Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that the City of Compton, the City of Anaheim, and the City of Palmdale have been selected as recipients of the utility's 2020 Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Planning Grant program.
Each of the three local governments will receive a $50,000 grant to support local planning efforts to help prepare for and recover from climate change risks such as extreme heat, wildfires, drought, subsidence, sea level rise, flooding, and mudslides.
The Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Planning Grant Program is a shareholder-funded initiative that has awarded $400,000 over the past three years. An advisory panel of planning and sustainability experts from the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC) and the American Planning Association-California Chapter (APA-California) reviewed the project submissions and selected the recipients.
"Our infrastructure continues to support the growth of renewables like wind and solar, as well as renewable gas to help reach the states' climate goals," said Jawaad Malik, vice president of strategy, sustainability and chief environmental officer. "The climate resiliency and adaptation grants will help kickstart many new projects across Southern California, allowing local communities to prepare for risks from climate change."
The City of Palmdale plans to use this grant to update the City's FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) with a specific focus on climate risks.
"As our City moves forward to meet and comply with both State and Federal environmental regulations, this grant will help us identify and prioritize the concrete and innovative projects we will need as we grow," said Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer. "Our Local Hazard Mitigation Plan will offer an up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of the risk and vulnerability from natural hazards to the City's critical facilities, infrastructure, economy, and population, while helping to identify the projects needed to mitigate the identified hazards."
These funds will allow for the City of Compton to update the safety element of its General Plan and LHMP to address current and projected climate change impacts. These changes will be reflective of the issues the population of Compton currently faces such as extreme heat and high levels of pollution.
"The City of Compton plans to use this grant to assist with our communities to better adapt and become further resilient towards climate change," said Compton City Manager Craig J. Cornwell. "With the help of this grant from SoCalGas, we are excited to begin implementing these funds to update our local hazard mitigation plan and the city's safety element of the general plan."
The City of Anaheim is committed to using this grant to address climate resiliency in a way that supports forecasted economic and population growth while recognizing the differing properties of its diverse community. Their Climate Action Plan focuses on three challenges that the community is currently facing: wildfire, drought and extreme heat.
"As shapers of the built environment, planners recognize our critical role in helping the communities we serve prepare for the risks associated with climate change," said Ashley Atkinson, president-elect of the American Planning Association's California Chapter. "We're grateful to SoCalGas for helping local cities elevate climate adaptation among competing priorities by providing grant funding for essential plan updates."
"As LA's regional climate collaborative, LARC supports cross-jurisdictional collaboration and facilitates the exchange of information, best practices, and cutting-edge research" said Erin Coutts, LARC's executive director. "We are excited to advise a grant program that encourages partnerships and will help our cities address climate vulnerabilities in disadvantaged communities."
Recipients were judged based on their proposal's emphasis on addressing vulnerabilities in disadvantaged communities; collaboration among various agencies; and benefits beyond resiliency, such as public health, air quality, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and the economy.