President Trump signs Digital Coast Act into law after NACo advocacy
On December 18, President Donald Trump signed into law the Digital Coast Act (S. 1069). Championed by NACo, the Digital Coast Act officially codifies the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Digital Coast program. The bipartisan legislation passed the House by voice vote and was unanimously approved by the Senate.
Digital Coast is an online resource that houses data, tools and training to help coastal counties protect county-owned infrastructure, residents and businesses against hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, tsunamis and other disasters. However, without codification, the program was not guaranteed funding to be a permanent resource to counties.
Counties work closely with NOAA, as NACo is part of NOAA’s Digital Coast Partnership. In June 2018, NACo testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard in support of NOAA’s Digital Cost program. Appearing on behalf of NACo, Mr. Paul Barnes, Geographic Information Services Director for Harrison County, Miss., discussed the importance of Digital Coast for county governments in preparing for and responding to natural disasters.
Thurston County, Wash. is optimistic about integrating solar capacity into county property, with panels already been installed at the public works facility.
On September 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $235 million in grants available under EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup program. These grants will help counties assess and clean up polluted and vacant brownfield sites, including sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, or petroleum.