The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (Canada, US, and Mexico) issued a report on Sept. 17, 2010, illustrating the steps 13 North American cities are taking, from small, planned efforts to reduce building energy use, to comprehensive, multi-sector adopted plans for reducing energy use.
Planning & Growth
"A once-unthinkable day is looming on the Colorado River. Barring a sudden end to the Southwest’s 11-year drought, the distribution of the river’s dwindling bounty is likely to be reordered as early as next year because the flow of water cannot keep pace with the region’s demands."
The Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, September 22, will hold a hearing on the National Flood Insurance Program, which is teetering under some $19 billion in debt. The NFIP is set to expire Sept. 30, just as the hurricane season reaches its height. Congress has allowed the NFIP to expire four times already this year.
On the National Conference of State Legislatures website, you'll find information on new or proposed environment and natural resources legislation, including consumer laws. Topics include climate change and air quality, water, land use, waste, environmental health, healthy communities, federal issues, and much more.
Here's a roundup of recent developments and resources that can help you cover how local stormwater management fits into the regional and national picture, including the Natural Resources Defense Council's 20th annual beach report and the proposed Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act of 2010.
While not a stand-alone climate change-fighting measure, converting roofs and pavements in tropical and temperate cities of one million or more people to light-colored materials would provide the equivalent one-time benefit of eliminating two years' worth of global CO2 emissions, or eliminating the emissions of 300 million vehicles for 20 years.
"Continued climate change will drive Mexican farm workers to migrate to the United States in greater numbers, environmental experts predicted on Monday."
NOAA's "State of the Coast" contains both quick facts and detailed information regarding this 95,000-mile-long zone and all the players involved. It generally addresses longer-term issues, such as environmental degradation, climate, hazards, economics, and demographics.
A study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that the most sprawling US cities have 2.6 times the risk of deadly extreme heat events than those with the least sprawl — regardless of the population, location, or rate of growth of an urban area.
The USFS Forest Legacy Program has awarded a total of $72 million to 36 property owners in 33 states and territories to apply conservation easements to their land, with the goal of preventing development or other uses of the land that would reduce its forest value.