Climate Change: External Outreach and Assistance
Other EPA Region 3 Climate Change Information
"How you can help," with the following bullets:
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Assistance to Key Municipalities
Recognizing both the size of their populations and the extent of environmental challenges faced by our large urban areas, we have focused our greenhouse gas emissions reduction assistance on these key municipalities. This is consistent with the approach we have used for several other stewardship and grant programs, including our diesel emissions reduction efforts.
EPA's own analyses and other risk assessment activities point to diesel exhaust as a major risk contributor affecting our densely populated neighborhoods - places where our most vulnerable and sensitive populations often reside in great numbers. The Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative - through the Urban Fleets Sector - focuses on the primary sources and contributors of diesel emissions from fleets, including garbage trucks, fire engines, ambulances, street sweepers, etc.
Large urban areas also play a significant role in greenhouse gas emissions. As these cities begin to implement their own climate change and sustainability plans, we have developed a Climate Change Crosswalk (C3). The C3 identifies common themes in the plans of multiple municipalities and pinpoints specific areas in which we might offer targeted assistance:
- reducing building energy use
- procuring energy efficient products
- generating renewable energy
- public education
- engaging K-12 schools
Using the C3 as a guide, we will use existing stewardship programs (ENERGY STAR, Green Power Partnership, Combined Heat & Power Partnership and the State and Local Climate and Energy Program), paired with hands-on technical assistance, to help municipalities achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and share lessons learned with each other.
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In February 2009, working from the City of Philadelphia's April 2007 Local Action Plan for Climate Change, (PDF, 33 pp., 343KB, About PDF) we held our first targeted technical assistance event - a training for more than 50 Philadelphia procurement officials to demonstrate the tools available to help with the purchase of ENERGY STAR equipment and services. Staff from the City's procurement department and from individual offices across the City government attended the training, which included a live web-based demonstration of ENERGY STAR and other energy efficiency tools. Following the training, Regional and City staff discussed its success and identified additional opportunities to coordinate on meeting the City's climate change mitigation goals.
Regional Priority Projects
Energy and Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC)Energy and Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC): EPA Region 3's Energy and Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) Priority increases energy efficiency and more effectively manages and conserves energy, water, and other resources. Tremendous savings in energy and resources will increase sustainability in the mid-Atlantic region and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help mitigate climate change impact.
This goal is accomplished through collaborative, cross-program projects; these integrate EPA programs that focus on energy and resource conservation from across the Region and involve partnering with external federal, state, local, and industry stakeholders. Major projects include:
- Sustainability Team - EPA's stewardship programs will be bundled and given to stakeholders who control the largest volume of materials and energy to help them become more sustainable. This project will focus on sector-specific events with intensive follow-up with participants to develop sustainability plans for the greatest environmental results. Our sustainability team is the lead project under the Energy and RCC priority.
- Green Highways - includes three themes: watershed-driven stormwater management; conservation and ecosystem protection; and recycling and reuse of industrial byproducts. This project focuses on the recycling and reuse theme, which promotes the environmentally sound and technically acceptable use of industrial materials in transportation infrastructure. Reusing industrial materials will prevent these materials from entering the waste stream, saving energy and resources and preventing greenhouse gas emissions, thereby mitigating climate change impacts.
- Green Cleanups - focuses on developing a third-party voluntary green cleanup certification system similar to LEED certification, conducting outreach for green remediation, and participation in the Climate Change and Contaminated Land Workgroup. Green cleanups will conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- LOGICS (local government sustainability assistance)(zipped ppt file, 9 pp, 99.4 KB) - is an EPA partnership with state government, non-profits and utilities to provide tools and steps for local governments to assimilate energy conservation, environmentally preferable purchasing and green buildings into their day-to-day operations and policies, which will increase sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Sustainable Skylines - is a cross-cutting sustainability framework that consolidates transportation, energy, land use, and air quality planning programs to yield measurable air and water quality, livability, and economic development benefits in a relatively short amount of time. These improvements include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Toward this end, we have issued a Sustainable Skylines grant to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, with these tasks: an energy efficiency and conservation campaign, diesel engine retrofits and replacements, lawn equipment rebates, anti-idling education, and a web-based tree planting program.
- Carbon Sequestration - involves injection of CO2 into deep geologic formations, preventing it from entering the atmosphere. EPA proposes to have a final rule for carbon sequestration issued by 2010. We are working with the U.S. Department of Energy as well as West Virginia and Virginia on three pilot projects, which will yield knowledge for future design and operation standards for injection wells.
Healthy AirThis priority will be more effectively reduce the human health risks associated with poor air quality by focusing additional efforts and resources towards areas of Region 3 which are impaired due to a combination of high levels of ozone, particulate matter and toxic air pollutants. Focusing our efforts on these pollutant groups will not only make the mid-Atlantic region's air healthier to breathe, but will reduce ecosystem damage and help address our global air quality problems.
The Ports and Goods Movement Project focuses on the ports of Baltimore and Norfolk. The ports priority will support the efforts to acquire port-related air quality and source emissions data and achieve emission reductions to support attainment of health-based air quality standards at the ports of Baltimore and Norfolk. Despite aggressive regulation of new trucks and off-road equipment, there is a need to promote voluntary reductions from the existing legacy fleets. Port-related sources in this category include cargo-handling equipment (e.g., yard hostlers, cranes), harbor craft (e.g., tugs), and dray trucks.
As part of the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative's Goods Movement Forum, additional work is underway at the ports of Philadelphia, Wilmington, and the Port of Pittsburgh. Addressing port, freight and rail issues together responds to a growing need to better quantify and improve the performance throughout the entire integrated transportation supply chain. Goals include information-sharing and leveraging of significant new resources to expand voluntary diesel emission mitigation efforts.
To find a person who can provide more detailed information regarding climate change issues go to EPA Regional Climate Change Contacts page.