WASHINGTON (EPA) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has chosen eight communities to receive technical assistance on sustainable growth and development issues. The assistance will help local governments address infrastructure constraints, protect water quality, set development standards, and create options for housing and transportation. EPA will work in collaboration with its partners at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Transportation (DOT) to help communities become more environmentally and economically sustainable as part of the agency’s broader work through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
”EPA is building partnerships with communities from across the country, in rural, suburban and urban areas, to help them develop in ways that are environmentally sustainable and economically resilient,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This assistance will help local residents protect their health and the environment, all while strengthening their ability to attract new businesses and new jobs.”
The smart growth assistance projects will focus on key topics central to the partnership’s work: cross-departmental coordination of sustainability policies, cities undergoing economic transition, infrastructure financing, historic preservation as part of downtown revitalization, and incorporating climate change adaptation as part of long-term plans.
The projects will be based in Washington, D.C.; Saginaw, Mich.; Wheat Ridge, Colo.; Chicago, Ill.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Concord, N.H.; Cumberland and Cobb counties in Ga.; and a statewide project in Rhode Island.
The projects are being coordinated through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which began in June 2009, with Jackson, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood coming together to coordinate federal actions on housing, transportation, and environmental protection. This interagency collaboration achieves efficient federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services that meet multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives.
The partnership has released a new publication that looks at the progress the agencies have made in the first year. The document explains how the partnership has targeted resources to help communities strengthen their economies by developing more sustainably and removing regulatory and policy barriers to make it easier for state and local governments to access federal resources.