Bicyclists at Brazos Bend State Park - May 2016 Banner       
May 2016
In This Issue
Results are in for 23rd Annual Trash Bash®
Hazard Mitigation Plan Funding Available
Natural Resources Advisory Committee to Meet May 5
Public Meeting Set for West Fork Watershed Partnership
H-GAC to Release 2016 Annual Regional Growth Forecast
May is National Bike Month, Bike to Work Events Scheduled
Focus On - Household Hazardous Waste
Big Changes at FEMA is Topic for Storm Debris Workshop
Parks and Natural Areas Field Trip to be May 16
Regional Recycling Roundtable Scheduled for May 19
Designing for Impact: Lessons Learned Workshop Set for May 20
Registration for LID Mobile Workshop Opens May 16
Bacteria Implementation Group to Meet May 24
Revitalization Roundtable Rescheduled to May 25
Save the Date for Texas Stream Team Training June 3
Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Contracts Save Time, Money
Camera-Sharing Program to Help Combat Illegal Dumping
Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available
Comments Sought for Improving Transportation Services
Houston Bike Plan Team to Review Comments, Update Plan
Registration Open for Keep Texas Beautiful Conference
Application Period Now Open for Communities Seeking Texas Main Street Designation
Save the Date for Annual STAR Recycling Summit October 16-18
Save the Date for National Regional Transportation Conference
NADO 2016 Annual Training Conference Set for October
News from the EPA
Funding Opportunities
Community and Environmental Planning
News and Notes
Quick Links
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Meeting Information
To visit the H-GAC website for a list of all upcoming meetings click here.

To get a list of other environmentally related meetings and events in our region click here.

Disability SignIn compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, H-GAC will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities attending H-GAC functions. Requests should be received 24 hours prior to the function. Call the meeting organizer to make arrangements.

As part of our commitment to Going Green, Green WorldH-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department encourages meeting attendees to bring their own mug or cup to all meetings.
Banner Photo

Brazos Bend State Park (photo by Andrew Pompei)

 

Would you like for us to consider featuring your municipality, program or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward your picture, along with some information about the subject and the photographer, and you might see it in a future month's newsletter. 


 

Forward your picture and information to Andrea Tantillo.

Results are in for Annual Trash Bash®

Official Trash Bash Logo The 23rd annual River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash®, held Saturday, April 2, was a great success.

More than 4,500 volunteers came out to clean up trash and debris and learn how to protect their local waterways throughout the year.

 

Trash Bash® participants collected 54 tons of trash along 177 miles of shoreline at 15 different cleanup sites. Volunteers also collected 518 tires and recycled more than 2,800 pounds of material. Educational displays and activities were provided at each site and continue to be an important part of the event every year.

 

Trash Bash® would like to acknowledge the volunteers and sponsors who make the event possible. The next Trash Bash® will be Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Funding Available
 An aerial view of a house on that survived the destruction of Hurricane Ike. Jocelyn Augusitno-FEMA
FEMA News Photo
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires local governments have Hazard Mitigation Plans to be eligible for some FEMA funding.
The Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, covering Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Montgomery, Walker, and Waller counties, and 69 municipalities within those counties, will expire October 17, 2017.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management is accepting grant applications for funding to help prepare hazard mitigation plan updates. Counties and other jurisdictions, as well H-GAC, may apply for this funding. Multi-county plans are permitted; however, FEMA now limits these to a maximum of four counties.
Grant amounts are $60,000 per plan, with an additional $6,000 per participating jurisdiction. A 25% match is required. The deadline for applying for this grant is Friday, May 13.

Jurisdictions interested in participating with H-GAC in an application for funding to create or update the plan for their counties can contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
Natural Resources Advisory Committee to Meet May 5

San Jacinto Super Fund Site SignThe H-GAC Natural Resources Advisory Committee will meet from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

 

Scott Jones of the Galveston Bay Foundation will discuss recent updates on the San Jacinto Waste Pits dioxin contamination project, and Dr. Hinadi Rifai of the University of Houston will discuss PCB and dioxin data for the region.

