Communities Information Digest

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 7)

Communities Information Digest 

September 5, 2012
For questions or to subscribe contact Tegan Vaughn @ 913-551-7326, vaughn.tegan@epa.gov
Note: New items are in *asterisks*
*Special Announcement:
This digest now includes a new “Green Schools” section. Check it out right before the “Other” section.*
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Newspaper

         News

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*EPA Environmental Education New Request for Proposals (RFP) for Grant Funded Projects*
The EPA Office of Environmental Education has issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for grant funded projects to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment. 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). 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. For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/education/grants/index.html. There you will also find details about two webinars/conference calls that will be held in September for potential applicants to this RFP.
*Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Announces Availability of $12 million for the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program*
FTA has published a Notice of Funding Availability (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-28/pdf/2012-21220.pdf) for the FY 2012 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program. Approximately $12 million will be available for transportation grants to Federal Land Management Agencies and to State, local and tribal governments acting in partnership with an eligible agency. Grants are available for transit and alternative transportation projects within and in the vicinity of Federal recreation areas. Completed applications must be received online by Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov  no later than 11:59pm on September 28th, 2012. Applicants that are Federal agencies must submit their applications directly to their national transportation program offices, as specified in the Notice of Funding Availability.
*EPA Environmental Justice Community Outreach Call- Sept. 20, 5 p.m. (ET)*  
 Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has made Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for Environmental Justice one of EPA's top priorities. In support of this priority, EPA invites environmental justice advocates to participate on our next Environmental Justice Community Outreach Call, which will take place on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 5 p.m. ET. The purpose of these calls is to provide information to participants about the Agency's EJ activities and maintain an open dialogue with EJ advocates. As EPA continues to advance Plan EJ 2014, the Agency hopes that these calls will better inform the public about EPA's EJ work and enhance opportunities to take advantage of federal activities. Listen to, or read about, previous calls at http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/events/ej-outreach-calls.html.  EPA is taking suggestions on agenda topics for the upcoming call. After receiving your suggestions, EPA will select the topic(s) that are of general concern to communities. Please keep in mind that the call will only last one hour, so the number of topics discussed will be limited. Submit a topic at http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/events/ej-outreach-calls.html. For more information about the Administrator's priorities: http://blog.epa.gov/administrator/2010/01/12/seven-priorities-for-epas-future/. For more information about Plan EJ 2014: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/plan-ej/index.html.
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Dollars

    Funding Opportunities

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September 7: IBM Smarter Cities Challenge – Technical Assistance https://smartercitieschallenge.org/index.html                   
September 14: Sustainable Communities Grants—Intermountain West Funder Network http://www.fundersnetwork.org/participate/intermountain-west/imwfn-small-grants                                   
September 14: Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity (~$50.06 million) http://lists.icfwebservices.com/t/23159/734295/3881/34/
*September 28: Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program (~$12 million) http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-28/pdf/2012-21220.pdf*
October 1: Funders’ Network Local Sustainability Matching Fund ($250,000) http://lists.icfwebservices.com/t/25371/734295/4206/13/
October 5: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Grants http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=183153
October 12: AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) – Technical Assistance http://www.aia.org/about/initiatives/AIAS075425
October 18: National Science Foundation Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change Program
November 15: Government of Manitoba Water Stewardship Fund http://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/water_info/wsf/index.html
November 16: 2013 Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program – http://www.aia.org/about/initiatives/AIAS075425
*November 21: Environmental Education Regional Grants – http://www.epa.gov/education/grants/index.html*
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Meeting Table

