Communities Information Digest

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 7)

Communities Information Digest 

September 14, 2012
For questions or to subscribe contact Tegan Vaughn @ 913-551-7326,
Note: New items are in *asterisks*


*Greening America's Capitals to Assist Five Capital Cities*
EPA recently announced that the capitals of Kentucky, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, and Indiana will be awarded design assistance from the Greening America's Capitals program.
-Frankfort, Ky. will receive assistance to enhance walkability and add bike lanes between the historic downtown and the State Capitol. The project will also connect the downtown with the proposed Kentucky River trail.
-Des Moines, Iowa will receive assistance to incorporate green infrastructure elements into a proposed streetscape plan for a one-mile segment of 6th Avenue. The project will revitalize the commercial street that serves as the northern gateway to the city’s downtown.
-Baton Rouge, La. will receive assistance to incorporate green infrastructure elements into a proposed walking and biking trail that connects Louisiana State University with the city’s downtown.
-Helena, Mont. will receive assistance to improve the walkability and add bike lanes along Last Chance Gulch, a street that connects the northern part of the Helena business district with the historic downtown. The project will also explore design alternatives for a five-way intersection to enhance walkability.
-Indianapolis, Ind. will receive assistance to make streets more pedestrian-friendly and revitalize public plazas within and adjacent to the Market Square redevelopment area. The project will tie in with the city’s larger plan to develop businesses in a new green cultural district.

*Department of Housing and Urban Design Announces Secretary's Award to 10 Community Foundations*
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations, recently announced the first winners of a new awards program to recognize community foundations for the excellent work they do along with their public partners in the areas of housing and community development. The new HUD Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations honors community foundations that work closely with the public sector on projects involving housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, community participation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability, and economic developmentAwards were given to community foundations for completed or ongoing initiatives that are executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency. For more information, please visit:

    Funding Opportunities

September 28: Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program (~$12 million)
October 1: Funders’ Network Local Sustainability Matching Fund ($250,000)
October 5: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Grants
October 12: American Institute of Architects Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) – Technical Assistance
*October 12: EPA Climate Leadership Awards*
*October 15: USDA Conservation Innovation Grant*
October 18: National Science Foundation Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change Program
November 15: Government of Manitoba Water Stewardship Fund
November 16: 2013 Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program –
*November 19: EPA Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup grants Request for Proposals*
November 21: Environmental Education Regional Grants –
*November 26: National Science Foundation Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Fellows
Meeting Table

Meetings, Conferences, & Events

September 18: The Power of Self Marketing – Kansas City, Missouri
September 19: Making Smart Growth Compelling: Smart Growth Speaker's Series – Washington D.C.
*September 20: Creating Walkable Communities – Dartmouth, Massachusetts*
September 20-21: Sustainable Housing Conference – Kansas City, Missouri
September 22: 12th Annual Lawrence Energy Conservation Fair and Sustainable Homes Tour – Lawrence, Kansas
September 25-26: Kansas Energy Conference – Manhattan, Kansas
September 26: Go Green Fair – Olathe, Kansas
September 29: Green Homes, Great Health Festival – St. Louis, Missouri
*October 3: Sustainability Summit – Washington D.C.,2*
October 3: Growing Sustainable Communities - Midwestern Region – Dubuque, Iowa
October 6: Energy Solutions Homes Tour – Kansas City Metro area
October 7-8: Ozarks New Energy Conference – Springfield, Missouri,
October 10: Planning Flood-Resilient Communities – Kansas City, Missouri
October 14-16: 7th Annual Land Bank Conference — Kalamazoo, Michigan
October 15-17: Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference – Cincinnati, Ohio
October 17-20: CitiesAlive 10th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference – Chicago, Illinois
*October 29-30: Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference – St. Lois, Missouri*
October 31: National Preservation Conference – Spokane, Washington

