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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

September 2012 Volume 47
Community Energy Challenge (CEC) Monthly Update

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Welcome to the Community Energy Challenge Monthly Update, a monthly publication by EPA New England promoting energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy.

Disclaimer: Some of the events, articles and websites listed in this email are not sponsored by EPA. EPA is listing them for your information only. EPA is not responsible for the content of information from non-EPA sources, and does not endorse any commercial product, service, enterprise, or policy that may be included.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. EPA Announces Application Criteria for 2013 Climate Leadership Awards – deadline October 12
  2. U.S. EPA Issues Final Rule on Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements of Clean Air Act
  3. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Releases State of Climate Report
  4. U.S. EPA Awards Funding for Green Infrastructure

ARTICLES

  1. U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Study Shows Renewable Energy Potential in Every State
  2. Scientists Publish Study on Air Pollution Reduction Benefits of Green Infrastructure
  3. Transportation Research Board Publishes Report on Transportation and Climate Change

EVENTS

  1. Providence, RI – Ocean State Clean Cities Meeting & Panel Discussion – September 6
  2. New Haven, CT – 2012 CT Folk Festival & Green Expo – September 8
  3. Burlington, VT – The 11th Annual Vermont Renewable Energy Conference & Expo 2012 – October 1-2
  4. Medford, MA - 2012 Harvest Your Energy Festival – October 13
  5. South Portland, ME – Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day 2012 - October 19 & 20
  6. Norwood, MA – Seventh Annual AltWheels Fleet Day – October 22

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. IBM Smarter Cities Challenge – Technical Assistance – deadline September 7
  2. New England Grassroots Environment Fund – SEED grants (rolling deadline) and GROW grants – deadline September 15
  3. Funder’s Network – Round Two of the Local Sustainability Matching Fund – deadline October 1
  4. AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) – Technical Assistance – deadline October 12
  5. U.S. EPA 2012 Environmental Education Regional Model Grants Solicitation – deadline November 21
  6. Clean Air – Cool Planet’s Community Catalyst Fund – rolling deadline
  7. Vermont Community Foundation Small and Inspiring Grants – monthly deadlines on the 15th of each month

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Energy Efficiency Upgrade Resources
  3. Researchers Publish Study on Action Plans to Reduce Warming in Cities
  4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Publishes Report on Climate Change
  5. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Launches Online Course on Local Climate Change Adaptation
  6. National Academies Release Report on Improving Disaster Resilience
  7. Georgetown Climate Center Releases Tool Kit for Local Governments to Adapt to Heat

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. EPA Announces Application Criteria for 2013 Climate Leadership Awards – deadline October 12
    The U.S. EPA has announced criteria for the Climate Leadership Awards (CLA), which is co-sponsored with three NGO partners. The CLA is a national awards program that recognizes and incentivizes exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change.

    Eligible groups include governmental entities or academic organizations with annual budgets over $100 million, as well as legally recognized corporate organizations with annual revenue over $100 million. The application period opens on August 22, 2012, and closes October 12, 2012.

    Additional information on the application process and recognition categories is available »
  2. U.S. EPA Issues Final Rule on Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements of Clean Air Act
    The U.S. EPA has announced that it will maintain greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting thresholds under the Clean Air Act. The final rule maintains a focus on the nation’s largest emitters, which account for nearly 70 percent of total GHG emissions from stationary sources. The final rule also affirms that new facilities with GHG emissions of at least 100,000 tons per year (TPY) carbon dioxide equivalent will continue to be required to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits.

    Read full article.
  3. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Releases State of Climate Report
    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the 2011 State of the Climate report, which provides an update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on land, sea, ice, and sky. According to the report, global temperatures in 2011 remained above the 30 year average. The peer-reviewed report, issued in coordination with the American Meteorological Society (AMS), was compiled by 378 scientists from 48 countries around the world. .

    The report highlights are available.

    The full report is available.
  4. U.S. EPA Awards Funding for Green Infrastructure
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is providing $950,000 to help 17 communities expand green infrastructure use to improve water quality and protect people’s health. Green infrastructure uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater where it falls, keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems and waterways in local communities, and has heat island reduction benefits.