Meetings, Conferences, & Events

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*September 8: Ewaste Recycling Collection Event – Kansas City, Kansas http://www.jocorecycles.org/images/ewaste-2012.pdf*
*September 8: Sustaining Kansas: the 2012 Higher Education Sustainability Conference – Lawrence, Kansas http://www.dce.k-state.edu/conf/sustainability/*
September 10-12: Missouri Recycling Association (MORA) Annual Conference – St. Louis, Missouri http://mora.org/
September 10-13: National Home and Community Based Services Conference – Arlington, Virginia http://www.nasuad.org/events/hcbs2012/national_hcbs_conference_2012.html
September 10-13: ProWalk/ProBike Conference –Long Beach, California http://www.bikewalk.org/2012conference/index.php
*September 10-14: Strategic Conservation Planning Using the Green Infrastructure ApproachShepherdstown, West Virginia http://conservationfund.org/course/strategic_conservation_planning_using_green_infrastructure_approach
September 18: The Power of Self Marketing – Kansas City, Missouri http://www.kcifma.com/event_detail.cfm?eventid=611
*September 19: Making Smart Growth Compelling—Smart Growth Speaker's Series –
*September 20-21: Sustainable Housing Conference – Kansas City, Missouri
*September 22: 12th Annual Lawrence Energy Conservation Fair and Sustainable Homes Tour – Lawrence, Kansas http://lawrenceks.org/wrr/energyfair
*September 25-26: Kansas Energy Conference – Manhattan, Kansas http://www.kansascommerce.com/index.aspx?NID=334*
*September 26: Go Green Fair – Olathe, Kansas http://www.jocorecycles.org/gogreen.html*
*September 29: Green Homes, Great Health Festival –St. Louis, Missouri http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-28/pdf/2012-21220.pdf*
October 3: Growing Sustainable Communities - Midwestern Region – Dubuque, Iowa http://gscdubuque.com/
October 6: Energy Solutions Homes Tour – Kansas City Metro area http://www.heartlandrenewable.org/EnergySolutionsTour-2012.html
October 7-8: Ozarks New Energy Conference – Springfield, Missouri, http://blogs.missouristate.edu/publicaffairs/2010/08/27/ozarks-new-energy-conference/
October 10: Planning Flood-Resilient Communities – Kansas City, Missouri http://www.planning.org/pts/oneday/index.htm
October 14-16: 7th Annual Land Bank Conference — Kalamazoo, Michigan http://www.communityprogress.net/national-2012-conferences-pages-119.php?id=260
October 15-17: Urban Water Sustainability Leadership ConferenceCincinnati, Ohio http://www.cleanwateramericaalliance.org/event/2012-urban-water-sustainability-leadership-conference/
October 17-20: CitiesAlive 10th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference – Chicago, Illinois http://citiesalive.org/index.php/program
October 31: National Preservation Conference – Spokane, Washington http://www.preservationnation.org/resources/training/npc/?gclid=CODhrLHXobECFWkTNAodexXGkw
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Cat5

