News

Host "We Are Water" - due 7/26

Applications to be a part of a 2022 cohort of host sites are being accepted now through July 26. We Are Water MN is a traveling exhibit and community engagement initiative that builds local capacity to support and engage in water restoration and protection.

Local organizations host the exhibit and become an exhibit tour-cohort during their 15-month commitment to the program. The state agencies and local organizations practice the Minnesota Humanities Center’s absent narratives approach — an equity-based approach to partnership building and community engagement. State partners provide training and reflective experiences for host sites, develop local content for the exhibit, and connect host sites with resources. Host communities build partnerships and plan public activities. Soil and water conservation districts, museums, arts organizations, and tribal governments have all been hosts in the past.

Learn more and apply on the Host We Are Water MN webpage

Post on: 06/21/2021

Webinars: 6/22-7/27: WWTP Nutrient Discharge Reductions

A new webinar training series, Reducing Nutrient Discharges Through Low-Cost Operational Changes, will teach you how to improve your activated sludge system’s biological nutrient removal (BNR) performance without costly capital upgrades. Minnesota wastewater operators can earn 1.75 contact hours per session, approved by MPCA, by attending the six free webinar sessions. Up to 10.5 contact hours can be earned by attending all six sessions. Attendees are encouraged to attend all sessions.

The training sessions will be led by one of the nation’s premier subject experts – Grant Weaver of CleanWaterOps  – who has helped facilities across the country reduce their nitrogen and phosphorus discharges using their existing facilities and equipment.

Each session will be held from 10:00 – 11:45 AM Central on the following dates:

  • Session 1 - Tuesday June 22: Optimizing Nitrogen Removal in Activated Sludge WWTPs – Introduction/Overview
  • Session 2 - Tuesday June 29: Optimizing Phosphorus Removal in Activated Sludge WWTPs – Introduction/Overview
  • Session 3 - Wednesday July 7: Optimizing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal in Activated Sludge WWTPs – Review
  • Session 4 - Tuesday July 13: Optimizing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal in Activated Sludge WWTPs – Case Studies, Part 1
  • Session 5 - Tuesday July 20: Optimizing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal in Activated Sludge WWTPs – Case Studies, Part 2
  • Session 6 Tuesday July 27: Optimizing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal in Red River – Participants’ Wastewater Treatment Plants.

Click the link below to register today!

Register

This training webinar series is brought to you by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. EPA Region 5, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and CleanWaterOps, as part of the National Study on Nutrient Removal and Secondary Technologies.

Related to: Water, Training, Education
Post on: 06/11/2021

Webinar 6/10 & 29: Water Reuse

Advancing Water Reuse in Small and Disadvantaged Communities

Are you a small community interested in Water Recycling? Not sure how to get started? This free webcast is for you!

Two Identical Sessions Will Be Held:

  • June 10, 2021 from 1-2:30 PM (Eastern Time)
  • June 29, 2021 from 1-2:30 (Eastern Time)

Why Attend? Many water recycling success stories are in larger cities. These outreach and listening webcasts will introduce water recycling opportunities that make sense for smaller communities. Equally important, we want to learn from you about your communities’ interests in water recycling and your needs for support to enable you to pursue recycling projects. We will follow up these webcasts with online training tailored for small and disadvantaged communities and set up pilot projects to assist individual communities with recycling project development. Whether you are reusing water now or just thinking about it, this webcast is designed for you!

Who Is Doing This? U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, National Rural Water Association, and American Water Works Association are collaborating to help small and disadvantaged communities pursue water recycling. Through the Water Reuse Action Plan, several federal, state, and local agencies and organizations are taking actions like this one to build the nation’s capacity to benefit from wastewater recycling and stormwater capture and use (https://www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan ).

Learn More and Register. 

Related to: Water, Education
Post on: 06/02/2021

Bank of America Charitable Foundation RFP due 6/25

Economic mobility focused on the needs of the community

Affordable Housing
The current health and humanitarian crisis has underscored the importance of safe, decent housing for an individual’s overall well-being, including health, educational success and future employment opportunities. That’s why we support the work of organizations working to preserve, and increase access to a mix of affordable housing options.

Small Business
Small businesses play an important role in the overall health of our nation’s economy. In response to the challenges many small businesses continue to face due to coronavirus, we’re supporting nonprofits that are assisting minority and indigenous entrepreneurs as they focus on short-term needs and build for long-term recovery.