    A list of communities awarded is available.

    Read full article.

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ARTICLES

  1. U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Study Shows Renewable Energy Potential in Every State
    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that it published a new study investigating renewable energy’s technical potential. The study, which studied the available renewable resources in states, found that every state in the United States has the space and resources to generate clean energy.

    The report entitled, “U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis,” is available online.

    Read full article.
  2. Scientists Publish Study on Air Pollution Reduction Benefits of Green Infrastructure
    Scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster (UK) published an article finding that green walls can reduce air pollution by 30 percent. The researchers found that, because pollution cannot easily escape street canyons, green walls of grass, climbing ivy, and other plants have a better opportunity than previously thought to act as an air pollution filter. Urban vegetation also has heat island reduction benefits.

    The study, “Effectiveness of Green Infrastructure for Improvement of Air Quality in Urban Street Canyons,” is published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology and is available.

    Read full article.
  3. Transportation Research Board Publishes Report on Transportation and Climate Change
    The Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper on how transportation contributes to and is affected by climate change. Transportation is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, at nearly 30 percent of total emissions. The U.S. transportation infrastructure has been vulnerable to extreme weather in recent years, such as record-level flooding in 2010 and 2011 which washed out roadways in Tennessee, Rhode Island, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

    The report, “TRB Electronic Circular E-C164: Climate Change and Transportation: Summary of Key Information (PDF) (18 pp, 24.6MB),” is available.

    Read full article »

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EVENTS

  1. Providence, RI – Ocean State Clean Cities Meeting & Panel Discussion – September 6
    Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
    Room 300, 235 Promenade St # 350, Providence, RI 02908

    Ocean State Clean Cities' next formal stakeholder meeting will focus on the Rhode Island Savings and Independence Advisory Commission. This will be a forum to learn more about the goals and vision for the Commission, and exchange ideas for making the Commission highly effective. Your feedback can help Rhode Island meet the target of reducing petroleum consumption by 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

    In order to serve the coalition's mission, this meeting will be focusing on petroleum reduction for the transportation sector. This can include reduction of vehicle miles travelled (VMT), fuel economy, and alternative fuels. Also, please let your interested colleagues know about this event. RSVP is preferred.

    Discussion Moderator: Robert Morton, Ocean State Clean Cities Board President, Founding member of Newport Biodiesel LLC

    Panelists: Marion Gold, Future Administrator of the RI Office of Energy Resources
                    Channing Jones, Field Associate at Environment Rhode Island
                    Deborah Ruggiero, RI State Representative
                    Lou DiPalma, RI State Senator

    For more information and to RSVP »
  2. New Haven, CT – 2012 CT Folk Festival & Green Expo – September 8
    In Edgerton Park on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH, 11 AM - 10 PM
    FREE admission for all

    The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund will be participating in this year’s CT Folk Festival and Green Expo with an energy efficiency booth highlighting the various programs supported through the Fund. Learn about environmental impacts of daily living and concepts for cost savings through efficiency.

    For more information »
  3. Burlington, VT – The 11th Annual Vermont Renewable Energy Conference & Expo 2012 – October 1-2
    Sheraton Conference Center, Burlington, VT

    Renewable Energy 2012, provided by Renewable Energy Vermont, will continue to bring together key players in the renewable sectors: business leaders, system operators, manufacturers, engineers, scientists, policy makers, regulators and academics. The conference, typically drawing hundreds of attendees and exhibitors, is consistently the largest renewable energy conference in the state, and is rapidly expanding to accommodate growing regional interest.

    The Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) conference provides technical trainings, industry presentations and poster sessions on policy, regulatory, and financial issues focusing on the power, heating and transportation needs expected from future solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and bio-technologies, with a highlight on SmartGrid, battery development and the electrification of our transportation system. This 11th Annual Conference is offered by Vermont’s renewable trade association, Renewable Energy Vermont.

