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Take action in your community. For ideas and resources, check out the Fair Climate Project's Solutions Guide: "Guide to Accessing Federal Funding for Our Communities."

The Fair Climate Connection

 
February 10, 2011

Welcome back, Fair Climate Advocate!
 
We use this newsletter as a means to communicate news, events, and upcoming opportunities related to fair climate solutions.

If you have any field strategies, stories, events or successes you'd like to share in an upcoming issue of this newsletter, please email
FairClimateProject@nwf.org so we can feature your community or organization.

We are working to revamp our newsletter, but we need your input to guide the improvements. Please take the time to answer the questions in this 1-3 minute survey. We appreciate your help!
in this issue...
Speaking Truth to Power-- the Fair Climate National Summit
EPA to Hold Five Listening Sessions on Updating Pollution Standards
The Regional Urban Initiative in the Great Lakes region
Tell Obama why the Great Outdoors are Important to your Community!
Tribal Energy Efficiency Workshop in Phoenix, Arizona
New Funding Opportunities

Join Our Mailing List!

 

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About Us

The goal of NWF's Fair Climate Project is to build and engage a national network of leaders representing underserved communities to advance equitable and just solutions to climate change. We work to forge connections between community leaders and decision makers to jumpstart local projects and national initiatives that promote green communities, clean energy, and green jobs.


Clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife sustain Americans from all walks of life. We all have a shared responsibility to protect these resources for our children's future.  At NWF, we are working to bring together diverse voices to affect decisions that will create safe and healthy communities for all.

Follow-up Links
 
Webinars and Calls

 

Thursday, February 24, 2-3PM EST:

 

 Tribal NSR Workgroup Call February 16, 2011 (12:00 - noon - 1:00 pm)
 NTAA/EPA Air Policy Call February 24, 2011 (12:00 - noon - 2:00 pm)
 Tribal Designations Workgroup Call March 03, 2011 (12:00 - noon - 1:00 pm) 
 
 
Climate Resilient Cities Program: Coastal Climate Adaptation in the Southeast (Available any time)
Presented by SACE (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy) and ICLEI's (Local Governments for Sustainability) Climate Adaptation Webinar series
The Climate Resilient Cities Program was designed specifically to help communities be informed and engaged in climate change adaptation. It offers invaluable tools and free resources to help communities through the process of assessing vulnerabilities, setting goals for resilience, and developing adaptation strategies that integrate with existing hazard and comprehensive planning efforts.

 

Preparing States for a Changing Climate: Low-cost Strategies for State Climate Change Adaptation Planning- March 1, 1-2:30PM EST

This webcast will build on recent EPA adaptation webcasts that have focused on the process of identifying climate change vulnerabilities and initiating planning efforts. In this event, we will move beyond a focus on process to examine the most cost-effective and flexible management practices and policy changes for building resilience over the long term.  

 

America's Climate Choices
Hosted by the Union for Concerned Scientists and accessible at any time
 

 

LTE
Participants wrote letters to the editor, expressing why the Clean Air Act is important to their communities. Already, two of these letters have been printed.

Fair Climate Network National Summit

Speaking Truth to Power

by Katharine Pelzer, Fair Climate Project

 

As part of continuing efforts to bring diverse voices together to jumpstart initiatives that promote healthy communities, clean energy and green jobs, we hosted our first-ever national summit earlier last week. Community leaders  from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., to meet, connect and learn from each other.


Over the course of the two-day event, our network of equity-minded leaders discussed the major priorities and challenges we are facing nationally in advancing clean air and clean energy to benefit all our communities, particularly the attacks in Congress to roll back the Clean Air Act and EPA's authority to regulate pollution. In the words of Joaquin Sanchez from Youth for Climate Justice, "The summit presented an opportunity to engage in a conversation with like-minded leaders and commit to protecting an important piece of legislation for low-income commu

nities."

Natl Summit
Summit partipants listen closely as Rev. Yearwood from the Hip Hop Caucus speaks.

 

In order to bridge movements and strengthen our advocacy skills to protect clean air and public health in the year to come, summit attendees received training in fundraising, media outreach and other skills that aid in grass-roots mobilization. They took their communities' concerns directly to lawmakers, spending day two of the summit on Capitol Hill. 