Webinars & Conference Calls

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*September 6, 2:00-3:15 p.m. (EDT) ENERGY STAR Webcast: Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR*
Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later. To register, please visit: https://energystar.webex.com/mw0306ld/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=energystar.
*September 11, 11:30-1:00 p.m. (ET) USDA Webinar: MAP-21: Transportation Performance Management*
Join USDA for an overview of MAP-21's new focus on performance management. Registration is free. Register at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/webinars.cfm.
*September 13, 2:00-3:15 p.m. (EDT) ENERGY STAR Webcast: Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager*
Learn how to track the progress of energy efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of wastewater treatment plants with that of other peer facilities across the country. Attendees will learn how to measure and track energy use and carbon dioxide emission reductions in wastewater treatment plants to establish baseline energy use, prioritize investments, set goals, and track improvements over time. To register, please visit: https://energystar.webex.com/mw0306ld/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=energystar.
September 13, EPA Webinar: Improving Children’s Health through Federal Collaboration, 2:00-3:30 p.m. (MST)
The Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, Region 8, have organized, in collaboration with other Federal partners, a one-year-long webinar series titled Improving Children’s Health through Federal Collaboration. Protecting the health of children where they live, learn and play is fundamental to making the world a better place for future generations. The purpose of this webinar series is to encourage coordination, collaboration and information sharing across government agencies and organizations, health care providers, educators, and the general public in addressing children health issues. There is one webinar left in the free series: September 13, 2012 - National Children’s Study. For registration information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region8/humanhealth/children/webinars.html.
*September 18, 2:00-3:00 p.m. (EDT) ENERGY STAR Webcast: The Basics of Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager*
Learn the basics of benchmarking using Portfolio Manager, EPA’s ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool. Portfolio Manager enables you to track the progress of energy and water efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of your buildings with that of similar buildings nationwide. Regardless of whether you are looking to benchmark a K-12 school, fire station, courthouse, retail store, supermarket, or office, this session will show you how easy it is to get started by providing an introduction to ENERGY STAR and walking you through setting up a building in Portfolio Manager. You will learn how to use Portfolio Manager to establish energy and water use baselines, track energy and water use and greenhouse gas emission reductions over time, and assess your building's energy performance. To register, please visit: https://energystar.webex.com/mw0306ld/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=energystar.
* September 19, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EDT) EPA Webcast: Addressing Barriers to Renewable Energy Procurement*
Using clean energy is a key component of many organizations’ sustainability goals. However, the process of procuring clean energy at a meaningful scale has proven to be difficult for corporations. In this webcast sponsored by EPA’s Green Power Partnership, learn about common challenges, including market access, deal terms, and risk management requirements that organizations have encountered when trying to source clean energy for facilities or power portfolios. You’ll also learn how to overcome these barriers in a meaningful and cost-effective way. Speakers include Blaine Collison, program director, U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership; Charles Esdaile, co-founder and managing partner, Altenex; and Chris Hayes, co-founder and managing partner, Altenex.Vist: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/624928474 to register.
Country Health Rankings and Roadmaps Offers “Take Action Cycle Webinar Series- Learn how to improve the health of your community”
The Country Health Rankings and Roadmaps organization is hosting two webinars each month (until October) focusing on a step in the Take Action Cycle. The first will provide an introduction to the Action Step - what the step is, why it's important, and how to apply it to your own work. The second webinar will be limited to the first 40 registrants, and will be a more in-depth and interactive discussion of the Action Step. Note: The webinars will be limited to the first 40 people who register. Please email chr@match.wisc.edu with any questions.
Take Action Cycle Webinar Series - All on Tuesdays, 
3-4pm EST / 2-3pm CST / 1-2pm MST / 12-1pm PST  
Act on What's Important - September 11
Evaluate Actions - October 9
Evaluate Actions: In-depth - October 23    
To register, click on the link(s) above; or for more information, please visit: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/#app/.
September 25, - Webinar: Plastics Recycling: Moving Beyond Bottles
The public is anxious to recycle more types of plastic packaging but before a community can commit to program expansion, it needs to evaluate market concerns specific to the region.   This web seminar will outline steps, tools, and evaluations communities should use as they decide when and how to move beyond bottle collection. To register, please visit: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/940826970.
*September 25, - Transportation Planning and Health Webinar on September 25, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT)*
The purpose of this message is to announce the upcoming webinar on the topic of “Transportation Planning and Health”.  This webinar is sponsored by FHWA’s Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program.  It will take place on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss planning research initiatives planned or underway that are related to transportation planning and health. Speakers include representatives from FHWA, the John A. VOLPE National Transportation Systems Center, the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Puget Sound Regional Council, the San Diego Association of Governments, and Sacramento Area Council of Governments.  They will address research underway and highlight case studies and best practices for taking a holistic approach to health in the transportation planning process. Registration is now open.  To reserve your seat visit:   https://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webconfid=24842.   
EPA Energy Star Webinars
Want to improve the energy performance of your buildings? EPA makes it easy for you to get the information and knowledge you need. Through ENERGY STAR, EPA will help you lower operating costs, improve your energy management program, and expand your professional development.
September:
-Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
September 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm EDT
 -For Licensed Professionals: Verifying Applications for ENERGY STAR Certification
September 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm EDT
 -Beyond the Basics: Advanced Features of Portfolio Manager
September 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm EDT
To register, or to see the full listing of ENERGY STAR live online training offerings, visit energystar.webex.com. If you have any questions about the offerings or the registration process, please contact buildings@energystar.gov.
*EPA Virtual Academy Webinar: Water Quality Standards 101*
Please join us for the first Water Quality Standards Virtual Academy webinar: "Water Quality Standards 101" Water quality standards are the foundation of the water quality-based pollution control program mandated by the Clean Water Act. Water quality standards define the goals for a waterbody by designating its uses, setting criteria to protect those uses, and establishing provisions such as antidegradation policies to protect water bodies from pollutants. Learn how you can use water quality standards to protect water resources. This webinar is aimed at states, territories, tribes, environmental groups, industrial groups, municipalities, the academic community, federal agencies, watershed groups and any other interested parties. The webinar will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2012 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET. Register here: https://horsleywittenevents.webex.com/mw0307l/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=horsleywittenevents&service=6&rnd=0.010665754496415158&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Fhorsleywittenevents.webex.com%2Fec0606l%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3D. For more information, visit http://water.epa.gov/learn/training/standardsacademy/index.cfm.
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Schools

