Regional Climate Action Plan Strategies in Western Massachusetts

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The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission issued the Pioneer Valley Climate Action and Clean Energy Plan in 2013 to identify strategies that local governments and stakeholders could undertake to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. The commission collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to conduct an HIA that explored the health impacts of climate change action strategies in the communities of Springfield and Williamsburg. The HIA sought to demonstrate ways to incorporate health considerations into other regions’ and municipalities’ climate adaptation planning.

The HIA found that the plan’s strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change by providing cooling centers during periods of extreme heat and making municipal buildings more energy efficient would have positive health impacts. The report noted that improving building insulation to increase energy efficiency may raise indoor radon levels, which could increase the risk of lung cancer.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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