This Economic Guide provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions aimed to improve the ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover from disruptive events. The Economic Guide is designed for use in conjunction with the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which provides a methodology for communities to develop long-term plans by engaging stakeholders, establishing performance goals for buildings and infrastructure systems, and developing an implementation strategy, by providing a mechanism to prioritize and determine the efficiency of resilience actions. The methodology described in this report frames the economic decision process by identifying and comparing the relevant present and future streams of costs and benefits—the latter realized through cost savings and damage loss avoidance—associated with new capital investment into resilience to those future streams generated by the status-quo. Topics related to non-market values and uncertainty are also explored. This report provides context for increasing resilience capacity through focusing on those investments that target key social goals and objectives, and providing selection criteria that ensure reduction of risks as well as increases in resilience. Furthermore, the methodological approach aims to enable the built environment to be utilized more efficiently in terms of loss reduction during recovery and to enable faster and more efficient recovery in the face of future disasters.
Coastal communities face constant challenges from shoreline erosion. Although erosion is a natural coastal process, many valuable resources border the nation’s coastline. Shorelines need protection from damage caused by intense storms, wave erosion, and sea level rise. Shoreline stabilization does not need to create a barrier between land and water, as happens with hard shoreline stabilization structures like seawalls and bulkheads. New stabilization options, like living shorelines, are gaining attention as an alternative to traditional shoreline stabilization techniques. Living shorelines can reduce damage and erosion while simultaneously providing ecosystem services to society, including food production, nutrient and sediment removal, and water quality improvement.
This guidance is intended to provide information on NOAA’s perspective and roles regarding living shorelines implementation. It starts by describing NOAA living shorelines guiding principles, then highlights NOAA’s role in providing science, tools, and training to help inform the selection of appropriate techniques. It also discusses the agency’s role in reviewing living shoreline projects, depending on their location and potential effect on habitats of concern to NOAA, such as critical habitat, essential fish habitat, or protected areas. This guidance also provides a conceptual framework of 12 questions to help NOAA and our partners when planning a shoreline stabilization effort.
Changes in climate create diverse challenges across the U.S. energy system. Some energy infrastructure assets have already suffered damage or disruption in services from a variety of climate-related impacts, such as higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and more severe weather events. In the absence of concerted action to improve resilience, energy system vulnerabilities pose a threat to America’s national security, energy security, economic well- being, and quality of life.
Building climate change resilience into our energy infrastructure planning is a challenging and complex undertaking. Planning horizons can span several decades (the typical service life of most energy assets), associated investments can extend into the billions of dollars, and relevant technologies can change rapidly. Some climate change impacts may trigger cascading effects on natural resources, energy demand, and supply chains. Challenges are compounded when addressing climate risks at the regional or local level, where climate change projections are subject to less certainty than at the national scale.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has proactively launched numerous initiatives to support and facilitate energy sector climate preparedness and resilience at national, regional, and local levels. In addition to enhancing resilience to climate change, these actions may also have co-benefits that accommodate non-climate resilience needs (e.g., aging infrastructure, cybersecurity, physical attacks, geomagnetic storms). To assist infrastructure owners and utility planners, DOE has compiled this report on region- specific energy vulnerabilities to climate change (see Figure ES-1) and current resilience solutions.
At state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, leaders are making bold decisions on ways to invest in more resilient infrastructure, revise land use, update building codes, and adjust natural resource management and other practices to improve the resilience of their communities to climate impacts. The Federal Government has a critical role to play in supporting these efforts by ensuring that Federal policies and programs incorporate climate change, incentivize and remove barriers to community resilience, and provide the information and assistance communities need to understand and prepare for climate risks. The Federal Government also has a responsibility to protect its own investments, such as military installations and space launch facilities, and ensure that the lands and resources it holds in the public trust are managed for a changing climate.
In order to better support communities across the country as they prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Task Force proposes that the Administration advance actions across the Federal Government that align with the following overarching principles:
Require consideration of climate-related risks and vulnerabilities in the design, revision, and implementation of all Federal policies, practices, investments, regulations, and other programs.
- Maximize opportunities to take actions that have dual-benefits of increasing community resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Strengthen coordination and partnerships among Federal agencies, and across Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions as well as economic sectors.
- Provide actionable data and information on climate change impacts and related tools and assistance to support decision-making at all levels.
- Consult and cooperate with Tribes and indigenous communities on all aspects of Federal climate preparedness and resilience efforts, and encourage states and local communities to do the same.
Actions undertaken to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on road networks have varied from one country to another. They include legal, regulatory and institutional measures; promoting other transport modes; introducing new, green technologies; undertaking permanent supervision of embankments and slopes to reduce risks of collapse, accidents and interruptions of service, as well as developing new methodologies and analytical tools to identify, assess and mitigate risks and thus reduce the vulnerability of the road infrastructure.
Despite all these efforts, dealing with the effects of climate change is still a new topic and there are no easily accessible references to help transport and road decision-makers to cope with the problem and manage it systematically and efficiently. While some countries have made progress on this subject, others are yet to start their own efforts. In recognizing this situation, the World Road Association has completed this "International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure" to help member countries adopt a consistent approach to analyze the effects of climate change on their road networks and thus help them identify, propose and prioritize the most appropriate measures to mitigate risks associated with extreme weather events.
