Category: energy & sustainability

New EPA Action Plan to Enhance Local Water Resources

Local officials can weigh in on national water policy that will affect their communities. In September,  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan (Draft Action Plan) that highlights key actions that support consideration and implementation of water reuse, which can be a valuable tool to

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Could Franchise Agreements Help Your City Reach 100% Renewable Energy?

As of today, 138 cities have formally announced 100% renewable energy goals or targets, while others are actively considering similar goals. Cities have a wide variety of renewable energy procurement options to help them achieve their goals. One such option available to cities is leveraging an electric franchise agreement to partner with their local utility on new

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Regreening Cities: Strategies to Build Resilience and Community

By Laura Huffman, regional director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas Cities are on the front lines of climate change and have committed to meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement even as the Trump Administration has declared its intentions to withdraw. The administration is now finalizing that decision, and while disappointing, it also underscores the

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5 Steps Your City Can Take to Boost Building Energy Efficiency by 10%

The year-long process to develop the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code culminates with cities’ online vote beginning November 18. In just a few days, cities across the country have a golden opportunity to boost the efficiency of America’s Model Building Energy Code (the International Energy Conservation Code, or IECC) by at least 10%. Buildings are

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This Small City in Kansas is a Leader on Climate Resilience

Interested in becoming a climate leader like Shawnee? Apply today for NLC’s Leadership in Community Resilience program. Deadline is December 20. Across the country, local leaders are recognizing the benefits of reaching across jurisdictions to address climate issues. While regional collaborations of any kind can be challenging, elected officials and their staff know that social,

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EPA Moves to Overhaul Lead and Copper Drinking Water Rule

60-day comment period is now open, comments due Jan. 13, 2020 Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule to reduce lead exposure in drinking water. Under the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions, the agency aims to identify the

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Housing Resilience in San Antonio

Housing affordability is about more than the list price of a home. San Antonio, for example, is one of the fastest growing large cities in the United States. The region’s rapid economic and population growth has caused local housing costs to increase faster than AMI for nearly two decades. For residents, that means homes are increasingly

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EPA, Army Corps Finalizes Repeal of Obama WOTUS Rule

On Sept. 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) finalized a rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule. The 2015 Rule aimed to clarify which waterbodies are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and define which waterbodies are considered a “waters of the

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When Politics, Science and Faith Come Together

For many world religions, a respect for nature and a desire to care for our planet lies at the heart of their practices and rituals. In 2015, Pope Francis surprised the world with Laudato Si, a papal encyclical on “care for our common home.” Around the same time, 27 Buddhist and 60 Hindu leaders from

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Saving Urban Trees

This is a guest post by Dr. Gary Lovett, Senior Scientist and Forest Ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY.  When Asian longhorned beetles were first discovered in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2008, it came as a shock. “I knew our life was going to change,” said Patty Ruffini, then the United

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