                *Green Schools*

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*EPA Environmental Education Grant Proposal Deadline November 21*
 EPA Region 7 will accept proposals from eligible schools and entities through Nov. 21, 2012, for the Agency’s 2012 Environmental Education grants to develop new programs promoting environmental stewardship in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska communities. EPA’s Environmental Education grants provide funding to local education agencies, state education and environmental agencies; colleges and universities; not-for-profit organizations; and non-commercial broadcasting entities. Tribal education agencies controlled by an Indian tribe, band or nation, including schools and community colleges, may also apply. EPA expects to award one $216,000 grant in each of its 10 geographical regions, including Region 7, for a total of $2,160,000 in grants awarded nationwide. Proposed projects should involve designing, demonstrating or developing innovative education tools and materials. Projects also should involve environmental education activities that go beyond disseminating information. A solicitation notice for the grants, and information about two webinars that will be held in September for interested applicants, are available online at www.epa.gov/education/grants.
*New Report Shows Progress in Child Education and Health despite Economic Declines*
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest KIDS COUNT® Data Book shows both promising progress and discouraging setbacks for the nation’s children: While their academic achievement and health improved in most states, their economic well-being continued to decline. http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={68E8B294-EDCD-444D-85E4-D1C1576830FF}.
*Read about Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environments*
This new EPA resource describes cost-effective, affordable measures to protect the health of students and staff. It covers common school issues, such as lead, mercury and mold, as well as how to conserve resources and conduct a facility assessment. This guidance also includes the Top Ten Ways to Make Your School Healthier. To learn more, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region8/humanhealth/children/SensibleSteps.pdf.
*Congratulations to Green Ribbon Schools Award Winners*
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award is a competitive federal recognition program that started in September 2011. From an initial pool of more than 350 school applications, 98 schools were nominated by state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education to receive the award. The Department evaluated the nominees based on their comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring high-quality environmental and outdoor education. Let’s all join in congratulating our local Green Ribbon Schools Award winners from Oregon and Washington! We also applaud all the innovative schools who applied. You are to be commended for your efforts and we encourage you to continue to promote green and healthy school activities. For a nationwide list of awardees visit www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obama-administration-names-78-schools-29-statesand-dc-first-ever-us-department.
Would you like to learn from these winners? Stay tuned for a closer look into their programs. The Healthy School Newsletter will be featuring activities taking place in Oregon and Washington winning schools in September. Interested in participating next year? The U.S. Department of Education’s “Green Ribbons” are one-year recognition awards. The 2013 competition opens this summer. State agencies are encouraged to send their intent via email to green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov.
*Green Apple National Day of Service, September 29, 2012*
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will host the first ever Green Apple Day of Service. For one day, advocates from around the world, including USGBC staff, chapters and students, international green building councils, elected officials, teachers, parents, students and more, will come together in support of healthy, sustainable schools by taking real action in their communities. On one day, our vast network of champions will demonstrate the strength and breadth of our movement, leaving a meaningful and lasting local impact.  For more information, please visit: http://mygreenapple.org/greenservice.aspx
*School Pest Management Workshop, October 2-3, 2012 - Boise, Idaho*
This workshop is intended for school facility managers, groundskeepers, custodial staff, pest control professionals, and anyone interested in implementing an integrated pest management program in their school district. There will be discussion on weed, bee, wasp, and ant control. The EPA R10 contact for more information or to pre-register is Juliann Barta, 206-553-1495 barta.juliann@epa.gov.
*Clean, Safer Products for Healthy Schools*