    For more information »
  4. Medford, MA - 2012 Harvest Your Energy Festival – October 13
    At the base of Windy, the Wind Turbine, Riverbend Park behind the McGlynn Schools, Freedom Way, Medford, MA
    Rain Location: McGlynn School Building Cafeteria
    1-4pm

    The City of Medford’s Energy Committee and Mass Energy Consumer Alliance are excited to bring together local businesses, organizations and citizens for a third year to share involvement in the world of energy and the environment. This event is becoming an important local tradition and all are welcome to help it grow. Bring your family and friends to find an all inclusive atmosphere where an attitude of caring and responsibility will be clear to all at the Harvest Your Energy Festival on October 13, 2012.
    • Wind Turbine Presentations every hour followed by tours of "Windy" the Wind Turbine!
    • Learn how to save energy and money with home energy assessments, tap the power of solar energy, color wind turbine bookmarks and MORE!
    • Support local organizations; buy their food and energy/environment-related products
    • Enjoy a beautiful fall day along the Mystic River and see the wind turbine up close
    For more information »
  5. South Portland, ME – Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day 2012 - October 19 & 20
    Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, ME

    Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Odyssey Day will build awareness and enthusiasm for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, showcasing a wide range of technologies and fuels, including electric, propane, natural gas, biodiesel, hybrids, and idle reduction.

    Maine Clean Communities and Southern Maine Community College's (SMCC) Transportation Technology Department are teaming up again to offer "Odyssey Day" in South Portland on Friday October 19, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 20th from 10:00-3:00 p.m. at SMCC. (In case of bad weather the event will be held inside.)

    Numerous alternative fuel vehicles, along with displays and exhibitors of fuel reduction techniques, speakers and experts will be on hand to promote the newest in alternative fuel vehicles and technologies.

    For more information »
  6. Norwood, MA – Seventh Annual AltWheels Fleet Day – October 22
    Monday, October 22, 2012, Four Points By Sheraton, Norwood, MA

    AltWheels Fleet Day, the largest meeting of corporate and municipal Fleet Managers on the East Coast, consists of panels, exhibits, breakout sessions, and vehicles offering a showcase of alternative transportation solutions – from concept vehicles to vehicles that are available and affordable today.

    If you are a fleet manager dealing with fuel costs, come to AltWheels Fleet Day to learn how to achieve maximum energy efficiency and emissions reduction for your fleet.

    Join corporate and government fleet managers at this showcase of cutting-edge vehicles and technologies in response to the problem of high fuel prices.
    • Learn directly from fleet managers who have succeeded in reducing costs and their fleet’s impact on the environment.
    • Learn techniques that make a big difference from companies like Staples, Frito Lay, and National Grid; and from government agencies and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
    • Hear about the latest and greatest technologies and vehicles, both currently available and coming soon, including CNG, LNG, hydrogen, propane, hybrids, electrics, idle reduction technologies, and more.
    • Leave with a list of specific steps you can take right away to start cutting costs!
    For more information and to register »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. IBM Smarter Cities Challenge – Technical Assistance – deadline September 7
    Eligible Entities: Cities, with a letter of affirmation from the mayor or equivalent executive officer of the municipal government.

    The Smarter Cities Challenge is designed to help cities address some of the critical challenges they are facing, such as energy efficiency and climate change impacts. Selected cities will receive assistance from IBM experts from different business units and geographies, who will work on the ground with city leaders and deliver recommendations on how to make the city smarter and more effective.

    For more information »
  2. New England Grassroots Environment Fund – SEED grants (rolling deadline) and GROW grants – September 15
    NEGEF grants are designed for groups that:
    • are doing community-based environmental work in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI or VT;
    • are volunteer-driven or have up to 2 full-time paid staff (or equivalents);
    • have an annual budget up to $100,000
    SEED grants are for quick project-focused grants dedicated to help volunteer groups launch and build their newly evolving project(s).

    Deadline: Apply anytime (expect a decision in 3 weeks)
    Grant range: $250 – $1,000
    Apply for a Seed grant if your group:
    • is launching a new or evolving community-based project;
    • expenses are for materials, outreach and/or other project expenses;
    • project costs generally less than $10,000;
    • needs a quick decision;
    • has not received a SEED grant within one year of the current application.
    GROW grants are competitive group development grants dedicated to help established groups increase capacity, collaborate, and leverage impact.