  

On behalf of the Fair Climate Project, thank you to everyone who came to the conference and shared their unique experiences and concerns. You were an inspiring group, and we look forward to working with each of you in the future. Stay tuned for voting results to find out which action items you chose to pursue in the coming year. In the words of Reverend Yearwood, don't stop what you're doing: "speaking truth to power."

 

To learn more about the Fair Climate Project, its work to jumpstart initiatives that promote healthy communities, and how you can get involved, visit our website or contact us.

smokestacks
The EPA wants to hear your thoughts on vital clean air protections.

EPA to Hold Five Listening Sessions on Updating the Clean Air Act's Pollution Standards for Power Plants and Fossil Fuel Refineries

Don't let your voice go unheard!

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold five listening sessions to help the agency update the Clean Air Act pollution standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries. The listening sessions will be open to the public and will help EPA develop a common-sense approach to reduce GHGs from two of the largest industrial pollution sources, which are responsible for nearly 40% of the GHG pollution in the US. Reducing greenhouse gas pollution can also result in reductions to other harmful air pollutants emitted by these facilities.


The feedback from these sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective and protective standards that reflect the latest and best information available.

 

Registration is not required to attend the sessions. There will be a short period of time at the end of each session for the public to provide comments. To speak during these times, please notify EPA when signing in to the session. If you do not have the opportunity to speak during these times or you cannot make it to the sessions, written comments on these planned rulemakings may also be submitted. The agency requests that written comments be submitted by March 18, 2011. 

For those interested who are not able to attend the sessions, each session will be webcast and recorded for later viewing via the EPA website
 
Session 1: Electric Power Industry Representatives

Date: Feb. 4

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Session Location: Washington, D.C.

EPA Ariel Rios East Building

1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Room 1153

Washington, D.C.
Session 2: Environmental and Environmental Justice Organization Representatives

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 15

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Session Location: Atlanta, Ga. 

Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center

61 Forsyth Street, S.W.

Atlanta/Augusta Room

Atlanta, Ga. 

Session 3: State and Tribal Representatives

Date: Thursday, Feb. 17

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Session Location: Chicago, Ill. 

Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building 

77 West Jackson Blvd.

Lake Michigan Room

Chicago, Ill. 
Session 4: Coalition Group Representatives 

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 23

Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Session Location: Washington, D.C. 
EPA Ariel Rios East Building
1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Room 1153
Washington, D.C. 
Session 5: Petroleum Refinery Industry Representatives

Date: Friday, March 4

Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and public comments 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Session Location: Washington, D.C. 
EPA Ariel Rios East Building
1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Room 1153
Washington, D.C. 
 
More information and instructions for submitting written comments.  If you have any questions, or want to discuss any aspect of these hearings, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at the Fair Climate Project. After all, that's what we are here for!
Meet Simone Lightfoot, who heads up the Regional Urban Initiatives in the Great Lakes Region.
 

Regional Urban Initiative - Great Lakes Regional Center

Today, natural resources are challenged, particularly in the urban centers of the Great Lakes Region.

by Simone Lightfoot, NWF Consultant, Detroit, Michigan

 

In an effort to demonstrate our commitment to urban centers and addressing issues related to climate change, the Great Lakes Regional Center launched its Regional Urban Initiatives (RUI) in May 2010.

 

The RUI efforts are rooted in a firm awareness that the Great Lakes Region faces extreme challenges protecting its public "commons", Great Lakes, clean air, soil, diverse array of wildlife and natural areas.  The regions older auto-dependent, industrial and agricultural base is centered on its urban cities.  By enlisting them, NWF would usher in an expansive more effective approach to the conservation movement.  The RUI focuses on ten of those urban centers.

 

The RUI focuses on ten urban cities in the Great Lakes Region.  Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Toledo, OH; Milwaukee, WS; Gary, IN;  Indianapolis IN; Detroit, MI and Buffalo, NY. 

 

RUI was established to engage, foster and expand NWF's regional urban influence, network and partnerships.  We set out to capture and create opportunities that integrated NWF's Great Lakes Regional Centers work with on-the-ground reality of each city.  Our uniquely regional awareness provides an additional context for these urban centers and others to make - where possible - mutually beneficial conservation decisions. 
                           
