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Land Revitalization and Brownfield Grants

July 23, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program has the power to transform communities. Since 1995, the federal program has assessed over 30,000 properties and designated 92,000 acres for anticipated reuse. North Carolina has been working in tandem under state statute since 1997, and has i … Continued

The 2019 Hurricane Season Is Here: Now What?

July 9, 2019

“[I]t is critical to learn from events such as Florence, to minimize the damages and streamline the response and recovery for the next storm…The growing economic and human costs of these events require that we not only change how we respond, but do so far more quickly than we have in the past.” This … Continued

Disaster Recovery Legislation Imposes Building Permit and Inspection Fee Moratorium Effective NOW

October 18, 2018

By a unanimous vote in both chambers on Monday evening (October 15th), the General Assembly quickly approved and Governor Cooper signed legislation appropriating almost four hundred million dollars in disaster relief for communities and individuals impacted by Hurricane Florence.  The full text of S … Continued

Underwater? Increasing Risks for North Carolina’s Coastal Communities

September 4, 2018

$465 million. That is the estimated market value of real-estate lost between 2005 and 2016 in Florida’s Miami-Dade area. The cause? Rising sea-levels and the resulting tidal flooding and hurricane storm surge, according to a recent peer-reviewed study by Steven McAlpine and Jeremy Porter of Columbia … Continued

Charlotte’s ReVenture Park: Sustainability-Focused Industrial Redevelopment

August 9, 2018

Located on the western edge of Charlotte, ReVenture Park is an underutilized 667-acre industrially zoned area currently being redeveloped by a team led by Forsite Development. The long-term vision sees the site – once occupied by a textile dyeing operation – turned to a thriving hub for renewable en … Continued

Act Locally, Save Federally: The National Flood Insurance CRS Program

April 24, 2018

The UNC Environmental Finance Center (EFC) typically focuses on the role of local governments in directly providing and funding basic community environmental services such as water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste management. For example, the EFC recently released a set of resources related … Continued

The Benefits of Daylighting Streams

March 22, 2018

There may be good reasons to culvert or pipe a stream. Culverts allow water to flow to the other sides of roads, buildings, or other obstructions. However, developers and city planners in the past have often installed culverts where they were not necessary, resulting in sub-optimal environmental and … Continued

Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves Lives, Money, and Property

March 6, 2018

In December 2017, the National Institute of Building Sciences published Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report. This report shows that acting to reduce the impacts of floods, hurricane surges, wind, earthquakes, and wildfires is a sound financial investment. Such action, often called m … Continued

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs in North Carolina: Part II

September 7, 2017

There are several ways for state and local leaders to promote investments in their communities and reduce utility costs for residents. One tool that has been often overlooked in North Carolina are Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. This post examines the benefits and drawbacks of commer … Continued

Property Buy-Outs: A Good Option for Local Governments and Homeowners?

September 5, 2017

The devastating impact of flooding is once more in the public spotlight following the unprecedented rainfall from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Nearer to home, residents in Princeville, Fair Bluff, Seven Springs, Windsor, Kinston and Lumberton NC are planning how to build stronger and safer after Hurri … Continued