Cockroaches, mold, dander from animals in the classroom are known environmental asthma triggers found in schools. In addition, some literature suggests children with asthma may be affected by compounds found in cleaning agents, perfumes, and sprays that are used in poorly ventilated areas. There are, however, alternative products that are safer for people and the environment. The U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program helps consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well, are cost-effective, and are safer for the environment. Design for the Environment evaluates products and their ingredients to ensure compliance with its Standard for Safer Products. Customers are also offered advice on safer alternatives for ingredients that do not meet its safety criteria. Look for the logo. EPA allows safer products to carry Design for the Environment logo. This logo enables consumers to quickly identify and choose products that can help protect the environment and are safer for families. To find a list of DfE products ranging from athletic field paint and hand soaps to toilet and window cleaners go to www.epa.gov/dfe.
Big Help Grants Sponsored by Nickelodeon & the NEA Foundation
The Big Help Grants program is dedicated to the development and implementation of ideas, techniques, and approaches to addressing four key concerns — environmental awareness, health and wellness, students' right to a quality public education, and active community involvement. The grants target these four concerns as areas of great promise in helping students in the twenty-first century develop a global awareness that encourages and enables them to make a difference in their world. Multiple grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to select applicants. Public school teachers or public school education support professionals practicing in the U.S. are eligible to apply. The deadline is October 15, 2012. Please contact The NEA Foundation for more information and to apply for this funding: http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/educators/grant-programs/nea-foundation-green-grants/.
Toolbox for Education Grant Sponsored by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation
The Lowe’s Foundation is accepting applications for its Toolbox for Education Grant Program. The purpose of this program is to support school improvement projects at K-12 public schools in the United States. For the 2012-13 school year, the foundation will give priority to basic necessities. There is a preference for funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor), as well as landscaping/cleanup projects. Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit are encouraged. Grants up to $5,000 will be awarded. Any individual nonprofit public K-12 school or parent group associated with a nonprofit public K-12 school is eligible to apply. The deadline is October 12, 2012. Please contact the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation for more information and to apply for this funding: http://www.toolboxforeducation.com/.
Connecting Youth to the Outdoors Grant Program, Sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation
The National Environmental Education Foundation in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service, has announced a new initiative that seeks to catalyze efforts to increase the number of pre-K-12 youth, particularly urban and/or underserved youth, who build a connection with public lands as places for recreating, learning, and volunteering. Proposed projects should maximize hands-on outdoor engagement opportunities on public lands, focused on the areas of education, recreation, and environmental stewardship. Multiple grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 are available to select applicants. Nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and tribal groups are eligible to apply. The deadline is September 19, 2012. Please contact the National Environmental Education Foundation for more information and to apply for this funding: http://www.neefusa.org/grants/connecting_youth.
Green Strides Strategic Collaboration for Effective Asthma Management in Schools Webinar on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, from 2-3:00 p.m. (EDT)
In this webinar leading asthma experts will discuss best practices for asthma management in schools and how they collaborated with key partners to expand the reach of their school-based asthma management programs. Attend this webinar to:
  • Discover strategies for identifying and collaborating with a diverse set of community partners to improve asthma management in schools.
  • Understand the connection between effective asthma management in schools and green and healthy learning environments.
  • Learn how controlling asthma in schools can lead to improved academic performance.
  • Hear unique perspectives and tactics for increasing community awareness about asthma’s impact on students and how to effectively control it.
  • Gain answers to your questions about comprehensive school-based asthma management programs from leading asthma experts.
EPA Region 7’s NEW Clean, Green and Healthy Schools Web page
More than 53 million children and about six million adults spend a significant portion of their days inside more than 120,000 public and private school buildings. Many of these buildings are old and in poor condition, and may contain environmental conditions that inhibit learning and pose increased risks to the health of children and staff. EPA Region 7’s new ‘Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools webpage is designed to provide one-stop access to the many programs and resources available to help prevent and resolve environmental issues in schools. Check it out at: http://www.epa.gov/region7/citizens/schools/index.htm. 
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Planner