Ultimately, the RUI efforts are designed and implemented in order to participate and influence:

    The regions transition from its longtime reliance on fossil energy and carbon reliant economies

    Conversations and consideration of climate change impacts on public services  

    Change around the distressing portrait of the collapsed Great Lakes region auto sector

    The recognition of positive change around conservation, sustainability and climate change efforts in the regions concentration of older industrial metropolitan areas

    The regions Next Economy conversation, plans and policies around sustainability, solar, invasive species, retrofitting, reuse, recycle, composting, mass transportation, wind, renewable energy, low carbon, clean air, soil, water and habitat preservation and a host of other green policies, plans and programs

    Ensuring that urban center policies, plans and programs are aligned with national and state efforts

    The leveraging, developing and safeguarding of the regions natural assets and its urban center based global trade network

    Greener communities, parks, job training and creation and clean technology

    The protection of the regions green knowledge base working with its top colleges and research universities concentrated in an around urban centers  


Simone Lightfoot heads up the RUI.  The Detroit native is a nationally recognized community organizer, social justice advocated and public policy politico. For more information, contact Simone Lightfoot by email.

 
Check out what policies what policies NWF members think the Obama administration should include as part of the initiative.

Tell Obama why the Great Outdoors are Important to Your Community!  

I know its probably no surprise to you to hear that children (and adults!) who play outdoors are healthier and happier.
  
Thankfully, those in the Federal government are starting to catch on, too.
  
At a White House Conference on April 16th in Washington, DC, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum launching the "America's Great Outdoors" (AGO) initiative. The goals include:
  1. "Reconnect Americans, especially children, to America's rivers and waterways, landscapes of national significance, ranches, farms and forests, great parks, and coasts and beaches."
  2. "The conservation of land, water, wildlife, historic, and cultural resources, creating corridors and connectivity across these outdoor spaces, and for enhancing neighborhood parks."
  3. "Use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations."
The presidential memorandum calls for a report on America's Great Outdoors by November 15th, 2011 detailing an action plan with specific steps to meet the initiative's goals. The effort is being led by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley.
  
The report will coincide well with the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act (MONA), which is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this fall.  MONA will help get America's kids moving outside, enjoying fresh air and on a path to better health and a stronger appreciation for the natural world.  This legislation will connect children, youth and families with nature through natural play areas, outdoor recreation programs, public health initiatives, outdoor learning environments, service learning and other initiatives. 
  
See what NWF's four million members and supporters think makes America's outdoors great and what policies the Obama administration should include as part of the initiative, in NWF's new report - America's Great Outdoors: A Vision for Conserving the Nation's Wildlife in the 21st Century
  

Upcoming tribal energy efficiency workshop in Phoenix, Arizona
 
by Myra Wilensky, NWF Tribal Global Warming Outreach Manager - Boulder, CO

 

 

The Tribal Lands team of National Wildlife Federation is planning a workshop: Energy and Tribal Communities: Develop Tribal Community Energy Efficiency, Weatherization and Small Scale Renewable Energy Projects" in Chandler, AZ on March 22-23, 2011.

The goal of the workshop is to encourage tribal participants from the Southwest Tribes to develop projects for their reservations. Participants of the conference will learn about the benefits of energy efficiency, weatherization and small scale renewable energy projects; will participate in idea sharing and planning discussions for getting projects up and running; and will learn about funding opportunities. 

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals of Flagstaff, Arizona. Planning for a similar workshop in Billings, MT in late April is also underway. For information on how you can participate in the workshop or gain access to workshop information, contact Myra Wilensky.

 

Funding Opportunities 

Green Prize in Public Education - $20,000

Application Due: February 15, 2011

Eligible Entities: K-12 public or publicly funded charter school. Private schools are not eligible to apply

 

 

This annual prize recognizes an innovative, sustainable and replicable greening initiative in a public school and the educators and other school community members instrumental to the greening initiatives. A green school should involve and benefit students, educators, maintenance staff, parents and the local community. Ultimately, a green school increases students' environmental literacy, and empowers and inspires them to be more socially and environmentally responsible.

The Green Prize in Public Education will award $10,000 to a K-12 public school that has most successfully implemented an innovative, sustainable and replicable school-wide greening effort that has involved and benefitted its students. Two merit awards of $5,000 each will also be given to schools that demonstrate this kind of success. For more information, click here.

HUD Assisted Housing Stability and Home Energy Retrofit Loan Pilot Program - $25 million
 

Application Due: February 16, 2011

Eligible Entities: Homeowners
 

Under the Retrofit Pilot Program, HUD, through FHA-approved lenders, will insure loans for eligible homeowners who are seeking to make energy and green retrofit investments in the property, to ensure the maintenance and preservation of the property, the continued operation and maintenance of energy efficiency technologies, and the timely expenditure of funds

For more information, see the full announcement and the grant listing, or contact john.f.prusch@hud.gov.
 

EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection Solicits Grant Proposals to Address Children's Environmental Health - $1.5 million   

Application due: February 18, 2011

Eligible Entities: States and state agencies, territories, city or township governments, county governments, federally recognized American Indian Tribes, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private nonprofit institutions, and 501(c)(3) organizations

 

EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection is pleased to announce the release of a solicitation for grant proposals to address children's environmental health in underserved communities by building capacity for these communities to reduce environmental exposures in child-occupied settings (e.g. homes, schools and child care centers). Funds available for award are expected to total approximately $1.5 million, and EPA intends to award approximately 15-20 awards, each for an amount not to exceed $100,000.

 

Application Due: February 23, 2011 (Request for Letters of Interest)
 
The Sustainable Communities Building Blocks Program seeks to provide quick, targeted technical assistance to 20 communities using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. This technical assistance will help selected local and/or tribal governments to implement development approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs, expand economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life.
 

Each technical assistance project in a community will include:

-Public engagement - for example, a one-day workshop that is open to the general public.
-Direct consultation with relevant decision-makers.
-A memo outlining specific steps the community could take if it -wants to implement the ideas generated during the site visit.
Among the tools that will be used are zoning code reviews, walkability assessments, parking policy analysis, climate action planning, commuter benefits, complete streets, and fiscal and economic tools. For more information, click here.  

 

HUD Sustainable Communities Research Grants - $1.5 million

Application Due: March 4, 2011 (Deadline has been extended)

Eligible Entities: Nationally recognized and accredited institutions of higher education; non-profit foundations, think tanks, research consortia or policy institutes, and for-profit organizations located in the United States.

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development request proposals for the Transformation Initiative: Sustainable Communities Research Grant Program. Through this RFP, HUD is primarily interested in sponsoring cutting edge research in affordable housing development and preservation, transportation-related issues, economic development and job creation, land use planning and urban design, green and sustainable energy practices, and a range of issues related to sustainability. Up to $1.5 million expected to be available, individual awards not to exceed $500K. For more information, click here.

 

DOC Economic Development Administration Public Works, Economic Adjustment, and Global Climate Change Mitigation Programs Opportunity - $25 million expected

Application Due: March 10, 2011

Eligible Entities: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, non-profits, private institutes of higher education

 

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) helps distressed communities establish a foundation for durable regional economies throughout the United States. EDA generally allocates funds for the Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund (GCCMIF) to support projects that foster economic competitiveness while enhancing environmental quality. EDA anticipates that these funds will be used to advance the green economy by supporting projects that create jobs through and increase private capital investment in initiatives to limit the nation's dependence on fossil fuels, enhance energy efficiency, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and protect natural systems. 

 

EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Guidelines - $4 million

Application Due: March 18, 2011

Eligible Entities: State and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations, other

 

This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities, including non-profit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup-associated activities, as referenced in Section I.B., Use of Grant Funds. While Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants focus on hazardous and solid waste remediation and health and safety, including required core training in HAZWOPER, applicants may design their own curriculums by choosing what types of supplemental environmental training they want to provide.

 

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program - $2 million

Application due: March 22, 2011 

Eligible Entities: Local public non-profits, federally-recognized Indian tribal government, Native American organizations, private non-profits, quasi-public nonprofits, local government, colleges, and universities

 

The Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) competitive grant program is a unique community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources.

The CARE grant program works with applicants and recipients to help their communities form collaborative partnerships, develop an understanding of the many local sources of toxic pollutants and environmental risks, set priorities, and identify and carry out projects to reduce risks through collaborative action at the local level. CARE's long-term goal is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve human health and local environments into the future.


Environmental Justice Small Grants Program - $1.2 million

Application due: March 31, 2011 

 

Since its inception in 1994, the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program has awarded more than $21 million in funding to 1,200 community-based organizations, and local and tribal organizations working with communities facing environmental justice issues.
The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program assists recipients in building collaborative partnerships to help them understand and address environmental and public health issues in their communities. Successful collaborative partnerships involve not only well-designed strategic plans to build, maintain and sustain the partnerships, but also working towards addressing the local environmental and public health issues. For more information, click here.

 

Currently, the Fair Climate Project is working to create an online resource for funding updates. Stay tuned on this development!