The American Flood Coalition created the Flood Funding Finder to simplify the complex federal grants system and to help small communities identify and prioritize opportunities to fund flood resilience.
This interactive tool is a resource for local leaders exploring federal funding opportunities for flooding projects in small communities. While there may be additional funding opportunities for which a connection to flooding could be made, the tool focuses on opportunities where there is a trend of funded projects that address flooding and sea level rise. In addition to summarizing how each federal program can be used by small communities, the program summaries include external links to applications and in-depth program information, as well as Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers that applicants may use to search for grant information on federal websites.
The tool allows users to filter by fund characteristics, assistance type, estimated funding amount, federal support mechanism, whether for a tribal resilience program, and by closing date.
Local governments often use property-assessed clean energy programs to help fund climate efforts, a recent Brookings Institution report found. Taxes and emerging strategies like local financing authorities and funding partnerships are less common, it states.
Thirty-nine states allow local governments to create PACE programs to encourage building efficiency upgrades. Such programs help property owners finance all the upfront costs of energy efficiency projects like new heat and cooling systems or insulation by allowing them to repay those costs over a long period, often up to 20 years, through property taxes.
“Funding and financing are often the biggest barriers to local decarbonization efforts,” the report says. “With larger cities requiring billions of dollars to retrofit their building stock, construct new transit lines, or modernize local electricity distribution systems, being realistic about how to fund all these investments is an essential step to decarbonization.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 2021 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that environmental releases of TRI chemicals from facilities covered by the program remained below pre-pandemic levels and releases in 2021 are 10% lower than 2012 releases, even with an 8% increase from 2020 to 2021. Additionally, in 2021, facilities managed 89% of their TRI chemical waste through preferred practices such as recycling, energy recovery and treatment, while reporting that they released 11% of their TRI chemical waste into the environment.
The 2021 TRI National Analysis summarizes TRI chemical waste management activities, including releases, that occurred during calendar year 2021. More than 21,000 facilities submitted reports on 531 chemicals requiring TRI reporting that they released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. EPA, states and Tribes receive TRI data from facilities in sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities and commercial hazardous waste management.
The 2021 Analysis features updated visualizations and analytical tools to make data more useful and accessible to communities, including the option to view data by region and watershed. EPA has also updated demographic information in the “Where You Live” mapping tool and in the Chemical Profiles section.
Readers can view facility locations with overlayed demographic data to identify potential exposure to TRI chemical releases in disadvantaged communities. Community groups, policymakers, and other stakeholders can use this data, along with other environmental data, to better understand which communities may experience a disproportionate pollution burden and take action at the local level.
EPA is holding a public webinar on March 28, 2023, to give an overview of the 2021 TRI National Analysis. Register for the webinar.
Notable Trend in 2021
The National Analysis shows a 24% increase in the number of new pollution reduction activities facilities initiated from 2020 to 2021 — a strong rebound after the decrease seen from 2019 to 2020. These activities include facilities implementing strategies like replacing TRI chemicals with less hazardous alternatives or reducing the amount of scrap they produce. Through both existing programs and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA offers grant opportunities to state and Tribal technical assistance providers to help prevent pollution.
Industry professionals can also look at TRI reporting on pollution prevention to learn about best practices implemented at facilities.
Ethylene Oxide Reporting
TRI reporting also shows a 45% decrease in ethylene oxide releases from 2012 to 2021, driven by decreased air emissions. Although there was a 15% increase in releases compared to 2020, quantities of ethylene oxide released in 2021 are lower than pre-pandemic quantities from 2019. EPA also expanded reporting requirements for ethylene oxide and other chemicals to include additional facilities. Reporting from these facilities will appear for the first time in next year’s National Analyses.
For the second time, the TRI National Analysis includes reporting on perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) following the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. For Reporting Year 2021, 176 PFAS were reportable to TRI. Facilities reported managing 1.3 million pounds of these chemicals as waste. This is an increase from the 800,000 pounds in 2020 and is largely due to reporting on one PFAS, perfluorooctyl iodide, which EPA began requiring facilities to report in 2021. Most of the facilities that manage PFAS operate in the chemical manufacturing and hazardous waste management sectors. The hazardous waste management sector accounted for roughly 80% of the 108,334 pounds of PFAS released into the environment, primarily to regulated landfills.
