Capital Region Climate News & Resources: December 17, 2021


Member Updates

CivicThread (Previously known as WalkSacramento)
WalkSacramento has recently undergone a rebrand and is now operating under the name CivicThread! CivicThread has been working with Valley Vision, Breathe California, and GreenTech on Sacramento Neighborhoods Activating on Air Quality (SNAAQ), which focuses on identifying sources of air pollution and opportunities for improvements in North Sac and Oak Park.


The County of Sacramento
The board of the County recently declared a Climate Emergency and set a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. Ann Edwards has been appointed as County Executive. Anne created and appointed a permanent, dedicated sustainability manager who will be reporting to the County Executive. The County also released a Draft Climate Action Plan.
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Tools and Resources

CRC Impact Report

The annual Impact Report for the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is now available! This report includes updates from many of our members, as well as a recap of CRC events from the past year.
You can find the CRC Impact Report and other CRC resources here. Resources from the 2021 Members’ Forum are also available and you can find a recording of the majority of the forum, and presentation slides here.

Upcoming Opportunities

Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Demonstration Projects
The HSP Demonstration Projects aim to improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) funding on-farm demonstration projects that collect data and/or showcase conservation management practices that mitigate GHG emissions and increase soil health, and creating a platform promoting widespread adoption of conservation management practices throughout the state. Applications are due December 31, 2022. Link.
Vehicle-to-Building Technologies For Resilient Backup Program
The purpose of this solicitation is to fund applied research and development and technology demonstration and deployment projects that support the 2021 Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Interim Investment Plan initiative 7 titled “Vehicle to Building Technologies for Resilient Backup Power.” California’s simultaneous transitions to zero emission transportation and decarbonized electricity systems will create opportunities to use growing deployments of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) for electric services. Systems that enable the use of energy stored in PEV batteries to power loads inside residential, commercial, or public buildings—referred to as vehicle-to-building (V2B) technologies—can provide resilience and reliability benefits that help mitigate the impacts of power outages driven by extreme heat events, wildfires, and public safety power shutoffs. PEVs contain large batteries that could potentially provide the same backup power services as behind the meter stationary storage at a lower cost than purchasing a dedicated storage system and without the emissions associated with diesel backup generators. Applications are due January 7, 2022. Link.
Water Efficiency Technical Assistance Program
The Water Efficiency Technical Assistance (WETA) grant program is designed to facilitate technical assistance to agricultural operations for on-farm water and energy use efficiency and nutrient management. Through a competitive grant application process, applicants may request up to $500,000 to provide technical assistance to California farmers and ranchers regarding irrigation system water and energy efficiency and nutrient management. Applications are due January 19, 2022. Link.
Regional Park Program
Regional Park Program (RPP) competitive grants will create, expand, and improve Regional Parks. RPP projects will create at least one New Recreation Feature that attracts visitors from at least a 20-mile radius or county-wide population to a Regional Park. The New Recreation Feature(s) will offer nature appreciation, or athletic activities, historical or cultural enrichment, or other recreational activities in an open space area. Applications are due January 20, 2022. Link.



Wildfire and Water Supply in California
UCLA Luskin Center For Innovation
In September 2021, 23 scholars and practitioners with a diversity of water and fire expertise came together to answer a critical question: How can California proactively protect its water supply from fires? Their findings, combined with the insights of the author team, form the basis of a new scoping report, released by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ California Institute for Water Resources and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. Link.
Four San Joaquin Valley Groundwater plans Deemed Inadequate
State officials warn some of the state’s most powerful and largest agricultural districts that their plans fail to address how over-pumping could harm local communities’ drinking water supplies. Link.

Extreme Heat

California Moves Toward Launching Nation’s First Heat Wave Ranking System
Washington Post
The narrative is becoming all too familiar: A severe heat wave builds and, days later, people die. Now, legislators, scientists and a think tank are convening to better adapt to the most lethal weather phenomenon — by categorizing and naming it in major U.S. cities. Link.
‘An Invisible Hazard’: Warming Cities Hire Chief Heat Officers to Tackle Growing Threat
Los Angeles has become the third local government to have carved out a role to deal specifically with heat. Miami-Dade County in Florida and Phoenix filled similar positions this year. The jobs are designed to put the risks of heat — hidden, underestimated and intensifying with climate change — at the center as local governments prepare for a fast-warming world. Link.
Biden Wants to Make Federal Government Carbon Neutral by 2050
Washington Post
The Biden administration announced in early December that it aims to buy its way to a cleaner, cooler planet, spending billions to create a federal fleet of electric vehicles, upgrade federal buildings and change how the government buys electricity. Link.
Landmark California Smog Rules Target: Lawn Equipment, Big Rig Trucks
Big rig trucks and lawn equipment face stricter pollution requirements under a suite of landmark rules approved today by California’s clean air regulators. Manufacture of new, polluting models of lawn and garden equipment will be phased out in 2024 under the rule unanimously adopted by the California Air Resources Board, despite opposition from gardeners and landscapers. In a separate rule, big rigs will have to undergo periodic smog checks, just like cars, except most trucks will undergo the tests remotely through onboard diagnostics. Link.
Weaker Efficiency Standards for Manufactured housing could ‘threaten grid reliability,’ says California agency
Utility Dive
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering strengthening energy efficiency standards for new manufactured housing, and comments on the proposal show a range of stakeholders — including some focused on utilities — have taken opposing positions on a key issue. Link.
Where’s the Resilience? California’s Climate Strategy Found Lacking
Microgrid Knowledge
The current draft of the California Climate Adaptation Strategy fails to mention power outages and doesn’t suggest distributed energy resources (DER) and microgrids as resilience measures, say several stakeholders. The draft aims to accelerate climate adaptation movement in the state and identify how state agency measures can fit together to meet climate priorities. It also aims to build on the successes and lessons learned since the first strategy was released in 2009, but stakeholders say it is missing key ingredients for addressing climate change. Link.
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