EPA Announces 2012 Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Recipients

Damage from Hurricane Irene in Bethel, VT, in August 2011. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the 2012 recipients of the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program. SGIA will provide technical assistance and help in finding the best strategies for sustainable growth to five communities nationwide. As part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the EPA will be working along with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The 2012 recipients are: the State of Vermont; Madison County, NY; San Francisco, CA; Spokane Tribe of Indians, WA; and Billings, MT.

Vermont, areas of which are recovering from major flood damage due to Hurricane Irene in fall 2011, will receive assistance with this recovery as well as planning for future natural disasters among several small communities in the Mad River Valley.

Madison County, NY, is a rural area of upstate New York that aims to develop ways to implement Smart Growth in a rural setting. The existing guidelines for Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities will be adapted for Madison County and in particular the City of Oneida.

San Francisco will receive assistance in developing a citywide district energy plan that will ultimately be integrated into the urban development process. The EPA will assist with developing case studies and two different pilot projects for the plan.

The EPA will also assist the Spokane Tribe of Indians in eastern Washington State in developing a water infrastructure plan to deal with challenges like water shortages, pipe failures, and maintenance of sewer systems. The Tribe also received a HUD Community Challenge Planning Grant in 2010 that addressed similar issues.

Finally, the City of Billings, Montana, has received assistance in order to incorporate its school siting policies with citywide revitalization plans, including affordable housing and increased transportation choice. It is also an opportunity to determine how the EPA’s School Siting Guidelines can be put into action at the local level.

For more information about the new SGIA recipients, visit the EPA Smart Growth website.

For more on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, go to www.smartgrowthamerica.org/partnership.