Public Private Partnerships (P3s) have the potential to help many communities optimize their limited resources through agreements with private parties to help build and maintain their public infrastructure. P3s have successfully designed, built, and maintained many types of public infrastructure, such as roads, and drinking water/wastewater utilities across the U.S. Until recently, there have been no P3s specifically developed for stormwater management or Clean Water Act requirements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 Water Protection Division (WPD) has been researching, benchmarking, and evaluating P3s for their potential adaptation and use in the Chesapeake Bay region. On December 6, 2012, the EPA Region 3 WPD hosted a P3 Experts Roundtable in Philadelphia, PA (U.S. EPA, 2013a). The goal of the P3 Roundtable was to provide a forum for a targeted group of private sector representatives to discuss in detail the feasibility, practicality, and benefits of using P3s to assist jurisdictions in the finance, design, construction, and O&M of an urban stormwater retrofit program. The results of this Roundtable are the foundation and approach for applying a stormwater P3 model across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
This guide will provide communities with an opportunity to review the capacity and potential to develop a P3 program to help “close the gap” between current resources and the funding that will be required to meet stormwater regulatory commitments and community stormwater management needs. In addition, this guide and the tools presented are a continuing effort, commitment, and partnership between EPA Region 3 and communities in the Chesapeake Bay region. We believe it will help to raise the bar and further advance the restoration goals and objectives for the Chesapeake Bay.
This document has been prepared to provide guidance to the pavement community on sustainability considerations in pavement systems, drawing from and synthesizing the large and diverse body of technical information that exists on the subject. Sustainability considerations throughout the entire pavement life cycle are examined (from material extraction and processing through the design, construction, use, maintenance/rehabilitation, and end-of-life phases) and the importance of recognizing context sensitivity and assessing trade-offs in developing sustainable solutions are emphasized. Key points from each of the eleven chapters contained in the document are summarized in the following sections.
Since 1988, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) has established itself as an important source of affordable funding for infrastructure projects that improve and maintain the quality of our nation’s waters. Each of the 51 programs operating independently across the United States and Puerto Rico demonstrate the power of federal and state partnerships to leverage financial resources in the interest of building sustainable infrastructure and protecting public health and water quality. There is no single prescription for accomplishing these goals; infrastructure solutions must be tailored to meet the environmental and economic needs of individual communities. States have significant flexibility within the CWSRF to establish their own funding priorities, assist communities of all sizes, and address a wide range of water quality concerns.
This best practices guide illustrates a variety of incentives states use to encourage consideration and implementation of green infrastructure and foster sustainability within their programs. Some of the incentives and examples featured in the guide are not specific to green infrastructure, but could easily be adapted to focus on green infrastructure implementation. Likewise, many of the practices that are specific to green infrastructure can also be applied to other sustainable projects such as water and energy efficiency. State programs have used the practices in this guide with great success. EPA is pleased to highlight these efforts in the hope that other interested programs can follow their example.
Guide and Toolkit, delivered through the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit website (toolkit.climate.gov), has been created as an initial component of the President’s Climate Action Plan. The Plan included this recommendation for actions to promote resilience in the health sector:
“The Department of Health and Human Services will launch an effort to create sustainable and resilient hospitals in the face of climate change. Through a public-private partnership with the health care industry, it will identify best practices and provide guidance on affordable mea- sures to ensure that our medical system is resilient to climate impacts. It will also collaborate with partner agencies to share best practices among federal health facilities” (Executive Of ce of the President, 2013).
These documents have been developed for sectors and disciplines engaged in health care facility climate resilience to assist in improving response to extreme weather events and facilitate a faster return to normal or adoption of a new normal. Climate resilience, as applied to health care, is anchored by the acute care hospital, a “high-reliability organization” that is keenly aware of, and sensitive to, broader resilience concerns. Disruptions and losses incurred by the U.S. health care sector after recent extreme weather events strongly suggest that speci c guidance on managing the new and evolving hazards presented by climate change is necessary.
The Guide and Toolkit is intended to provide key tools and insights to improve the climate resilience of the full spectrum of health care delivery settings at the institution (campus or facility) level, nested within the broader context of regional and community infrastructure. This Guide is organized in three parts.
- Part 1 introduces the overall program.
- Part 2 examines the characteristics of health care delivery settings and de nes the parameters of changing extreme weather risks; this part includes case studies of actual health care infrastructure responses to historical extreme weather events.
- Part 3 introduces a ve-element planning framework for improving health care infrastructure resilience, a framework that in turn guides the Toolkit organization. Part 3 highlights case studies of emergent practices for improving health care resilience.
Watershed Central, run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is an online portal that houses a large variety of information related to watershed management. Useful for regional, state, and local officials as well as the public, Watershed Central provides links to resources, tools, data, guidance, funding recommendations, training opportunities, and online support communities focused on developing and implementing comprehensive watershed management plans.