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ESB to present recommendations to council

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By Jennifer Garcia

In an effort to maintain environmental quality, county councilors have asked members of the Environmental Sustainability Board to provide them with recommendations for objectives under the council’s strategic goal for maintaining environmental quality.

 

Because of the request, the Environmental Sustainability Board held a work session on Dec. 11 to develop recommendations to present to council.

 

The board is hoping to get the recommendations ready to present at council’s next strategic planning session, which is tentatively scheduled for sometime in February.

 

During the work session, Environmental Sustainability Board members came up with the following objectives that they plan on recommending to council:

 

•    Demonstrate sustainable design, renewable energy and green operations in county facilities.

 

•    Pursue community-wide independence from hydrocarbon energy sources.

 

•    Take bold actions to conserve water and energy.

 

•    Maximize recycling, waste reduction and reuse.

 

•    Increase the use of products with positive environmental attributes.

 

•    Establish key baseline measurements, establish conservation goals and measure progress annually.

 

•    Create sustainable education and outreach on environmental and energy goals.

 

•    Incorporate sustainable land use practices wherever feasible including protecting open space, trails and habitat and encouraging beneficial planting and community gardens.

 

The efforts to make Los Alamos a green community have been, and continue to be ongoing.

 

The first strategic plan was created in 2005 and then the county’s objective to achieve hydrocarbon independence was added in 2007.

 

In addition, the Environmental Sustainability Initiative was approved in March 2008 and the Environmental Sustainability Board was created in June 2008.

 

The county council is now updating the objective in the strategic plan.

 

In moving forward with greening plans, the council also recently held a ribbon cutting on the county’s first LEED facility and has incorporated the best practices for energy efficiency into the new animal shelter.

 

“Becoming a sustainable community means that we will all need to rethink how we do things and look for ways that use less resources,” Environmental Sustainability Board Staff Liaison Regina Wheeler said. “The Council is leading by example and we look forward to many more innovative actions by county government.”