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WEEKLY UPDATE October 15, 2014 

In This Issue
NEMWI Webinar: Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Financing in the Northeast-Midwest Region
NEMWI Webinar Recap: Conservation, HABs, and New Approaches
ATSDR Announces 7 Community Health and Brownfield Reuse Cooperative Agreements; 3 in NEMW Region

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NEMWI Webinar: Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Financing in the Northeast-Midwest Region, October 21


The NEMWI will host an informational webinar for a general regional audience on Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Financing in the Northeast-Midwest Region on October 21 from 3-4 PM. The Webinar will give particular attention to "Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)" financing policies and programs. These local-level programs, enabled through state legislation, seek to provide home and business owners low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to buildings. Thirteen NEMW states have PACE-enabling legislation, and nearly all of those states have or are developing PACE programs.

Webinar participants will learn about:
  • Residential and commercial PACE programs in the NEMW region, generally;
  • An exemplary commercial PACE program in Connecticut; and
  • Federal policy issues around PACE implementation.
Panelists will include Jocelyn Durkay, National Conference of State Legislatures, and Jessica Bailey, State of Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, among others. Register for the webinar here.

For more information, contact Colleen Cain, Senior Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

  

NEMWI Webinar Recap: Conservation, HABs, and New Approaches


On October 9, 2014, the NEMWI held a webinar entitled "Conservation, HABs, and New Approaches" targeting information needs of NEMW Congressional Coalition Great Lakes Task Force staff and Great Lakes regional leaders and stakeholders. This Webinar was the second in an NEMWI series inspired by the Toledo "Do Not Drink" Advisory in August. The first webinar focused on managing the public health impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), while this one focused on prevention, particularly the need for, and approaches to, agricultural conservation.

 

Webinar speakers, including Dr. Deanna Osmond (North Carolina State University), stressed the importance of working at the watershed scale when looking at conservation impacts, rather than simply reductions in nutrient flows at the field or local scales. Dr. Patrick Lawrence (University of Toledo), along with the other speakers, raised the lack of monitoring information needed to assess the on-the-ground results and effectiveness of conservation programs and practices. Elin Betanzo, P.E. (NEMWI) described the NEMWI's two-year collaborative study with the U.S. Geological Survey, now nearing completion, on the state of water monitoring information in the Western Lake Erie Basin, and its capacity to inform policy solutions. The study showed the region currently lacks sufficient data to assess effects of proposed conservation approaches. It also suggested that more intensive monitoring of the specific pollutant of concern, dissolved reactive phosphorus, within small and large watersheds would be the most efficient means to generating the needed information. David White (former Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service) and Alex Echols (Independent Consultant, Principal, Terra Altus) provided background on new conservation infrastructure and practices that are relatively easy to implement and could have dramatic effects on the flow of nutrients into watersheds, as well as innovative approaches to pay for these efforts. They highlighted the cost-savings measures of nutrient trading, whereby nutrient reduction on farms allows wastewater facilities to economically and effectively meet nutrient discharge permits. Over 30 million acres in the Midwest region have potential to include more effective conservation practices to reduce nutrient inputs and the resultant algal blooms. 


 
A recording of the webinar is available here.

 

For more information, please contact Danielle Chesky, Director, Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

  

ATSDR Announces 7 Community Health and Brownfield Reuse Cooperative Agreements; 3 in NEMW Region

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has awarded 7 new Cooperative Agreements to conduct "Community Health Projects Related to Contamination at Brownfield/Land Reuse (BFLR) Sites." The projects aim to protect human health during the expansion, redevelopment, and reuse of brownfield sites in the United States. Three awardees are located in the NEMW region:
  • ~ $150,000 to the New York State Health Department for a land reuse effort in the South End of Albany. With this new funding, the Health Department will work with local stakeholders to promote community health as part of the ongoing land reuse activities in the South End neighborhood.
  • ~$150,000 to the City of Cincinnati to examine how the urban landscape, built environment, and extreme weather-related stressors contribute to public health risks in the Cumminsville neighborhood of Cincinnati. The city will also use the funding to include health in planning and evaluation efforts as land re-use decisions are made in the neighborhood.
  • $130,000 to the University of Illinois to initiate and coordinate a committee of regional stakeholders to prioritize land reuse and revitalization initiatives in the South Cook County.
For more information, contact Colleen Cain, Senior Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 

   

NEMWI: Strengthening the Region that Sustains the Nation