Webinars & Conference Calls

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:
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.
 -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 If you have any questions about the offerings or the registration process, please contact
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: to register.
* September 21, 2012, 1:00-2:30 (EST) EPA's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program Webinar*
On Friday, Sept. 21, join EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities for an overview of free technical assistance available to communities through EPA's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. This program provides short-term, targeted technical assistance to help communities implement smart growth development approaches, such as creating a green streets strategy, linking land use to water quality, or conducting a parking audit. This webinar will focus on assistance available directly from EPA and from four EPA grantees: ForTerra, Project for Public Spaces, Smart Growth America, and Global Green. Participants will learn about the types of assistance available and how to apply. EPA's call for letters of interest will be released the day before this webinar. To join the webinar, click: No pre-registration is required.
Call 1-888-850-4523. Participant passcode: 719661. This conference has a maximum audio capacity of 299 callers, so participants may wish to share lines.
-Please test your computer prior to attending the meeting at
-The Connection Test checks your computer to make sure all system requirements are met. If you pass the first three steps of the test, then you are ready to participate in a meeting.
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 with any questions.
Take Action Cycle Webinar Series - All on Tuesdays, 
3-4pm EST / 2-3pm CST / 1-2pm MST / 12-1pm PST  
Evaluate Actions - October 9
Evaluate Actions: In-depth - October 23    
To register, click on the link(s) above; or for more information, please visit:
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:
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:   
*September 27, 12:00 p.m. (EST) Developing a Chemical Safety Plan: Tips for Reducing Risk*
A chemical safety plan is essential to mitigate the risks of the many hazardous chemicals that are necessary for student learning programs and custodial maintenance. Join a free, interactive 75-minute webcast to learn how to improve safety and protect students, teachers and staff from chemical threats with an effective chemical management plan. You’ll hear industry experts discuss how conducting a thorough chemical inventory and following proper storage procedures can help you identify and minimize chemical hazards. Register now for this free webcast at:
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: For more information, visit

