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Biden looks to ramp up federal involvement in extreme heat response

August 25, 2023
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With growing concern over extreme heat and its increasingly dire consequences, the Biden administration is looking to grow the federal government’s role in confronting the heightened threat.

The Homeland Security Department, with its Federal Emergency Management Agency component, is convening an extreme heat summit next week to educate state and local officials on how to reduce the impacts of record heat waves affecting much of the country. Federal officials will promote resources available to the intergovernmental leaders and FEMA has released first-ever guidance to steer them in the right direction. The advice included designating an extreme heat lead officer, mapping out “heat islands,” planting trees and revising building codes.

President Biden last month announced some new federal actions to address the growing threat of heat, such as worker protections through the Labor Department and new funding streams to support state and local efforts. Many federal lawmakers, local leaders and community stakeholders, however, have called on the federal government to take more direct action to help localities confronting emergency situations.

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