Other Community Related Information & Events

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*US Department of Agriculture’s Guide to Federal Funding*
A Guide to Funding Resources includes links to searchable databases offering funding opportunities from government and/or private sources that are available to local governments, community organizations, and individuals. It provides web links to more than sixty full-text online guides, manuals, and tips to assist grant writers prepare successful proposals. Check it out at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/ric/ricpubs/fundguide.html#privatefunding.
*Vibrant Rural Communities—NADO Case Study Series*
The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) is releasing a series of case studies describing how rural regions and small towns across the country are growing local and regional economies and creating stronger communities. This series will show how communities can leverage a wide range of tools and resources to build on their assets, protect their resources, and make strategic investments that offer long-term benefits. For more information, please visit: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/supportdocuments/RD_FedResourcesSustainableCommunities.pdf
*National Complete Streets Coalition 2011 Policy Analysis and Local Policy Workbook*
This new analysis examines 350 Complete Streets policies that have been approved by communities across the country as of the end of 2011. Local policies of particular note are highlighted throughout the report, providing a comprehensive examination of best policy practices across the country. Accompanying the new policy analysis is the latest edition of the Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook. This introductory guide serves as a starting point for transportation experts and interested local leaders to begin mapping out their own Complete Streets policies. For more information, please visit: http://www.completestreets.org/resources/new-report-and-companion-workbook-highlight-successful-complete-streets-policies-from-across-the-united-states/
*EPA, HUD, DOT Partner on Governors' Institute on Community Design*
HUD and DOT are now partnering with EPA to support the Governors' Institute, which helps governors and their staff make informed decisions about investments and policy decisions that influence the economic health and physical development of their states. HUD and DOT's support mean faster, more streamlined access to federal programs and resources. Read the press release: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/index.htm. Learn more about the Governors' Institute: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/gov_institute.htm.
*Sustainability and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Best Practices Guide*
This guide provides an overview of state policies and practices that promote community and water infrastructure sustainability.  http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/cwsrf/upload/CWSRF-Best-Practices-Guide.pdf.
*Local Sustainability Matching Funds, Deadline October 1*
The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, is awarding between $25,000 and $75,000 in matching funds to advance community-based sustainability. Applications for this second round of granting are due October 1; for application information see: http://www.fundersnetwork.org/participate/green-building/local-sustainability-matching-fund/.
*The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council National Public Teleconference Meeting Friday, September 21, 2012*
The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will host a public teleconference meeting on Friday, September 21, 2012, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The primary topic of discussion will be an update from the NEJAC's Indigenous Peoples Work Group. This NEJAC public teleconference meeting is open to the public. There will be a public comment period from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Members of the public are encouraged to provide comments relevant to the topic of the meeting. Specifically, comments should respond to how best to:
1. What activities and mechanisms should EPA conduct and develop to work collaboratively with indigenous community-based/grassroots organizations to identify and address environmental justice concerns?
2. What organizational, regulatory, or policy hurdles exist that impede, complicate, or discourage tribal governments and indigenous organizations from effectively working together to address environmental and public health concerns.
3. What are the recommended means and mechanisms for EPA to coordinate and collaborate with other federal agencies to effectively provide environmental justice for indigenous people?
To Register
  • By email: Send an email to NEJACTeleconSept2012@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com with "Register for the NEJAC-September 2012, Teleconference" in the subject line. Please provide your name, organization, city and state, email address, and telephone number for future follow up.
  • By phone or fax: Send a fax (please print), or leave a voice message, with your name, organization, city and state, email address, and telephone number to 877-773-1489. Please specify which meeting you are registering to attend (e.g., NEJAC-September 2012 Teleconference). Please also state whether you would like to be put on the list to provide public comment, and whether you are submitting written comments before the Monday, September 17 deadline.
  • Written comments received by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, September 17, 2012, will be included in the materials distributed to the members of the NEJAC prior to the teleconference meeting. Written comments received after that time will be provided to the NEJAC as time allows. All written comments should be sent to EPA's support contractor, APEX Direct, Inc., via e-mail at NEJACTeleconSept2012@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com or fax at 877-773-1489.
*University of California - San Francisco's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment rolls out: “All That Matters”*
"All That Matters” is a new compendium of patient centered, low literacy information that addresses exposures to toxic chemicals in the workplace, at home, and in the community and provide information on how to avoid potentially harmful exposure. Each brochure contains links to more detailed resources and information available online. Check it out at: http://prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/allthatmatters.html.
Seminar: The Power of Self Marketing Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in Kansas City
How Can Property Managers and Facility Managers Stand Out Among Their Peers?
Traditionally, facility managers assumed it was their job to be invisible. A safe, organized and well maintained facility should stand on its own merit, right? The better you do your job as a facility manager, the fewer complaints there are. But it also means you’re not recognized and often not appreciated. Today’s property and facility managers are working in the most competitive economy in history. In this job market, not being recognized is dangerous. It’s time to build and protect your careers by leveraging your “personal brand.”  This will be a great message for you, and it will change your career!   The organizations of the Built Environment Partners (ASHRAE, BOMA, EPA, KCIFMA, Missouri Chamber Green Initiative and USGBC) are proud to be bringing to Kansas City an award winning author and national speaker on the subject of Self Marketing. Click here to register and for more information: http://www.kcifma.com/event_detail.cfm?eventid=611.