    Deadlines: March 15 & September 15 (expect decisions early June & December)

    Grant range: $1,000 – $3,500
    Apply for a Grow grant if your group:
    • needs help evolving and expanding the community group;
    • expenses can include general operating, stipends, capacity building, program development, expert assistance, etc.
    • has been active for more than 1 year;
    • has not received a GROW grant within one year of the current application.
    For more information »
  3. Funder’s Network – Round Two of the Local Sustainability Matching Fund – deadline October 1
    In partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, the Funders' Network is pleased to announce the opening of Round Two of the Local Sustainability Matching Fund. The Fund has been created with leadership support from four Network members: the Kendeda Fund, the New York Community Trust, the Summit Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation.

    The purpose of the Local Sustainability Matching Fund is twofold: to catalyze partnerships between local government sustainability directors and local, place-based foundations, including community foundations, and to advance important community-based sustainability initiatives.

    The Fund will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. In Round One, five awards were given from $25,000 to $65,000. Please visit the website to read more about the Round One awardees. You may also want to visit the Idea Bank, which has summaries of all the proposals submitted in Round One, including the winning projects. The Network anticipates that the Fund will support another five to six projects in Round Two.

    The application deadline for the Round Two is October 1st, and you may download the Request for Proposals from the website. Applications must be submitted electronically in MS Word and use the Proposal Form.

    The Network will host a conference call to provide more information on the fund and review the selection criteria. The call will be held on September 6th, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, please register from the website. Please also consult the Frequently Asked Questions for answers about definitions, the process, and more.

    A selection committee comprised of foundation representatives and urban sustainability directors will make selection decisions on behalf of the matching fund, and awards will be announced on January 11, 2013.

    For more information »

    If the RFP and FAQ documents don’t answer all your questions, you may contact Ann Wallace (ann@fundersnetwork.org or 617-524-9239) for more information.
  4. AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) – Technical Assistance – deadline October 12
    Application Due: Two review cycles; upcoming due date is October 12, 2012

    Eligible Entities: Committees with a cross-section of residents, local government agencies, businesses, institutions, and community groups. A letter of support from the local AIA chapter is required.

    The Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program focuses on the importance of developing sustainable communities through design. The American Institute of Architects’ Center for Communities by Design is seeking potential partner communities that can demonstrate the capacity to convene a diverse set of community leaders and stakeholders for an intensive, collaborative planning process focused on long-term sustainability. The Center is particularly focused on identifying communities that have the ability to leverage local resources and build strong partnerships for implementation of an SDAT process. Awarded communities will receive pro bono services from a multidisciplinary team through the program, and the AIA commits to funding up to $15,000 for each project to cover team expenses.

    For more information, visit the AIA SDAT page.
  5. U.S. EPA 2012 Environmental Education Regional Model Grants Solicitation – deadline November 21
    EPA's Office of Environmental Education grants program supports environmental education projects that enhance the public's awareness, knowledge, and skills to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions towards the environment.

    The 2012 EE Regional Model Grants Solicitation Notice was updated August 27, 2012 to reflect the new electronic submission procedures for grants.gov. Please see Appendix D for the updated instructions.

    EPA will host two (2) webinars/conference calls for potential applicants interested in additional information about the application process. The date, time and call-in information for the webinars/conference calls will be posted at http://www.epa.gov/education/grants/index.html

    You may submit questions up to two (2) business days prior to each webinar/call to EEGrants@epa.gov. A consolidated list of the questions will be answered on the calls and/or on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

    The title of the new RFP is Environmental Education Regional Grants -- Solicitation Notice for 2012. The RFP number is EPA-EE-12-01; Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 66.951.

    Applications must be postmarked by November 21, 2012, 11:59 pm local time; hand delivered by the end of the business day November 21, 2012, in the regional office to which the application is being submitted; or submitted electronically via www.grants.gov by November 21, 2012, 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) in order to be considered for funding.

    The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $2,160,000 nationwide. EPA expects to award one (1) grant per Region for an expected 10 grants nationwide; the award amount is approximately (but no more than) $216,000, subject to the availability of funds, the quality and quantity of applications received, and other applicable considerations.

