Southern California Gas Co. announced Monday that the cities of Anaheim, Compton and Palmdale have been selected to receive $50,000 grants 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 utility’s 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 and the American Planning Association-California Chapter reviewed the project submissions and selected the recipients, according to SoCalGas.
“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, the utility’s vice president of strategy, sustainability and chief environmental officer. “The climate resiliency and adaptation grants will help kick-start many new projects across Southern California, allowing local communities to prepare for risks from climate change.”
The city of Palmdale plans to use its grant to update its FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan 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.”
Compton will use its grant to update the safety element of its General Plan and LHMP to address current and projected climate change impacts. The changes will be reflective of the issues that Compton’s population currently faces, such as extreme heat and high levels of pollution, according to SoCalGas and Compton officials.
“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 has pledged to use its grant “to address climate resiliency in a way that supports forecasted economic and population growth while recognizing the differing properties of its diverse community,” according to SoCalGas. Anaheim’s Climate Action Plan focuses on three challenges that the community is currently facing: wildfire, drought and extreme heat.
According to SoCalGas, grant 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.
“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.”