 

For more information, contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.

Public Meeting Set for West Fork Watershed Partnership

West Fork Watersheds PartnershipH-GAC and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting of the West Fork Watersheds Partnership, an effort to address water quality issues in the West Fork of the San Jacinto River and Lake Creek.


The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the San Jacinto River Authority Offices, 1577 Dam Site Road, Conroe.
The meeting is open to the public.

 

For more information, contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.

H-GAC to Release 2016 Annual Regional Growth Forecast

GIS GlobesH-GAC will release its 2016 annual regional growth forecast estimates on Thursday, May 5. The release will include data on population and jobs down to the Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) and Census Tract level. The data will be available to download, as well as for display as maps and tables.

 

More information is available online.

May is National Bike Month, Bike to Work Events Scheduled
Bicycles in a bike rack

May is National Bike Month, and many communities are celebrating with Bike to Work Days and other events encouraging biking.

Scheduled events in the region include:

Additional Bike to Work Days are being added to the Bike Houston calendar.


Cyclists can use H-GAC's Regional Bikeway Viewer or the Regional Bikeway Map to find places to ride in their area. Bicycling for Transportation: Your Guide to an Active Commute provides tips on how to bike safely. Sign up for NuRide to get rewards for walking and biking to work.

 

Learn how to promote National Bike Month from the League of American Bicyclists. 

Focus On - 
Household Hazardous Waste
  Focus on Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), including oil-based paints, motor oil, pesticides, and lead-acid batteries, present a disposal challenge. While these wastes constitute only a small percentage of the residential waste stream, the potential damage from improper disposal is significant.


Thanks to a cooperative purchasing contract with Stericycle, local governments have options. Stericycle can help governments by collecting, transporting, recycling, and/or disposing of HHW. The contract covers both permanent HHW facilities and one-day collection events.


H-GAC chose Stericycle for this contract following our standard request for proposals (RFP) review and selection process. This means that governments and agencies located within the H-GAC service area with an interlocal agreement with H-GAC can engage Stericycle for collection, transportation, and disposal of HHW. Government representatives can contact Stericycle directly at john.ranney@stericycle.com or can e-mail H-GAC at swinformation@h-gac.com for more information. 

 

Additional HHW Collection Event Resources are available:

Big Changes at FEMA is Topic for Storm Debris Workshop

A portion of roof is removed with a claw during demolition of a home swept from its foundation into a marsh in Union Beach. The project falls under FEMA's Public Assistance Waterways Debris Removal Program. Photo by Sharon Karr-FEMA
FEMA News Photo

H-GAC's series of debris management workshops continues Tuesday, May 10, with Big Changes at FEMA. The workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

Each year there are new FEMA policies to provide updates on, and 2016 brings significant changes to the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program. 

 

Discussion points for this workshop include:

  • New PA unified guidance presented in the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide
  • Procurement changes with the implementation of 2 CFR 200 (Code of Federal Regulations)
  • Public assistance reengineering on the horizon

Ceres Environmental Logo Refreshments for this workshop are sponsored by Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. 

 

There is no cost for this event, but space is limited and registration is required. Register to attend this event in person by contacting Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525. To attend via webinar, register online.

 

Mark your calendars for the final workshop in the series:

  • Mitigating Your Hazards
    Thursday, June 16 (rescheduled from Monday, April 18)
Parks and Natural Areas Field Trip to be May 16

2015 PNA Winner Universally Accessible PlaygroundThe Parks and Natural Areas Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Advisory Committee will visit five Sugar Land parks as part of the spring field trip beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, May 16.

 

The field trip begins at the canoe/kayak launch area at the Brazos River, near U.S. 59 in Sugar Land. The next stop will be the Brazos River Park, followed by the Sugar Land Memorial Park and the Universally Accessible Playground. The tour will conclude at Cullinan Park.

 

All participants are asked to provide their own transportation. For more information and to RSVP, e-mail Mary Martha Gaiennie.

Regional Recycling Roundtable Scheduled for May 19

Recycling Bin The next Regional Recycling Roundtable will be Thursday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston.

