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Cortland Climate Action Plan Lays Out Strategies to Reduce Energy Use & Cut Greenhouse Gas
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Cortland Climate Action Plan Lays Out Strategies to Reduce Energy Use & Cut Greenhouse Gas
The City of Cortland is close to adopting its first climate action plan, the document if approved would provide the city and the community with a blueprint to respond to the sources of and challenges posed by climate change.
 
Last night members of the City Environmental Advisory Committee and the Central Regional Planning and Development Board held an informational workshop on Cortland's proposed Climate Action Plan.
 
The action plan includes an inventory of the city's energy use and also includes calculations of how much green house gas emissions are coming from city operations and the city at large. The plan identifies six areas where emissions could be reduced, and offers 20 strategies to meet those goals.
 
The plan includes a broad range of options that if implemented could reduce energy consumption and in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the strategies are somewhat low-tech such as encouraging more public transportation or educating the public on the benefits of energy conservation. Others steps are more involved such as installing low energy fixtures, automatic power shutoffs, adopting new building codes that require energy efficient construction, among other strategies.
 
Environmental Advisory Committee Chair Frank Kelley says the plan is designed to provide the city with a map to promote environmental stewardship and to guide the decision making process when considering projects or improvements.
 
The study was funded with a grant from the Central New York Regional Planning Board. The city is already taking steps to reduce energy consumption and in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year Cortland received funding to replace equipment at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, the upgrades are expected to save over 450 thousand kilowatt hours of electricity which saves taxpayer dollars and cuts emissions. It is the equivalent of  taking 22 vehicles off the road each year 
 
The report says if the city implements a number of initiates such as adding solar energy arrays for government facilities, converting to hybrid vehicles, investing in green construction it can cut its emissions by nearly 87% by 2025. If the community implements some of the same strategies emissions can be reduced by 5% by 2025.
 
The city council is expected to hold a public hearing on the plan on May 6th and may vote to adopt it at that time, once adopted the plan such as this increases the likelihood of receiving future state and federal grants.

The plan is available on the city's website at Cortland.org.
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