Learn About EPA's New Tool to Assess Pollution in your Community
EPA’s newest blog post was released today on a new tool to increase the availability and accessibility of science and data for evaluating impacts of pollutants and local conditions, ranking risks, and understanding the environmental health consequences of your community. This tool can be used to assist your community with identifying and prioritizing environmental health issues and promoting actions to help communities make informed, cost-effective decisions to improve public health. Read more about it here: http://blog.epa.gov/ej/2012/08/epa-has-a-new-tool-to-help-assess-pollution-in-your-community/.
Study Confirms Energy Savings in Multifamily Building Retrofits
A recent study sponsored by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Living Cities could result in changes to the energy-efficiency retrofits market. “Recognizing the Benefits of Energy Efficiency” is a comprehensive effort to quantify the benefits of energy efficiency retrofits in multifamily housing. The study provides empirical data on energy consumption before and after building retrofits, filling the void where the absence of evidence has stifled demand among owners and kept lenders from creating loan products to finance the cost of building improvements. In addition to illustrating how building retrofits can save energy, the study provides a framework for incorporating energy savings into lenders’ underwriting standards. http://huduser.org/portal/sustainability/newsletter_072512_3.html#1.
EPA, HUD, and DOT Support Governor's Institute for Sustainable Design
HUD and DOT are now partnering with EPA to support the Governors' Institute for Sustainable Design, which helps governors make informed decisions about investments and policy decisions that influence the economic health and physical development of their states. EPA, HUD, and DOT will provide technical guidance to governors seeking to tackle housing, transportation, environmental, and health challenges. For more information, please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/488135b6a4dbad3e85257a4c004fcf64?OpenDocument.
Mixed-Use, Transit-Oriented Development in Arlington, Virginia
It took only 90 days to lease all 90 affordable housing units at The Jordan, a development in Arlington, Virginia, completed in August 2011 by AHC Incorporated (AHC). The development, composed of 17 one-bedroom, 68 two-bedroom, and 5 three-bedroom apartments, is located about 4 blocks from the Ballston Metro station. In addition, the complex is equipped with a library, a community room, a landscaped courtyard with a play fountain for children, and underground parking. The Jordan is part of a mixed-use development that includes two office buildings (each about 225,000 square feet) with ground-floor retail and a nearby parcel where 28 market-rate townhouses will be built. For more information, please visit: http://huduser.org/portal/sustainability/newsletter_072512_4.html#.
New Research and Development Partnership Launches in Dubuque                                    A unique, new partnership in Dubuque, Iowa, hopes to strengthen development efforts in the area, as well as share successful strategies with other communities across Iowa and Wisconsin to support more sustainable economies. The Dubuque Institute for Sustainable Communities and Economic Development is a collaboration between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Wisconsin-Extension and the City of Dubuque. The institute will focus on issues important to the greater Dubuque regional economy and successful strategies that can be replicated in other communities across both states. “Building this unique partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the City of Dubuque is very much in line with Extension and Outreach’s mission to build partnerships and provide learning opportunities to improve quality of life” noted Tim Borich, program director, ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development. “This will be a unique undertaking for the universities and there is no better place for it than Dubuque, given the community’s track record in building a strong regional economy and its level of engagement on sustainable development.” For more information, please visit: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/article/new-research-and-development-partnership-launches-dubuque.
Update on EPA's Green Power Communities Initiative
 EPA’s Green Power Communities initiative welcomes its newest members: Oak Park, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Wellesley, Massachusetts. Green Power Communities are towns, villages, cities, counties, or tribal governments in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively buy green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community purchase requirements.The program now has 34 member communities, which together are purchasing more than 4.2 billion kilowatt-hours of green power each year, avoiding carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those from the annual electricity use of more than 367,000 American homes. To learn how to become a Green Power Community, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities/become.htm.
Environmental Health Primary Prevention Training Program
 The Collaborative on Health and Environment's Environmental Health Primary Prevention trainings provide evidence-based science in lay language to be used in a range of settings, including advocacy, determining research priorities, public education and community organizing. The goal is to give trainees a deeper understanding of the science that links health outcomes with environmental factors, so trainees can become more effective as champions for a healthier world. The training, as well as room and board, is offered free of charge. These trainings are held at the Commonweal Retreat Center, one hour north of San Francisco, overlooking the Pacific Ocean -- an ideal place for active learning in a supportive environment away from the demands of day-to-day responsibilities.
 Upcoming Training: November 12-15, 2012. Reproductive & Environmental Health Science Training for Health Advocates, Educators & Health Care Professionals. Application is available at http://www.healthandenvironment.org/ehtraining. Note: Priority will be given to applications received by September 5, 2012. More information including testimonials from past training sessions can be found at http://www.healthandenvironment.org/ehtraining. For more information, please contact Heather Sarantis at heather@healthandenvironment.org.
The Power of Partnership CommunityMatters® Helps Organizations Amplify Their Impact