                Green Schools

*The Green Strides Webinar Series: For All Schools Moving Toward the Pillars*
The webinar list below with registration links in green, features experts from the EPA and other federal programs. Times are Eastern Standard but may change so please check back here regularly. Submit your email to the Department of Education to sign up for Green Strides Webinar Series updates and receive registration information.
Upcoming Webinars:
-Sept. 19, 2012, 2-3 p.m.: The School Flag Program
-Sept. 26, 2012, 2-3 p.m.: The Sun, UV and You: EPA's SunWise Program
-Oct. 10, 2012, 2-3 p.m.: Why Environmental Health in School Matter
-Oct. 17, 2012, 2-3 p.m.: Presidential Youth Fitness Program
-Nov. 7, 2012, 2-3 p.m.: Integrated School Health Tools for Districts
For more information, please visit
*Children & Nature Infographic Now Available in Spanish*
National Environmental Education Foundation's Children & Nature Infographic illustrates how being active in nature makes kids healthier. We welcome you to explore the stats and please share the infographic, available in both English and Spanish, with those in your network. For more information, please visit:
*Managing Asthma Triggers: Free Online Continuing Education for School Nurses*
The National Association of School Nurses (NASN), in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), presents an online program for school nurses. Managing Asthma Triggers promotes a healthy learning environment through improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and increasing awareness of asthma triggers within the school environment to reduce asthma episodes. This program consists of four modules. Three modules include tools and resources to present to school personnel, students and parents to decrease asthma triggers in schools. The fourth module highlights the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit with resources to promote a healthy school environment. Nurses are eligible to receive 2.5 continuing nursing education units for this course.  For more information, please visit:
*Healthy Child Cares Webinar, October 11, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (MT)*
More than 12 million children in the U.S. (including infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers ages 3 to 5) spend a significant portion of their days in child care settings. In this webinar you will learn about major environmental health issues in child care settings and resources to promote and maintain environmental health; the National Health and Safety Performance Standards for Early Care and Education Settings; and Healthy Child Care America, a collaborative effort of health professionals and child care providers working to improve the early education and health and safety of children in out-of-home child care. You will also learn about many resources for helping develop healthier learning environments and more effective caregivers in child care centers and family child care homes across the country. To Register Visit:
*Low Level Lead Exposure Linked to Poor School Performance*
The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) released new findings on the impact of low-level lead exposure on school performance. The issue brief, “Childhood Lead Exposure and Educational Outcomes,” summarizes new research connecting small amounts of lead in a child’s blood to problems in school later in life.  In May of this year, the U.S. CDC updated its guidance on the level of lead in a child’s blood it considers harmful. Children with a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) are considered by CDC to have more exposure to lead than 97.5% of their peers. This policy changed CDC’s long-standing guidance, which recommended action at 10 ug/dL. For more information, please visit:
*Rhode Island School Law Helps Protect Students and Staff from Environmental Chemical Exposures*
Governor Chafee of Rhode Island recently signed into law new school siting legislation that protects students and staff from environmental chemical exposures in school environments. Proponents of the law have worked for years on introducing and passing the law after several of their public schools, in low income communities, were constructed on a dumpsite and contaminated land. Rhode Island is the first state to pass legislation that bans the construction of schools, including expanding an existing building, on "any portion of a parcel of property for which there exists an ongoing potential for hazardous materials and/or petroleum to migrate as vapors or gases into the building from the subsurface of the parcel of property, including any potential failure of engineered remedies to address said vapors or gases." You can download the new Rhode Island law at:
*Community-Based Approaches to Controlling Childhood Asthma*
School-based programs and community coalitions may be one of the best ways to help children and their families manage asthma. This report looks at the various types of community-focused intervention methods that have been designed to improve asthma outcomes. Additionally, the report makes the case for why additional research on the effectiveness of these methods is needed to improve asthma control. To read the abstract, please visit:
*American Lung Association’s Back to School with Asthma Toolkit and State of the Air® App*
School Nurses, teachers and staff – Find out how you can support an asthma friendly school environment with the Back to School with Asthma Toolkit. Complete with fact sheets, reference guides and training materials, this toolkit will help you educate your students about asthma. Not only can indoor environmental hazards in schools trigger asthma attacks, but poor outdoor air quality can too. Want to receive updates on local air quality on your mobile phone? Download the State of the Air® app for your iPhone or Android so that you can further protect student, teacher and staff health. For more information, please visit:
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
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:
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
Big Help Grants Sponsored by Nickelodeon & the NEA Foundation, Deadline October 15, 2012
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:
Toolbox for Education Grant Sponsored by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, Deadline October 12, 2012
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:
Connecting Youth to the Outdoors Grant Program, Sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation, Deadline September 19, 2012
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:
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: 

