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Redlands and Artesia Selected to Receive SoCalGas Grants

 

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SoCalGas announced the cities of Redlands and Artesia each have been selected to receive $50,000 grants as part the utility's new Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Planning Grant program.  The initiative is designed to support local efforts to prepare for climate-change risks such as wildfires, drought, sea level rise, flooding, and other events, which are expected to increase over the next decade.  Photos of the grant presentations are available here.

The winning applications were selected from across Southern and Central California by an advisory panel of planning and sustainability experts from the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC), Climate Resolve, and the American Planning Association-California Chapter (APA-California). Recipients were chosen based on their proposal's emphasis on: collaboration among various agencies, first responders and utilities; addressing vulnerabilities in disadvantaged communities; and benefits beyond resiliency, such as to public health, air quality, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and the economy.  The grant program is funded by SoCalGas shareholders and does not impact natural gas bills.

"With increasing climate-related events, it's more important than ever for local communities to enhance their resiliency," said George Minter, SoCalGas regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy. "Maintaining a diversity of energy resources, including delivery by both electric and gas systems, can ensure energy remains available to help communities respond to and recover from many types of adverse events."

The City of Redlands will use its grant to update its local hazard mitigation plan, which will look at ways to alter the built environment so that life and property losses from natural hazards can be avoided or reduced. The SoCalGas grant will also make the city eligible for federal hazard mitigation grants which require matching funds from local sources. 

"We appreciate the efforts of SoCal Gas and the opportunity to partner with them to address and prepare for the inevitable natural disasters that occur in Southern California," said Redlands Mayor Paul Foster. "Public safety is one of the primary responsibilities of local government. This grant funding from SoCal Gas will help the City of Redlands to better meet that responsibility through planning and mitigation efforts."

Artesia will use its grant to revamp its local hazard mitigation plan to better plan and prepare for natural disasters and extreme weather events with the goal of developing a federally-approved hazard mitigation plan. "As a small city with a limited budget, Artesia was hard-pressed to meet the new state requirement to include climate adaptation plans into our General Plan updates," said Sally Flowers, Mayor of Artesia. "This grant from SoCalGas will allow us to create a plan that will allow us to be better prepared for extreme heat, fires, windstorms and other potential disasters."

SoCalGas is a leader in developing and investing in technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. The company has been working to increase the amount of renewable natural gas produced in California. Renewable natural gas technology captures methane emissions from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and dairies, then makes the methane available for use in any way traditionally-sourced natural gas is used. SoCalGas is also developing cutting-edge technologies that store surplus renewable energy in the form of renewable gas or hydrogen. These "power-to-gas" technologies use existing infrastructure to store energy and can store it for months or longer.

recent study on the impacts of four climate-related disasters on the energy sector found that natural gas infrastructure exhibited significant resilience because it is underground.  In addition, the study showed that backup generation powered by natural gas pipelines can provide on-site electricity generation for hospitals, relief centers and other critical facilities during a disaster. A summary of its findings may be found here.

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