 

GRB Sustainability Manager Wanda Adams will host a tour of the convention center where participants can learn about their sustainability practices, including recycling and composting efforts.

 

Participants should meet on the second floor of the GRB in front of Starbucks. Parking is available in the parking garage of the Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, Houston. Parking will be validated for all attendees.

 

H-GAC hosts quarterly Regional Recycling Roundtables to promote recycling and waste reduction and provide a forum for discussion about recycling issues within the region. 

 

To RSVP or be added to the list for notices of upcoming meetings, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Designing for Impact: Lessons Learned Workshop Set for May 20
H-GAC and LID Map

Designing for Impact: LID Lessons Learned workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, May 20, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. Registration is currently full; however, H-GAC is compiling a waiting list.


Low Impact Development (LID) experts from around the region will share their stories about lessons learned in design, implementation, and maintenance of LID. Additional topics include LID incentive and credit programs and quick-win LID projects.


H-GAC will also release Designing for Impact: Regional Guide to Low Impact Development, a how-to-guide for planning, installing, and maintaining LID facilities. The guide looks at case studies from around the region and considers five hypothetical site plans comparing conventional and LID design.


Coffee and light refreshments will be served.


For more information or to be added to the waiting list, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie at 713-993-2468

Registration for LID Mobile Workshop Opens May 16

H-GAC's Designing for Impact: LID Mobile Workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 16. Registration opens Monday, May 16.

Participants will tour four LID projects in the region. Transportation will be provided for the first 32 registered participants.

For more information, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie at 713-993-2468. 

Bacteria Implementation Group to Meet May 24

BIG logoThe Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) will meet from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


The meeting's agenda includes:

  • A presentation on stream bank stabilization
  • The latest news on the region's bacteria Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL)
  • BIG Implementation Plan updates

For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

Revitalization Roundtable Rescheduled to May 25

Bringing Back Main Street LogoDue to flooding in the Houston region in late April, the Revitalization Roundtable originally scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, has been rescheduled to Wednesday, May 25. The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Conroe Chamber of Commerce, 505 W. Davis Street.


 Speakers from Bryan, Conroe, La Porte, and Navasota are scheduled to discuss downtown events.  

 

Online registration remains open. If you have already registered for this event, there is no need to reregister. If you can no longer make it, please contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Save the Date for Texas Stream Team Training June 3
H-GAC Stream Team Coordinator Will Merrell

The next Texas Stream Team training opportunity will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 3, at the San Jacinto River Authority Lake Conroe Campus, 1561 Dam Site Road.


The training consists of both classroom instruction and an afternoon field session. More than 120 local Texas Stream Team volunteers collect water quality data on lakes, rivers, and streams in the 13-county H-GAC region.

 

For more information on this training and to be notified about upcoming trainings, contact Will Merrell at 713-993-4594.

Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Contracts Save Time, Money

IKE Recognizing the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of debris generated by natural disasters, H-GAC has developed the Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program. By having debris hauler contracts in place prior to events, cleanup can be quicker and less costly.


Procuring reputable and experienced firms can be challenging. H-GAC has already handled many of the procurement issues for local governments. The Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program offers access to a pool of the most qualified debris removal contractors, saves time and money associated with the procurement process, and helps maximize eligible FEMA reimbursement.


To learn how to participate in the program, contact Cheryl Mergo at 713-993-4520.


As a reminder, hurricane evacuation maps, including zip zone evacuation, surge zone, and evacuation routes, can be found on the H-GAC website.

Camera-Sharing Program Helps to Combat Illegal Dumping

Camera To help track and reduce illegal dumping, H-GAC offers surveillance cameras and accompanying accessories through a sharing program. The cameras can capture clear videos day or night, including license plates of cars traveling up to 50 mph.

 

Participation in the program is for local governments within the 13-county H-GAC region and involves specific agreements, including a commitment to only use the cameras for solid waste purposes and report results to H-GAC.

 

To allow easier access to local governments, ownership of the cameras has been transferred to Fort Bend, Galveston, and Walker counties. To access the cameras, borrow them from one of those three counties. 