    Access the RFP or further clarifying information on our website or in the online Frequently Asked Questions.
  6. Clean Air – Cool Planet’s Community Catalyst Fund – rolling deadline
    Through generous support from The Overbrook Foundation, Community Catalyst Fund grants are available to groups in New York, New Jersey and the six New England states working to improve local environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.

    To be eligible, an applying organization must have an annual budget of less than $150,000, and the project in question must serve at least one community of fewer than 25,000 permanent residents.

    Grants in this program will range in size from $250 to $2,500. There are no deadlines for grant submission, and proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis. Successful applicants will be asked to submit a short grant report (250-500 words) to be posted to Clean Air-Cool Planet's blog site once their project has been completed or Community Catalyst Fund grant monies have been spent.

    For more information »

  7. Vermont Community Foundation Small and Inspiring Grants – monthly deadlines on the 15th of each month
    Applications will be considered from nonprofit organizations, schools, municipal entities, or groups with a fiscal sponsor for projects that address the Community Foundation’s purposes, including projects that:
    • connect people to each other through volunteer work or community-building efforts
    • connect people to the environment around them in new ways
    • bring people together and provide opportunities for positive social interaction and benefit
    Grant applications will be accepted from organizations that are located in or serve the people of Vermont. Organizations must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a public agency or municipality in the state of Vermont.

    Grants will be in the range of $500-$2,500.

    For more information »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    • Sept 11, 2pm Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • Sept 13, 2pm Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager
    • Sept 18, 1pm For Licensed Professionals: How to Verify Applications for ENERGY STAR Certification
    • Sept 18, 2pm The Basics of Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager
    • Sept 25, 2pm Beyond the Basics: Advanced Features of Portfolio Manager
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Energy Efficiency Upgrade Resources
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a collection of resources to assist in the design and execution of energy efficiency upgrade programs. The resources were developed through DOE’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, and include a business model guide, six case studies, and a video. Together, they discuss energy efficiency incentives and small business development using the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.
  3. Researchers Publish Study on Action Plans to Reduce Warming in Cities
    Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology published a study examining the likely effectiveness of municipal and state level climate action plans in slowing the pace of warming in the most populous U.S. cities over the near-to-medium term. The study found that the urban heat island effect is the principal driver of warming at the urban scale and most climate action plans fail to directly manage land-based drivers of warming.

    The study, “Managing climate change in cities: Will climate action plans work?” is available
  4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Publishes Report on Climate Change (PDF) (9 pp, 4.9 MB)
    The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have published a report on climate extremes. The study states that "climate dice," describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons, have become more "loaded" in the past 30 years, coincident with global warming. The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased.

    The paper discusses the broader implications of climate change, including species migration and changes to the water cycle resulting in drought and heavy rainfall and floods.

    The report, “Perception of climate change (PDF) (9 pp, 4.9 MB),” is available.
  5. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Launches Online Course on Local Climate Change Adaptation
    The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has released an online course called “Local Communities Adapting to Climate Change.” Using videos, interactive exercises, and self-assessments, the course introduces tools for climate change adaptation planning.

    Lessons include assessing climate change risks, climate downscaling, collaborative decision-making, and scenario planning.

    The course is available.
  6. National Academies Release Report on Improving Disaster Resilience
    The National Academies has released a report on the nation's resilience to natural and human-caused disasters. According to the report, improving resilience should be seen as a long-term process, but it can be coordinated around measurable short-term goals designed to allow communities to better prepare and plan for, withstand, recover from, and adapt to adverse events. The study was sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Community and Regional Resilience Institute.

    The report, “Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative,” is available
  7. Georgetown Climate Center Releases Tool Kit for Local Governments to Adapt to Heat
    The Georgetown Climate Center released a new tool designed to help cities and counties better prepare for the public health and infrastructure challenges caused by rising temperatures. It provides an analytic tool for policymakers to consider a combination of four built-environment changes: cool roofs, green roofs, cool pavements, and urban forestry. It also examines the roles government can play in pursuing changes like shaping government’s own operations, mandating or providing incentives for private choices, and engaging in public education.

    Adapting to Urban Heat: A Tool Kit for Local Governments” is available.

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