Neighborhood Revitalization
Vibrant communities are places where individuals can thrive and succeed and have the opportunity to live and work with safe, decent housing, transportation to jobs, strong business corridors and thriving arts and culture districts. We support local and regional revitalization efforts, taking a holistic approach to building inclusive communities.

Learn More and Apply

Post on: 05/28/2021

Diesel on-road & heavy duty EV replacement Grant - due 8/9

Apply now for a grant for replacing heavy-duty diesel vehicles with electric or other, cleaner models. Funding is split into two pools:

  • $3.5 million will support organizations making the switch to electric vehicles/equipment
  • $1.7 million will fund new vehicles powered by diesel, propane, natural gas, and fuel/electric hybrids

See the request for proposals (RFP) for full details on eligibility: who may apply, grant match requirements for eligible vehicle types, and other information that will help applicants submit a proposal.

  • Application deadline: August 9, 2021
  • Total funding: Approximately $5.2 million

Learn More and Apply

Post on: 05/27/2021

Webinar 7/13: Urban Heat Equity

Urban structures including buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat — contributing to “islands” of high temperatures in cities and towns of of all sizes. Moreover, heat islands impact some people more than others, leading some local governments to apply environmental justice principles to mitigate heat islands.

Take a break from the heat of summer with us to learn how local governments are addressing heat equity. You’ll hear how City of Chula Vista is using codes to address heat and discover how the U.S. EPA’s Heat Island Reduction Program can benefit your community, complete with specific cool roof and surface solutions available to mitigate the heat island effect.

Presenters:
Victoria Ludwig, National Program Manager - Heat Island Reduction Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Sarah Schneider, Deputy Director and Technical Committee Liaison, Cool Roof Rating Council
Cory Downs, Conservation Specialist, City of Chula Vista, CA
Kale Roberts, Senior Program Officer (Resilience Pathway co-lead), ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA

Learn More and Register

Related to: Education, Climate, Planning
Post on: 05/27/2021

Resilient Communities Partnership - Apply by 8/15

RCP is accepting proposals from local government agencies located anywhere in Minnesota for assistance with projects that advance community resilience to economic, social, environmental, or technological changes. RCP specifically encourages proposals for projects focused on racial inequities, unjust systems, and/or the COVID-19 pandemic, and that center communities most impacted by these issues. Deadline for proposals is August 15, 2021.  

Learn More and Apply

Post on: 05/24/2021

New Approaches to Parking Management

The GreenStep Cities program has just released a new 12-page guide - New Approaches to Parking Management -  to help municipalities in Minnesota improve the way they regulate and manage on- and off-street parking. The guide discusses the reasons cities are reexamining their approach to parking. It outlines the benefits of improving parking regulation and pricing – from reduced stormwater generation to increased housing affordability. The guide discusses the importance of surveying parking utilization and provides a checklist to evaluate a city’s parking code. It outlines a step-by-step process for making improvements, provides estimated costs for consulting help, and lists resources. Find additional guidance and resources related to this topic under BPA 14.1

A companion document, to be developed in 2021, will provide a summary of actions taken by cities in Minnesota and elsewhere to right-size and right-price parking. 

In the fall, the GreenStep Cities program will devote one of its monthly forums to parking regulation and management.

A big thank you to RETAP transportation consultant, Barb Thoman, for her work and expertise in developing this new guidance! 

Post on: 04/27/2021

Salt Symposium 8/3-4

2021 Salt Symposium - two days of chloride research & innovation! 

August 3-4 (online only)

New Directions in Chloride - 8/3: water softening, fertilizers, and more 

Winter Maintenance - 8/4: the latest research and technology 

Learn more and nominate an Environmental Leader at https://fortinconsulting.com/2021-symposium/ 

Register at https://fortinconsulting.regfox.com/salt-symposium-2021  (20%off early bird discount until June 30)

Post on: 03/18/2021

Bikeable Community Workshops -2021

At a Remote Bikeable Community Workshop, local and regional staff, community leaders, and local bike champions are trained on strategies that they can use to create a bike friendly community. Through virtual presentations, breakout discussions, and an independent bike audit, participants will assess their community’s bicycle friendly efforts and facilities while working together to create a personalized community action plan.

BikeMN, in partnership with the Minnesota Departments of Health and Transportation, will be offering a number of Remote Bikeable Community Workshops in 2021. If you feel that your community is a great candidate for a workshop, please fill out this online application.

Learn more and apply. See Best Practice Action 12.1 about becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community.  

Post on: 01/08/2021