The Orton Family Foundation, based in Middlebury, Vermont and Denver, Colorado, seeks to help small cities and towns discover and describe their heart and soul—the collective attributes that make communities unique—and build on those attributes in planning toward a vibrant, enduring future. Orton has joined forces with the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Grassroots Grantmakers, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, New America Foundation, Project for Public Spaces, and Strong Towns to collectively improve the way communities think, engage, plan, decide, and do faster than any one of us could on our own. CommunityMatters places tools and resources into the hands of residents who know and care about their towns. The partnership’s first project: CommunityMatters was selected to lead the National Endowment for the Arts’ Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD), with Project for Public Spaces and Orton at the helm. NEA’s long-standing rural design program aims to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of rural communities. For more information, please visit: https://www.orton.org/page/communitymatters_helps_orgs_amplify_impact.
New Integrated Pest Management Guide for Affordable Housing
Affordable multifamily housing presents unique challenges for those trying to manage bed bugs, cockroaches, and rodents. Pest-free housing is a realistic goal, but a network of staff, pest management professionals, and residents must cooperate to successfully manage pests building-wide. Integrated Pest Management: A Guide for Affordable Housing is a new resource from the Northeastern IPM Center that will help affordable housing managers, owners, and agents use integrated pest management (IPM) to contend with a variety of urban pests in their facilities. It will also serve as a useful tool for anyone seeking to integrate IPM practices into a residential pest management strategy. The illustrated, 81-page guide gives readers 1) a basic knowledge of pests and pesticides that will help them make informed pest control decisions with a pest management professional; 2) an understanding of how to implement IPM in housing; 3) and tools to orient staff to their role on an IPM team. The complete guide and additional resources are available at www.stopPests.org/Guide.
EPA Scientists Explore the Link between Elevated Ozone and Heart Disease Risks 
Most people don't pay much attention to the constant thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump, of their heart beating away in their chest. After all, the prescription for heart health is generally well known - a tried and true combination of eating a low fat, high-fiber diet, not smoking, staying active, and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol level in check. For some, a doctor-recommended daily dose of aspirin is part of the routine. Now, however, emerging EPA research is pointing toward what could very well be an important missing ingredient, especially for those already at risk of heart attacks: keeping an eye on your local air quality index. "Five percent or more of heart disease deaths are possibly related to air pollution exposure," says Wayne Cascio, MD, Director of EPA's Environmental Public Health Division. Dr. Cascio, a cardiologist, and his research team are exploring the potential effects of air pollution exposure on cardiovascular health. He is also the leading force behind the Agency's "Green Heart Campaign" to increase awareness among public health professionals, doctors, nurses, other healthcare providers, and individuals that air pollution is a risk for those with heart disease. http://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/june2012/heart-matters.htm.
EPA researchers and partners are studying the local health effects associated with roadways and other "near-source" air pollutants
Noisy car and truck traffic may not be the only problem for those living next to a major road. Being close to the road may also cause health problems, especially for children and the elderly. A recent EPA-funded study ("Residential Proximity to Major Roadway and 10-Year All-Cause Mortality After Myocardial Infarction" Circulation. May 7, 2012) conducted by researchers at EPA's Clean Air Research Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that heart attack survivors who live less than 100 meters (328 feet) from a major road have a 27 percent increased risk of dying over 10 years than those living at least 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) away. The study is another addition to an emerging body of science showing that people who live, work, or attend school near major roads are at increased risk of health problems related to roadway air pollution. For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/june2012/road-health.htm.
USDA Directory Records More Than 7,800 Farmers Markets - National Resource Helps More Americans Connect with Local Farmers 
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced a 9.6 percent increase in National Farmers Market Directory listings as the kickoff to National Farmer's Market Week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's directory, a database published online at farmersmarkets.usda.gov, identifies 7,864 farmers markets operating throughout the United States. The information collected in the directory is self-reported data provided voluntarily by farmer's market managers through an annual outreach effort. Last year, USDA's directory listed 7,175 markets. "Farmers markets are a critical ingredient to our nation's food system," said Merrigan. "These outlets provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also to the communities looking for fresh, healthy foods. The directory is an online tool that helps connect farmers and consumers, communities and businesses around the country."
Take a Child Outside Week is September 24—September 30 Annually 
Take a Child Outside Week is a program designed to help break down obstacles that keep children from discovering the natural world. By arming parents, teachers and other caregivers with resources on outdoor activities, our goal is to help children across the country develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment in which they live, and a burgeoning enthusiasm for its exploration. This program is an initiative of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and is held in cooperation with partner organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Take a Child Outside Week is sponsored locally by Dover Foundation, Inc. and Great Outdoor Provision Company. Going outside:
  • connects children to the natural world
  • helps kids focus in school
  • reduces chances of obesity
So take a child outside! On this site you can:
For more information, please visit: http://www.takeachildoutside.org/ .
EPA Climate Leadership Awards
Application Due: October 12, 2012. Application period opens August 22, 2012.Eligible Entities:  Governmental entities or academic organizations with annual budgets over $100 million; legally recognized corporate organizations with annual revenue over $100 million. EPA co-sponsors the Climate Leadership Awards (CLA) with three NGO partners: The Climate Registry, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and the Association of Climate Change Officers. The CLA is a national awards program that recognizes and incentivizes exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. Applications will be accepted for the following recognition categories: Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate), Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management, Supply Chain Leadership Award, Organizational Leadership Award, and Individual Leadership Award. This year’s award winners will be publicly recognized in early 2013 at the awards gala, held in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the Climate Leadership Conference. For more information, visit, http://www.epa.gov/climateleadership/awards/index.html.