat global climate change.

08
AUG
0

On July 16, the White House released plans for several initiatives funded by federal agencies that will support state, local, and tribal governments’ efforts to become resilient against the effects of climate change.  These initiatives include:

  • National Disaster Resilience Competition that rewards up $1 billion to communities affected by natural disasters in recent years
  • The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs $10 million Federal-Tribal Climate Resilience Partnership and Technical Assistance Program that will help tribes prepare for climate change by developing and delivering adaptation training
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) $236.3 million in funding for eight states to support improved rural electric infrastructure
  • FEMA’s new Mitigation Integration Task Force that works  with state, tribal, local, and eligible private non-profit partners, to identify pilot projects in current and emerging disasters  where investments will make the areas more resilient.
  • EPA’s Green Infrastructure Collaborative that advances green infrastructure, and
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) new $1.5 million program to investigate how climate change will affect coastal areas and improve how local government coastal management programs 

 

To learn more about the new federal initiatives for climate change resiliency, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/16/fact-sheet-taking-action-support-state-local-and-tribal-leaders-they-pre