Last December, EPA proposed a rule that would improve reporting on PFAS to TRI by eliminating an exemption that allows facilities to avoid reporting information on PFAS when those chemicals are used in small, or de minimis, concentrations. Because PFAS are used at low concentrations in many products, this rule would ensure covered industry sectors and federal facilities that make or use TRI-listed PFAS will no longer be able to rely on the de minimis exemption to avoid disclosing their PFAS releases and other waste management quantities for these chemicals.
U.S. EPA’s CRWU initiative provides drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (water sector) utilities with practical tools, training, and technical assistance needed to increase resilience to climate change. CRWU assists water sector utilities and stakeholders by promoting a clear understanding of climate change and helps to identify potential long-term adaptation options for decision-making related to implementation and infrastructure financing.
Risk assessment tools include:
Resilience Strategies Guide: For those in the early stages of understanding potential climate change risks, typically smaller water sector utilities.
U.S. EPA’s Resilient Strategies Guide introduces drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities to the adaptation planning process. Utilities can use the Guide to identify their planning priorities, vulnerable assets, potential adaptation strategies and available funding sources.
Information in the Guide is based on the experiences of other utilities adapting to climate change and the resources available to support them in pursuing similar strategies. Users can provide information about their utility on the site to help the Guide identify the most relevant priorities, assets, strategies, and funding sources.
President Biden will designate a sacred tribal site in southern Nevada as a national monument in the coming days, according to two people briefed on the decision, creating the largest protected area of his presidency yet.
Biden will sign a proclamation putting hundreds of thousands of acres around Spirit Mountain — known as Avi Kwa Ame (ah-VEE-kwah-may) in Mojave — off limits to development under the 1906 Antiquities Act, the two individuals said. Theyspoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans are not yet public.
The move would rank as Biden’s most consequential act of land conservation so far, and it would fulfill a promise the president made to tribal leaders more than 100 days ago.
Decarbonization of electricity generation is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and scaling up energy storage deployment is key to achieving state decarbonization goals. Yet the most effective approaches to energy storage policymaking are far from clear. A new report by Sandia National Laboratories and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) summarizes findings from a 2022 survey of states leading in decarbonization goals and programs. The report, States Energy Storage Policy: Best Practices for Decarbonization, also summarizes findings from a 2022 survey of energy storage developers, and provides a deep dive into energy storage policymaking in several key states. In this webinar, report authors from CESA and Sandia will present their findings.
Will McNamara, Sandia National Laboratories
Todd Olinsky-Paul, Clean Energy States Alliance
Gabe Epstein, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)
This webinar is a presentation of the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP). ESTAP is a federal-state funding and information sharing project that aims to accelerate the deployment of electrical energy storage technologies in the US. ESTAP is funded by the US Department of Energy Office of Electricity under the direction of Dr. Imre Gyuk; managed by Sandia National Laboratories; and administered by the Clean Energy States Alliance.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will host a series of virtual listening sessions to inform the development of the 2023- 2028 Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Strategic Plan. As part of a robust public engagement plan, OSTP encourages input from all interested parties, including students, teachers, administrators, parents, researchers, employers, and others to provide information and perspectives on the challenges faced by – and within – the STEM ecosystem in the United States and solutions that might be implemented by the U.S. Government.
Format: Each listening session will focus on one aspect of the STEM ecosystem. The last session aims to include speakers unable to attend any of the earlier sessions and as such, will cover each of the five areas covered in the previous sessions. Registration is required to attend sessions.
If you would like to provide information in addition to or in lieu of your participation in the listening session, you may send a brief message to this public email address, email@example.com.
The IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute will be facilitating and moderating the meeting on OSTP’s behalf. The meeting will be recorded and participation implies consent for OSTP to capture your name, voice, and likeness, and anything you say may be recorded and transcribed for OSTP use.
The six upcoming listening sessions will be as follows:
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