Climate & Resilience

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    Brian Snyder/Reuters

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    Deep Dive

    Heat safety laws for workers in Texas, Florida, Phoenix to be put to the test

    As summer begins, some states prevent cities from mandating water breaks. Still, there are commonsense practices to protect workers from soaring temperatures, safety officials say.

    By Zachary Phillips • May 28, 2024
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    Win McNamee via Getty Images
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    Brownfield clean-up job training programs can get $14M from EPA

    The federal agency also awarded over $300 million in grants to clean up polluted sites so communities can repurpose them into assets such as affordable housing and green space.

    By May 28, 2024
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    jamesteohart via Getty Images
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    Top 5 stories from Smart Cities Dive

    From worsening climate change to a shifting transportation landscape and the housing affordability crisis, cities have their work cut out for them in 2024.

    By Smart Cities Dive staff
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    aiisha5 via Getty Images
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    Top cities for certified energy-efficient buildings announced by EPA

    Los Angeles has dominated the rankings for Energy Star-certified buildings year after year. The U.S. EPA has some ideas on why. 

    By May 24, 2024
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    Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
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    Litter audit data could drive more litigation and policy, experts say

    New York is suing PepsiCo for allegedly “harming the public and the environment with its single-use plastic packaging,” in part based on such data.

    By Maria Rachal • May 23, 2024
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    Mario Tama/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Heat resilience research centers unveiled by Biden administration

    Most governments have historically lacked “a comprehensive or coordinated set of strategies to deal with heat and its impacts,” a center lead said. Applications for communities to get involved will open later this year. 

    By May 21, 2024
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    matimix for iStock via Getty Images
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    San Francisco and 2 states expand bans on forever chemicals

    The measures outlaw PFAS in items such as turf, menstruation products and firefighter gear.

    By Sara Samora • May 21, 2024
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    deberarr via Getty Images
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    Legal battle over NYC’s building emissions law resurfaces in appellate court

    A panel of New York State Supreme Court judges said the defendants, including New York City, have failed to show that the state’s existing climate legislation does not preempt Local Law 97. 

    By Nish Amarnath • May 20, 2024
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    Retrieved from City of San Antonio on YouTube on May 20, 2024
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    How cool pavement, heat risk data are helping a Texas city prep for summer

    With heat-related illness on the rise in San Antonio, “it’s critical that we direct resources to those most in need of relief,” said the city’s chief sustainability officer.

    By May 20, 2024
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    Dylan Slagle, BGE

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    EPA launches new Energy Star residential standard

    Requirements for certification include heat pumps, resident electric vehicle charging stations, electric cooking appliances and highly energy-efficient construction.

    By Mary Salmonsen • May 17, 2024
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    Katie Dobies via Getty Images
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    To win the war on rats, NYC convenes National Urban Rat Summit

    “The best way to defeat our enemy is to know our enemy,” Mayor Eric Adams said. Municipal experts from cities across the U.S. will be in attendance.

    By May 17, 2024
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom talks during a news conference in October 2022.
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    Justin Sullivan/Getty via Getty Images
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    California Gov. Newsom says climate bills are ‘funded’ in his revised state budget

    The governor’s original budget proposal for 2024-2025 left out funding needed to implement a pair of climate disclosure bills — an omission met with much criticism.

    By Zoya Mirza • May 16, 2024
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    pawel.gaul via Getty Images
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    Clean energy fund surplus sparks tension in Pacific Northwest city

    The Portland, Oregon, program has brought in millions of dollars more than originally anticipated, putting some city leaders and climate advocates at odds over how to proceed.

    By May 16, 2024
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    Retrieved from Block-Lite on LinkedIn on May 15, 2024
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    Carbon removal: What’s the local government’s role?

    As some cities and counties start to look at carbon removal strategies, experts say the public sector entering the ring could help bring down the cost for everyone. 

    By May 15, 2024
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images
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    OSHA heat standard clears regulatory hurdle

    A committee has unanimously recommended that the agency advance a rule to protect construction workers from high temperatures.

    By Zachary Phillips • May 14, 2024
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    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    FEMA alters how it calculates costs, benefits of disaster resilience projects

    The changes will address longstanding barriers that underserved communities have faced in accessing grants, the agency says.

    By May 14, 2024
  • 23 states, rural co-ops sue EPA over ‘unlawful, unreasonable’ power plant rules

    “This rule intentionally sets impossible standards to destroy the coal industry,” North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley said Thursday.

    By Robert Walton • May 10, 2024
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    Spencer Platt/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    EPA offers $41M to fortify stormwater, sewer infrastructure

    Cities face a shifting stormwater picture driven by climate change and increasing urbanization, one engineer said.

    By May 10, 2024
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    Retrieved from Bauer House on Facebook on May 09, 2024
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    HUD’s $4.8B green retrofit program announces first construction project deal

    A new heat pump system will replace the existing gas-powered system at an apartment community housing low-income older adults.

    By May 9, 2024
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    Eloi_Omella via Getty Images
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    ‘Reliable’ coastal resilience funds needed from federal government, NYC mayor says

    “We’re investing billions in green and grey infrastructure,” Mayor Adams said as the city broke ground on a $200 million project to protect lower Manhattan from sea-level rise. 

    By May 8, 2024
  • Close-up of a pipeline in a trench dug in the ground
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    ImagePixel via Getty Images
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    How can cities build a future with fewer gas pipelines?

    As some communities question the logic of continued investment in the gas system, a new RMI and National Grid paper looks at efforts to find alternatives.

    By May 6, 2024
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    MingzheZhang via Getty Images
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    DOE picks local clean energy projects to receive $27M in grants

    More than three dozen state and local governments will receive funds, including $2.2 million for Chicago to launch a building electrification campaign, install EV chargers and other projects.

    By Robert Walton • May 2, 2024
  • The flag of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hangs outside the agency building in Washington, D.C.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    EPA unveils environmental justice ‘clearinghouse’ with hundreds of resources

    The online library is an "excellent start" for municipal leaders looking to center environmental justice in their work, the National League of Cities’ sustainability director said.

    By May 2, 2024
  • A person walks through knee-high floodwaters in front of a house.
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    Andrew Burton/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    HUD tightens flood-protection rules for new and rebuilt homes

    One floodplain manager predicts similar state and local standards may pop up nationwide, but those in real estate finance decried the rule.

    By May 1, 2024
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    Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images
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    Clean energy transition could take ‘decades or generations,’ JPMorgan warns

    New research from the U.S. bank pointed to inflation, high interest rates and geopolitical issues as key roadblocks delaying the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

    By Zoya Mirza • May 1, 2024
  • Construction continues near unfinished Purple Line rail tracks at the Paul Sarbanes Transit Center on April 8, 2021 in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images
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    Want to improve your transit system’s sustainability? A relaunched FTA program can help.

    The Federal Transit Administration's two-year program includes an environmental review, virtual workshops and two audits and requires the participation of transit agency executives.

    By April 30, 2024