Making Waves
October 17, 2016
In this edition of Making Waves:
U.S. EPA Web Portal to Help Municipalities with Climate Change
The U.S. EPA has launched a new online Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center (ARC-X) to support the efforts of all local governments preparing for the impacts of climate change in the United States, from those with extensive experience and expertise on climate change, to those working in underserved communities who are just beginning to address the impacts of climate change.  The ARC-X enables users to access information and tools tailored specifically to their needs, based on where they live and the particular issues of concern to them. It provides the user with an integrated package of information that includes insights about the implications of climate change; adaptation strategies; case studies; the tools available from EPA to help implement the adaptation strategies; and sources of funding from EPA and other federal agencies.  The ARC-X is available online at:

PHMSA Issues Interim Final Rule on Emergency Orders
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently issued an Interim Final Rule ("IFR"), allowing it to quickly address unsafe pipeline conditions by issuing emergency orders. The regulations adopt a provision of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act) signed in law by President Obama this past June. The provision allows the agency to impose emergency restrictions, prohibitions, and safety measures on owners and operators of gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to address safety concerns affecting multiple owners or operators. The IFR is effective once posted to the Federal Register and comments must be received within 60 days of publication. Click here  for a preview of the IFR transmitted by PHMSA and here for more information.
CDP Global Cities Report on Climate Change
CDP  launched their 2016 CDP global cities report, It takes a city: The case for collaborative climate action. The report draws from the CDP disclosures of 533 cities across the globe, and explores the economic opportunities to both cities and the private sector from working collaboratively on climate change.  The report reveals that the emergence of the low-carbon economy presents significant economic opportunity to collaborate with business, develop new industry sectors and build resilience. CDP runs a global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts, and is one of the reporting registries for the Global Covenant of Mayors.  To learn more about CDP, please visit
IJC Seeks Input on Binational Approach to Microplastics
The International Joint Commission (IJC) invites public comment on its Preliminary Recommendations on Microplastics in the Great Lakes  for binational, science, policy, and education solutions to microplastic pollution. Comments can be provided either online  or by email at or
until November 10, 2016.  The IJC acknowledges microplastics as a potentially significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem and human health, and the proposed recommendations reflect the significant knowledge gaps and need for further information to address causes and impacts of microplastics.  The public's input will be used in developing final recommendations to the Canadian and US governments.

Reducing Air Pollution at Ports
A U.S. EPA report finds that air pollution at the nation's ports can be reduced significantly at all port types and sizes through a variety of strategies and cleaner technologies.  The National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports examines current and future emission trends from diesel engines in port areas, and explores the emissions reduction potential of strategies like replacing and repowering older, dirtier vehicles and engines and deploying zero emissions technologies.   The new assessment supports EPA's Ports Initiative's goals to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, to achieve environmental sustainability for ports, and improve air quality for all Americans working in and living near our nation's ports.  EPA developed this national scale assessment based on a representative sample of seaports, and the results could also inform decisions at other seaports, Great Lakes and inland river ports, and other freight and passenger facilities with similar profiles.  To view the report, click here.

Pharmacy-Based Drug Take-Back Guide for Communities
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) and the New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC) recently released a guide to assist pharmacists, government officials, non-profits, community groups, and residents interested in starting a drug take-back program in their community pharmacy.  Drug collection and disposal programs represent a key strategy to reduce the drug abuse epidemic plaguing communities across the U.S. and to protect our waterways. The How-to Guide was informed by a six-month drug take-back pilot project designed and implemented by PSI and NYPSC, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and supported by the Development Authority of the North Country and the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority.  To learn more about PSI, click here.

EPA Funds Research on the Economics of Water Quality
The U.S. EPA recently announced funding to six universities to work with local communities to better understand the economic value of water quality.  The research grants from EPA will help communities and experts conduct benefit-cost analyses for actions that protect our waterways, and will also provide a critical link between water quality science and the monetary value of the services that healthy waterways provide, including recreational uses.  M ichigan State University was awarded funding to estimate the impact that changes in nutrient loadings have on the ecosystem services provided in freshwater systems in Michigan.  For more information about the grants, click here.

Events and Webinars 
CDP Cities Workshop
Program includes sessions on
green investment opportunities, and tools from the Compact of Mayors for city GHG inventories and climate action and adaptation planning

October 26-27, 2016 
 Las Vegas, NV
Click here for more information and to register

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2016 Report
Join Ontario Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe as she describes the highlights of her first Environmental Protection Report and engages participants in an Q and A.

Thursday, October 27, 2016
1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
Click here to register

Living with Highs and Lows: Policies and Adaptive Actions for Great Lakes Water Level Variability 
Four part webinar series that explores policies and adaptive actions used by communities to address water level variability.
  • November 10, 2016: Coastal bluff erosion - Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties, Wisconsin
  • November 17, 2016: Extreme water levels - Huron County, Ontario
  • December 1, 2016: Climate change, lake levels, tribal fisheries and culturally important sites - Northwest Lower Michigan
  • December 8, 2016: Developing land-use regulation and infrastructure policy - Southwest Michigan 
All webinars will run from 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST. Click here to register.

Please join the 123 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative members in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River by clicking here for a membership application.  If you are already a member, please encourage your neighboring communities to join, and be sure to renew your membership when you receive your notice.  

If your municipality would like to share news with the Cities Initiative, please email information to Melissa Soline at