 

For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available

Walking in a cross walk H-GAC has temporary pedestrian-bicyclist counters available for use by local governments to count the number of people using sidewalks and/or trails, giving implementing entities and H-GAC a better understanding of the demand and use of these facilities.

 

For information about borrowing the counters, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Comments Sought for Improving Transportation Services
Ride the Gulf Coast Logo

The Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan seeks comments and suggestions for improving available transportation services. The Plan seeks to provide efficient and effective public transportation services, especially for seniors (65 and older), persons with disabilities, persons with low incomes, veterans, youth, and others who need an alternative to driving.


Comments are being collected through the end of May via an online suggestion box, through #RctpHearMeOut on Facebook and Twitter, or by calling 1-855-363-2516.


Houston Bike Plan Team to Review Comments, Update Plan
Houston Bike Plan Logo

The City of Houston recently released the draft Houston Bike Plan for public comment and feedback. More than 1,200 people completed the online survey, over 130 people provided comments on the interactive map, and 100 additional comments and letters of support were submitted.


The City of Houston will review the comments and update the draft plan as needed.


Information and updates about public hearing dates and the public hearing process will be posted on houstonbikeplan.org.

 

Registration Open for Keep Texas Beautiful Conference
Keep Texas Beautiful 2016 Annual Conference Logo

Registration is now open for the Keep Texas Beautiful Annual Conference June 20-22 in Sugar Land. Early bird pricing is available through Friday, May 20.


The three-day event will feature 35 educational sessions on topics including recycling, youth programs, litter prevention, board development, fundraising, and strategic planning.  

 

Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are still available.

Application Period Now Open for Communities Seeking Texas Main Street Designation
Texas Historical Commission Logo

The Texas Historical Commission is now accepting applications from cities interested in becoming designated Main Street communities.
The 2017 Main Street application period is now open. Each year, the Texas Historical Commission may select up to five cities for official Main Street designation. Communities selected this year will enter the program in January 2017.

 

Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development, reusing historic properties and historic preservation as primary tools.

 

Optional letters of intent are due Friday, May 13. Full applications are due Friday, July 29. More information, including application form, is available online.

 

Applications to become a designed Main Street community are accepted once each year. There are currently 87 officially designed Main Street communities in Texas, including four in the region: Bay City, Huntsville, Rosenberg, and Sealy.

Save the Date for Annual STAR Recycling Summit October 16-18

STAR Recycling Conference 2016 LogoMark your calendars for the 2016 State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) Recycling Summit October 16-18 in San Antonio.


This is the only state conference dedicated entirely to recycling and waste diversion activities in Texas. It is a chance to meet potential clients or partners, to have productive dialogue about advancing recycling in Texas, to learn about new and innovative technologies in the waste diversion industry, and to form ideas and relationships that will last for years. A preliminary schedule is available.


Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are also available. 

Save the Date for National Regional Transportation Conference

National Regional Transportation Conference logoThe National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 2016 National Regional Transportation Conference will be June 13-15 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The agenda will include sessions on land use and transportation, transit and economic development, freight transportation, rural safety, Complete Streets, and new engagement methods. Opportunities to network with other rural and small metropolitan transportation planners and professionals will offer new connections with peers from throughout the United States. 


More information is available online or by contacting Carrie Kissel at 202-624-8829.

NADO 2016 Annual Training Conference Set for October

National Association of Development Organizations logoThe National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 2016 Annual Training Conference will be October 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency, 123 Loyola Street, San Antonio.


Attendees will exchange ideas, learn from experts, participate in mobile workshops, and engage in conversations about ways to make a difference in their regions.

 

Registration will open soon. For more information, contact Laurie Thompson at 202-624-5948.
News from the EPA
EPA Logo
EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference October 2-6
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 will host its 18th Annual Stormwater Conference October 2-6 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This conference will address and discuss the various issues and challenges of managing municipal stormwater, as well as new and upcoming rules and regulations.

