Words matter: Climate messaging needs a reboot

By paying close attention to the vocabulary policymakers use to frame climate issues, they can more effectively build public support for climate mitigation.

States lose federal water funds to earmarks

Democrats and Republicans in Congress could divert nearly $1.5 billion from states for local funding.

As flood risk changes, many communities brace for insurance rate shock

While the National Flood Insurance Program’s new way of setting flood insurance premiums better reflect a property’s flood risk, lawmakers say the significantly higher rates for some properties could discourage people from buying insurance.

States get a leg up on grant applications

To better compete for federal funding, several states are setting up programs to provide matching funds and grant writing expertise.

Treasury expands the uses of ARPA funding

Under interim rules, the federal agency would allow state and local governments to spend coronavirus relief money on natural disasters, additional transportation projects and housing, among other uses.

More cities address ‘shade deserts’ as extreme heat triggers health issues

Cities are trying to build heat resiliency into their infrastructure—including by boosting their tree canopy— all while experts warn of a public health threat growing more severe each year.

US water infrastructure ‘unsustainable’ amid rapidly evolving crisis, report warns

The United States is facing an unsustainable demand for water and lacks the security posture to defend the nation’s water systems from emerging threats, according to a new report.

An emerging ‘greenium’? New research says green bonds cost governments less

Amid an ESG backlash in some states, the finding could lead to more governments seeking an ESG-related label for bonds that will fund socially or environmentally sustainable projects.

Using future, not just historical data projections could make state, local infrastructure designs more resilient

One county is baking sea level rise data projections into its building design requirements in an effort to prepare for the future effects of climate change.

When every minute counts: Dashboard maps emergency response to extreme heat

The EMS HeatTracker can help public health officials ensure emergency medical services reach those who need them most.

Gulf Coast carbon capture gets $1 billion boost from Biden administration

Texas and Louisiana are slated for largest-ever investment in direct air capture as part of an initiative that aims to build a nationwide network of large-scale carbon removal sites to mitigate the climate crisis.

Montana kids win historic climate lawsuit—here’s why it could set a powerful precedent

COMMENTARY | This result sets a groundbreaking precedent for climate litigation and demonstrates a new way in which green amendments can be invoked to elicit environmental change.

Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.

Climate change has amplified heat-related struggles in more state prisons.

Most cities' climate plans don’t plan for a green workforce, report says

As cities look to meet ambitious climate goals, many are missing key details in their plans to build the workforce they will need.

States should invest in an ‘all of the above’ climate strategy

COMMENTARY | Rather than tinker around the edges of dealing with climate change, it is time for states to throw everything they have at the issue to stave off further—and permanent—damage.

Early detection helps states control invasive species before it’s too late

By leveraging innovative detection and monitoring tools, state and local land managers can get ahead of the environmental and fiscal consequences of the aggressive spread of non-native plants.

As water reuse expands, proponents battle the ‘yuck’ factor

Treated wastewater could be the answer to communities' looming concerns over water shortages. Despite skepticism and, often, disgust at the idea, experts say reused water is a glass-half-full solution.

As temperatures spike, states act to protect residents and workers

Governments geared up protective measures against the dangerously hot weather baking nearly every part of the country this past week. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

How well-managed dams and smart forecasting can limit flooding as extreme storms become more common in a warming world

COMMENTARY | As flood system operators juggle how to safely manage water levels during a flood, more accurate forecasting could make the process more efficient and effective.

$90M awarded to update building energy codes

The U.S. Energy Department grants will provide technical assistance for updating state and local building codes to reduce harmful emissions.

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