Other Community Related Information & Events

*EPA Opens Registration for Campus RainWorks Design Challenge Competition – Deadline October 5*
EPA opened registration for student teams from colleges and universities across the country to participate in its new design competition, the Campus RainWorks Challenge, through which teams will compete to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. This first annual competition, will help raise awareness of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in green infrastructure principles and design. Stormwater is a major cause of harmful water pollution in urban areas in the U.S., impacting tens of thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, as well as hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge is open from September 4 through October 5, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 - $2,500, as well as $8,000 - $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage stormwater discharges. For more information, please visit:
*Two New Publications from EPA's Smart Growth Program*
A Project Selection Tool for the State of Rhode Island: Leveraging State Transportation, Housing, and Infrastructure Investments. EPA worked with Rhode Island's KeepSpace program to help prioritize state, nonprofit, and federal resources. This assistance resulted in a project selection tool that may be of use to other communities facing similar challenges.
Greening America's Capitals: Lincoln, Nebraska. This report describes EPA's work with Lincoln, Nebraska, to develop an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable vision for the South Capital area and design options to achieve it.
Find these reports and the project selection tool at
*EPA’s Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) has posted the FY13 Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup grants Request for Proposals*   The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) has posted the FY13 Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup grants Request for Proposals (RFP).These grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). Opportunities for funding are as follows: Brownfields Assessment Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years), Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants (each funded up to $1,000,000 over five years) and Brownfields Cleanup Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years).The proposal submission deadline is 11:59pm on November 19, 2012. The RFP can be found at:
*Request for Additional Nominations of Candidates for the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee*
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites public nominations of additional scientific experts to be considered for appointment to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC) to provide advice through the chartered SAB regarding Toxicological Reviews of environmental chemicals available on EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). DATES: Nominations should be submitted in time to arrive no later than September 19, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nominators unable to submit nominations electronically as described below may submit a paper copy to the Designated Federal Officer for the committee, Mr. Aaron Yeow, DFO by email at or contact him by telephone at 202–564–2050.
 One specific area of expertise being sought is expertise in health disparities to sensitive and susceptible populations.Also, complete Federal Register Notices is available at FR Notice at
*Last Chance to Cast Your Vote Your Top Creative Efforts for the 2012 Winners of the Rachel Carson Sense of Water Contest – September 24*
The U.S. EPA, Rachel Carson Council, Inc, Generations United, Dance Exchange and the National Center for Creative Aging are the proud sponsors of the 2012 Rachel Carson Sense of Water Contest.   Finalists have been selected but we need you to help us select the winners. This year, finalists were selected by an intergenerational and diverse group of judges. Judges scored the entries based on the following criteria: 1) how the intergenerational team went about planning and carrying out the project and what made it special because the project involved persons from different generations: and 2) how the creative project brought the team in touch with the natural world. The deadline to help us select the 2012 winners is September 24th.  It is your turn to help select this year's winners of the Rachel Carson Sense of Water contest. Remember to vote once for your favorites in each category of the five categories. Cast your ballot here:
*New Mobile App from NIH Helps Women Learn more about their Health in 52 weeks*
52 Weeks for Women's Health, a new app that offers women access to a year's worth of practical health information, highlighted week-by-week, is now available. The app is based on the popular Primer for Women's Health: Learn about Your Body in 52 Weeks, published by the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health. The easy-to-use mobile app can help women identify health risks for themselves and their families, and can help them create and maintain healthy lifestyles throughout their lives. Questions to ask health care providers, a glossary of health terms, and health screening information and links to additional information from NIH institutes and centers expand the mobile app's offerings.Key features of the app are: a personal health section for recording medications, medical conditions, and disabilities; a journal feature; and a personal goal-setting section for health and lifestyle details. A variety of different skins can be applied to personalize the app, and it can be password-protected to help ensure health information remains confidential. In the near future, NIH will launch an app for men's health with similar features. Content is also accessible without the use of a handheld device, at
*Effective Approaches to Heat Island Reduction: Recorded Webcast Now Available*
If you missed the recent Local Climate and Energy webcast, Beating the Heat: Effective Approaches to Heat Island Reduction, you can listen to recordings of all the speakers’ talks and view their presentations online.  Transcripts of each presentation and the entire webcast are also available. Questions submitted during the webcast have been answered by our presenters and are available at the same link; additional questions submitted after the webcasts will be posted shortly with their answers. In this webcast, held on August 8, 2012, participants learned about the heat island effect and how it can affect a city’s energy consumption and public health. Participants also learned how Chula Vista, California; Austin, Texas; and the Dallas-Fort Worth area are using cool pavements and vegetation to lower local temperatures.