Webinar Set on Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will host a webinar on the Draft Technical Report: Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration. The webinar will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 12.The agencies will discuss the relationship between hydrologic condition and water quality, and provide examples of what states have done to address flow concerns. No registration is necessary.
fundingFunding Opportunities
Tree with $ Money
EDA Regional Innovation Strategies Program
U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program offers funding to spur economic development through business incubators and organizations that help startup businesses bring their ideas to market. Applications are due by Friday, June 24. EDA will host a webinar on Thursday, May 5, to present a detailed overview of the program and take questions from attendees.
 
FTA Buses and Bus Facilities Grants Program
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Bus and Bus Facilities and Low/No Emissions program makes federal resources available to states and direct recipients to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. Applications are due Friday, May 13.
 
DOT Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives grants fund projects that demonstrate alternative revenue mechanisms using a fee structure that maintains the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. Applications are due Friday, May 20.
 
FTA Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access Mobility Grants
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Grants support projects to find and test replicable public transportation healthcare access solutions. Applications are due Tuesday, May 31.
 
FTA Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment grant seeks projects to develop model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. Applications are due Friday, June 3.
 
TSSWCB Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grants
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) is accepting applications for watershed assessment, planning, implementation, demonstration and education projects seeking funding under the FY2017 Clean Water Act ยง319(h) Nonpoint Source Grant Program. Proposed projects should focus on agricultural and/or silvicultural nonpoint source pollution prevention and abatement activities within the boundaries of impaired or threatened watersheds. Applications are due by Friday, June 3.
 
USDA Community Connect Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications through its Community Connect Program which helps fund broadband in rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to offer service. USDA plans to award up to $11.7 million in grants nationwide with a minimum grant amount of $100,000 and a maximum award of $3 million. Applications are due by Friday, June 17.
 
TDA 2016 Small Towns Environmental Program (STEP) Fund
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will accept STEP Fund letters of interest and applications throughout the year until all available funds are obligated. Dates for the final round of assessment, application, and funding for letters of interest received under the 2015 Action Plan can be found on the TDA website.

EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting grant applications to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA's Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities. There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity. Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new funding opportunity notice.
 
Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grants
Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grants help state and local organizations take advantage of unexpected opportunities to win, increase, or preserve funding for biking and walking. Detailed guidelines, criteria, and application requirements are available onlineRapid Response Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.
  
All content, including links to other websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.

If you know of a funding opportunity, forward it to Andrea Tantillo.
Community and Environmental Planning
Grant Programs
H-GAC's Community Enhancement Grants are designed to help municipalities, counties, and non-profit organizations enhance public spaces, such as gateways, parks, waterfronts, and business districts.
 
Loan Programs 
H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department currently manages three loan programs------the Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program, the Business Loan Fund, and the Government Loan Fund.

HGALDCThe SBA 504 Loan Program provides long-term business expansion financing for real estate, construction, and equipment purchases.Gulf Coast Economic Developmetn District Logo 

The Business Loan Fund assists small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region.

The Government Loan Fund assists local governments and school districts in the Houston-Galveston region. 

Anyone interested in getting more information or applying for a loan should contact loans@h-gac.com.

Mapping Applications and GIS Data
GIS GlobesIf you are looking for maps, mapping applications, or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department, visit www.h-gac.com/go/cegis to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more. Map Book provides maps in several formats for printing. Mobile applications are available.

Facebook
find us on facebookH-GAC has a Facebook page where information about current and upcoming events is posted. Please visit and like H-GAC's page. While there, visit other H-GAC pages on Facebook, including Recycling, Trash Bash, Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), West Fork Watershed Partnership, and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

Twitter
Twitter LogoFind the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter Feed @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.
News and Notes

News IconNearly a Third of Local Governments Have Adopted Sustainability Plans

Every Acre is Unique: Learn More About Conservation Planning

Infographic: How Technology Can Help When Disaster Strikes

FHWA Develops Tool to Help Transportation Practitioners Integrate Health Into Corridor Planning

Energy Department Publishes Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator Resources Toolkit

Andrea Tantillo, Communications Specialist
Houston-Galveston Area Council
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Houston-Galveston Area Council, PO Box 22777, Houston, TX 77227-2777
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