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  • Supervisors pass resolution outlining specific steps County will take to combat climate change

    Jul 12, 2017 | Read More News
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    climate changeThe Pima County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted 3-2 to pass a resolution that requires the county to take specific actions to reduce the County’s contributions to global warming and meet the goals outlined in the international Paris Climate Agreement. 

    The resolution is a follow-up to the Board’s resolution in June affirming the county’s support of the Paris agreement and expressing the county’s opposition to the Trump Administration’s intent to withdraw from the agreement. 

    The County has been improving its sustainability and conserving energy and water since adopting its Sustainability Action Plan in 2008. Pima Prospers, the county’s comprehensive plan for growth and development, has sustainability and conservation requirements incorporated throughout. The resolution reasserts the county’s commitment enacting or enforcing the principles of conservation set out in each document. 

    The resolution asserts that unchecked climate change will wreak havoc to the local environment due to the likelihood of extreme drought, fires and flooding. Excessive heat will also exact a devastating human and economic toll, raising the cost of living, causing water shortages, increasing heat-related injuries and illness and more. 

    Therefore, the Board resolution requires the County to do the following:
    • Rapidly scale up renewable energy infrastructure by adding up to 40 to 42 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV), combined with battery storage where feasible, to take maximum advantage of current net metering rates. Solar electrical energy facilities will be erected on all County parking facilities, either garages or surface parking areas.  Areas of first priority will be those where the County has large electrical energy loads for building or other facilities.
    • Increase energy efficiency in the highest energy use buildings older than 40 years through a combination of retrofits and improving employee behavior to reduce electricity use by 20 percent. All County-owned buildings in the downtown will be upgraded through window replacement and improved building insulation.
    • Create a Pima County Downtown Energy District by interconnecting and adding County-owned buildings to the existing downtown Central Plant.
    • Continue improving fleet efficiency and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure by replacing gasoline passenger sedans with EVs and improving employee driver behavior (reduction in idling when possible, efficient routing, etc.). The County will purchase 20 electric vehicles per year for the next six years and will largely replace gasoline powered sedan-style vehicles in the current vehicle fleet.
    • Install Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development with Trees (plant more trees and plants) on County properties and rights of way that would yield the highest return on investment in terms of carbon sequestration, building cooling, reduction in urban heat island effects and stormwater management and flooding abatement.
    • Prepare an update to the Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations to reflect the County’s alignment with the Paris Agreement.
    • Construct necessary infrastructure to make biogas generated from the wastewater treatment process into a clean form of methane gas capable for use as a commercial fuel. The County will then sell clean biogas for beneficial use.
    In addition to the above, the resolution also authorizes the Board Chair to join the County Climate Coalition and calls on all local governments across the country to adopt similar commitments to the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

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