Here's some feedback we received from webcast attendees: "EXCELLENT presentation, I totally recommend it to anyone interested, including private citizens." "The August 8 Heat Island Webcast was excellent. It was very applied and practical, and should help any community that is interested in action."Listen to other State and Local Climate and Energy webcasts
*Pollution, Poverty, People of Color: Warnings about contaminated fish fail to reach people most at risk*
Every state has issued health advisories that warn of the dangers of eating fish tainted with industrial compounds and other chemicals. People of color eat a lot of locally-caught fish for economic and cultural reasons. And yet they are the least likely to be warned because state efforts fail to reach minority and low-income populations. For more information, please visit:
*EPA Verification of Low Rolling Resistance Retread Tires*
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to announce the first verifications of low rolling resistance retread tire products under the performance requirements announced in June 2012.  Verified drive and trailer retreads are both available.  More information about the SmartWay program, low rolling resistance tires and EPA-verified retreads can be found at EPA estimates that using verified low rolling resistance tires can improve fuel consumption by three percent when used in all axle positions on line-haul class-8 tractor trailers.  Verified retreads, when used in the drive and trailer axle positions in combination with EPA-verified steer tires, can reduce fuel consumption by three percent relative to the most common retreads.
*How to Develop Effective Leadership in your Community*
How do you empower leaders in your community to stand up and get involved in environmental justice issues? Watch EPA's newest video in their 20th Anniversary video series, featuring Teri Blanton, the former Chair for the citizens' group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Teri describes the lessons she has learned about helping local residents to take ownership over the decision-making processes, and how to train leaders to advocate for healthier communities. Watch it at
 The video series features government officials, nonprofit and industry leaders, and students who share stories about the lessons they have learned while working on environmental justice. Other videos contributions have come from Vernice Miller Travis of WEACT, Sue Briggum of Waste Management, Susana Almanza of PODER, and Reggie Harris from EPA Region 3.
*Join the Smart Growth Network's National Conversation on the Future of Our Communities Blog*
The blog launches this week with the first topic, healthy communities: "What does it really mean to live in a healthy community? From recreational opportunities and safety to access to health-oriented programs and services, most everyone has a different definition of what a healthy community looks like. Whatever your definition, planning is usually key." Read more and comment:
*Grants for Nonprofit Organizations, Public Schools, Libraries Sponsored by The Lawrence Foundation – Deadline November 1*
The purpose of this funding is to support programs that focus on the environment, education, or human services. Previous grant recipients include the St. Joseph Family Center, YouthBuild San Bernadino County, Bright Beginnings, Communities in Schools, youthSpark, and the Spokane District Dental Foundation.Award amounts vary. Nonprofit organizations that qualify for public charity status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or public schools and libraries are eligible for contributions or grants. Deadline: November 1, 2012. Please contact The Lawrence Foundation for more information and to apply for this funding:
*National Clean Diesel Campaign Rebate Program - November*
EPA is announcing a new National Clean Diesel Campaign Rebate Program for clean diesel.  As part of the reauthorization of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), EPA will offer rebates to fund projects that reduce emissions from diesel engines.  The program is designed to target specific medium and heavy-duty diesel engines; and technologies each year (as funding is available).  This is the first ever rebate program in EPA.  As such, the National Clean Diesel Campaign is starting with a pilot program that will focus on school bus replacements. EPA anticipates the acceptance of applications to start in November.  EPA  will send another email when the rebate application acceptance period opens.For more information on the National Clean Diesel Campaign Rebate Program, visit
*Take-Back Initiative September 29, 2012*
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.The American people have again responded overwhelmingly to the most recent DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On April 28th, citizens turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the four Take-Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation. Check for a location near you at:
*Social Equity and Sustainable Development, a Community Conversation About Development that Benefits All of Us - Creating Sustainable Places Partners Congress – September 29*
As we work together to create more vibrant, connected and green places in our communities, how can we ensure that both reinvestment and new development benefit everyone? Join the Creating Sustainable Places Equity Partners and the Mid-America Regional Council for a community conversation and work session to tackle this important issue. No cost to attend, but registration is required. Register online or call 816-701-8234. Join us Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Kauffman Conference Center,
4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Mo. For more information, please visit:
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:
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:
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:
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: Learn more about the Governors' Institute:
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.
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:
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 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 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: