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H.R. 51 (112th): Heat Island and Smog Reduction Act of 2011

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 5, 2011 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 51


January 5, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


To reduce the heat island effect and associated ground level ozone pollution from Federal facilities.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Heat Island and Smog Reduction Act of 2011.



The Congress finds the following:


Parking lots, dark-colored rooftops, and lack of tree canopy in urban areas causes the heat island effect, wherein urban areas are significantly hotter than surrounding rural areas due to solar heat being collected by components of the built environment.


According to the EPA, this heat island effect can raise afternoon-to-evening temperatures of urban areas by up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit compared to surrounding rural areas.


Higher air temperatures in urban areas lead to higher levels of ground level ozone pollution, commonly known as smog.


In hot weather, each additional degree Celsius in heat causes approximately a 5-percent increase in smog pollution, according to Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory studies.


Negative health impacts of smog include increased incidence of asthma, throat irritation, scarring of lung tissue, emphysema, and premature death.


The urban heat island effect increases electricity demand associated with air-conditioning; conversely, heat island mitigation through increased tree canopy can reduce air-conditioning costs by up to 50 percent, creating potential cost savings through lower Federal energy bills.


According to the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, the urban heat island is responsible for 10 to 15 percent of peak electric demand, so mitigating the urban heat island effect will improve the reliability of the power grid by reducing peak demand.


Urban heat island temperatures can be lowered by increasing tree canopy and by using paving and roofing materials with higher solar reflectivity.


Many metropolitan regions that include substantial Federal property, including the National Capital Region, fail to meet air quality standards for ozone.


Heat island reduction plans for Federal properties and facilities


In general

Not later than April 1, 2012, each Federal department or agency shall develop a heat island reduction plan for all Federal property and facilities that are—


under the possession or control of such department or agency; and


located in an area that is designated under section 107(d) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7407(d)) as being in nonattainment with respect to the national ambient air quality standards for ozone.



Each heat island reduction plan under this section shall include measures—


to maximize tree cover on Federal property; and


to increase solar reflectivity through techniques such as using roofs with high solar reflectivity (cool roofs), vegetated roofs, and paving materials with higher solar reflectivity.


Annual report

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall submit to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report assessing the progress of Federal departments and agencies in developing and implementing heat island reduction plans under this section.