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Ohio falls short in planning for climate change
New method for ranking states puts Ohio at the lowest ranking

Valerie Brown

The Natural Resources Defense Council ranks Ohio among the worse states in planning for climate change.

The council has come up with a new way of ranking states by dividing them into one of four categories. States in category one have detailed plans to address the effects of changing weather and to cut carbon emissions. States in category four — where Ohio falls — have no programs at all.

The council says Ohio will see more frequent rainfall during the winter and spring months—similar to what it’s seen this year. Spokesman Bob Fleischli says lawmakers need to look at what areas will be most affected by the increased storms and then develop a plan to handle the extra water. Overflow storage tanks are one option.

Ohio climate change adaptation

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“Typically green infrastructure is a better solution. [You] try to mimic Mother Nature a little bit more, and you try to slow down and reduce the volume and velocity instead of just holding large amounts and spending a whole lot of money on what we call “gray infrastructure”.  You can actually beautify your community with things like green roofs and rain barrels and rain gardens and that sort of thing and capture the water.”

Fleischli says lawmakers also need to set a goal for reducing carbon emissions and put together a plan for meeting those goals. Among neighboring states, Pennsylvania is in category one, Michigan in two and Illinois in three.

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