Category: environment

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day during COVID-19

How will COVID-19 change long-term efforts to address climate change? Is the current Coronavirus pandemic a prelude to the climate disasters cities will face in the future? On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, NLC Sustainability and Resilience experts reflect on how COVID-19 will change the way cities mitigate and adapt to climate and environmental policy.   The Future is Local By

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Connecting Children and Families to Nature During the Pandemic

Municipal leaders have an opportunity – even at a time of physical or social distancing – to promote connecting children and families to the outdoors and nature. Such connections can benefit city and town residents of all ages. Getting outside offers chances to combat social isolation, maintain physical and mental health, enrich connections with nearby

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PACE: The Economic Incentive for Environmental Protection

In the fall of 2019, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties (NACo) collaborated with PACENation to produce a three-part webinar series aimed at outlining the benefits of PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to local governments, educating local officials about PACE financing and explaining how the program can be used for

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Integrated Planning Offers A Better Way to Comply With the Clean Water Act

Last January, President Trump signed bipartisan legislation to benefit cities, towns, and villages with municipal storm sewer systems (MS4s) and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act codifies the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) integrated planning framework in the Clean Water Act (CWA). The legislation is short – just 6 pages –

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House Republicans Outline Carbon Emissions Reduction Legislation

Building on President Trump’s support for the 1 Trillion Trees initiative expressed during the State of the Union, House Republican leaders, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), recently unveiled a package of bills aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The plan centers around three themes: carbon capture, clean energy investment and conservation. The initial set

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How Indiana Borough is Building a Sustainable Future

Western Pennsylvania, home to coal mines and natural gas wells, might not be the first place you think of when picturing a clean energy transition, but Indiana Borough, Pennsylvania wants to change your preconceptions. It’s one of many smaller communities across the country that are embracing sustainability and renewable energy as a way towards the

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What Congress Learned from West Wendover

This week, I had the opportunity to represent my city, West Wendover, Nevada, before the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. As the Mayor of West Wendover and President of the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities, I was asked to share the Nevadan experience, opportunities and challenges around

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White House Proposes Changes to Environmental Review Law

Earlier this month, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) unveiled proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to modernize and clarify the regulations to facilitate more efficient, effective and timely NEPA reviews by federal agencies. With the proposed changes, CEQ aims to reduce paperwork and project delays. NEPA was signed into

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House Introduces CLEAN Future Act

2020 is a benchmark year for attaining sustainability and climate goals. Last week, House Energy and Commerce Democrats released a legislative framework for addressing climate change through economy-wide solutions, including the power sector, buildings, transportation, and industry. In July 2019, the Committee adopted the ambitious goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The

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How Anchorage is Making Emergency Preparedness Inclusive

In 2018, Anchorage emerged largely unscathed from what could have been a devastating 7.1 earthquake. Following the event, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and other city officials noted that while strict seismic building codes and significant strides in emergency preparedness had paid off, a gap in communication between limited and non-English speaking communities and the city remained.

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